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Quantum Cascade Laser Breakthrough for Advanced Remote Detection

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Widely tunable, monolithically integrated mid-infrared semiconductor laser operates at room temperature.

MANIJEH RAZEGHI, WENJIA ZHOU, DONGHAI WU, RYAN MCCLINTOCK AND STEVEN SLIVKEN, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

The atoms in a molecule can bend, stretch and rotate with respect to one another, and these excitations are largely optically active. Most molecules, from simple to moderately complex, have a characteristic absorption spectrum in the 3- to 14-µm wavelength range that can be uniquely identified and quantified in real time. Infrared spectroscopy has been used to study these absorption features and develop different molecular “fingerprints.” The benefits of this optical technique, as opposed to chemical sensors or chromatography, are that the detection mechanism requires...Read full article

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