Pranalytica to Extend QCL Wavelengths
Quantum cascade laser (QCL) maker Pranalytica Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif., has announced it has received a Small Business Technology Transfer Program contract from the US Army to radically improve QCL performance for applications including free-space optical communications, ladar (laser detection and ranging), dial (differential absorption lidar), remote gas sensing and noninvasive medical diagnostics. Under terms of the contract, Pranalytica will incorporate the advances in QCL design and packaging it made at the 4.6-µm wavelength into QCLs operating in other spectral regions. Research will be done in collaboration with professor Federico Capasso’s group at Harvard University. Pranalytica’s previous research was done under the auspices of DARPA’s EMIL (efficient mid-infrared laser) program. “Full implementation of this proposal, including Phase II, will result in commercial availability of high-power, high-efficiency QCLs emitting in the 3.8- to 4.2-µm and 8- to 12-µm wavelength regions,” said Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, founder, president and CEO of Pranalytica. The company has been supplying select aerospace and defense contractors with continuous-wave, room-temperature 1-, 1.5- and 2-W QCLs based on its EMIL work since June 2008.