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  • SPIE Journal Details Advances in QCLs
Dec 2010
BELLINGHAM, Wash., Dec. 20, 2010 — The accelerated pace of development of quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology and its many applications — such as detecting explosive chemicals on clothing, monitoring greenhouse gases and measuring blood sugar levels via breath analysis — is the subject of a highly anticipated special section just published in the SPIE journal Optical Engineering. US Naval Research Laboratory scientists Jerry Meyer and Igor Vurgaftman are section editors.

Federico Capasso, professor and senior research fellow at Harvard University and leader of the group who first demonstrated QCL technology 16 years ago at Bell Labs, contributed an invited review paper. "High-performance midinfrared quantum cascade lasers," is freely available in the 26-article section and via the open-access journal SPIE Reviews.

Section authors include Kumar Patel, Pranalytica and University of California, Los Angeles; Manijeh Razeghi, Northwestern University; Joachim Wagner, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics; and other leading international researchers.

"In the past 16 years, the QCL has evolved from a barely functional scientific curiosity into a powerful technology poised to offer new capabilities to a broad spectrum of real-world applications," Meyer said. "Compact and inexpensive semiconductor lasers emitting at wavelengths beyond 3 microns are finally becoming practical and available for the military, research and the commercial marketplace."

Optical Engineering is published in the SPIE Digital Library, with freely searchable abstracts; articles are available via subscription or pay-per-view. Ronald Driggers, Naval Research Laboratory, is Editor-in-Chief. The SPIE Digital Library contains over 300,000 articles from SPIE Journals and Proceedings, with approximately 18,000 new research papers added annually.

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quantum cascade laser
A Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) is a type of semiconductor laser that emits light in the mid- to far-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Quantum cascade lasers offer many benefits: They are tunable across the mid-infrared spectrum from 5.5 to 11.0 µm (900 cm-1 to 1800 cm-1); provide a rapid response time; and provide spectral brightness that is significantly brighter than even a synchrotron source. Quantum cascade lasers comprise alternating layers of semiconductor...
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