WideLase: Monolithic Widely Tunable Interband Cascade Lasers for Safety and Security

About

Key Objectives

We propose novel monolithic concepts for electrical tuning which will be combined with interband cascade material to realize compact, rugged and cost effective laser sources with wide tuning range for safety and security applications in the 3.3 to 7.0 μm wavelength region. These sources will then be utilized for three different important safety and security applications: remote detection of alcohol vapor in exhaled breath, remote monitoring of formaldehyde and hydrocarbon leak detection.

 

The WideLase Project concerns realization of compact, rugged and cost effective laser sources with wide tuning range for safety and security applications in the 3.3 to 7.0 μm wavelength range. Novel Interband Cascade based laser structures with wide gain bandwidth will be fabricated enabling room temperature continuous wave operation. The developed structures will exceed existing Quantum Cascade Laser performance figures in the targeted mid infrared range. Additionally, novel monolithic concepts for electrical tuning based on multi-section DFB as well as acousto-opto-electronic lasers will be developed in the wavelength range of interest. This will result in monolithic devices with an unprecedented tuning range of up to 200nm formerly in reach only by external cavity lasers.

These novel high performance photonic sources will allow the development of the following highly sensitive detection systems:

  • Laser based sensor for remote detection of alcohol against drunk driving,
  • Laser based sensor for formaldehyde monitoring,
  • Laser based sensor for hydrocarbon leak detection.

In order to reach these goals, significant challenges have to be overcome in various fields, ranging from epitaxial semiconductor growth via laser design and processing to mid infrared sensor development. The consortium comprises renowned research groups, academic and industrial SME partners from across Europe with a range of complementary competencies covering all aspects from semiconductor material development to photonic components and sensor systems.