Abstract

Room-temperature, continuous-wave operation of an external-cavity quantum cascade laser (EC-QCL) is reported. Single-mode tuning range of 120cm1 was achieved, from 7.96 to 8.84μm. The gain chips utilized are based on the bound to continuum design and were fabricated as buried heterostructure lasers. Gap-free tuning (mode hops only on the external-cavity modes) is demonstrated for an antireflection-coated laser, just by grating rotation. The EC-QCL was implemented in a Littrow setup and an average power of 1.5mW was obtained at 20°C, while a peak power of 20mW was obtained for a modified Littrow setup with the back extraction of light.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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