The University of Surrey in England has been awarded £118,000 ($215,000) as part of a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) -funded consortium of two universities and five industrial partners, led by British defense technology and security company Qinetiq, with total funding from Britain's DTI of £1 million ($1.8 million) for the next three years. The aim of the project is to obtain room temperature operation of mid-infrared semiconductor lasers through the use of strained layer engineering at the nanoscale to develop a novel laser with a highly efficient active region containing InAlSb/InSb (indium aluminum antimonide/indium antimonide) quantum wells. Researchers involved in the project said the practical realization of mid-infrared semiconductor lasers which can operate at room temperature will revolutionize how these lasers are used, transforming them from a specialist research curiosity to a pervasive technology for healthcare, environmental monitoring and manufacturing, free space optical communications and other applications. For example, these lasers will enable the development of an entirely new instrument for medical imaging at the nanoscale, they said. Researchers from the ATI (Advanced Technology Institute) at the University of Surrey are responsible for theoretical modeling of the laser structures.