Array of tiny quantum cascade lasers provides tunable mid-IR output

Benjamin G. Lee, Mikhail A. Belkin, Federico Capasso

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Quantum cascade lasers are the only semiconductor lasers that can operate at room temperature at 3-15μm. Although they have similar appearance with diode lasers, they have different operation principle. In a quantum cascade laser, the laser transition occurs between electron levels in the conduction band of a semiconductor superlattice. By changing the thicknesses of the quantum wells and barriers in the superlattice, one can engineer the energy levels to produce a laser transition at the desired wavelength. Quantum cascade lasers are more compact and portable than Fourier transform infrared spectrometers and are not costly as compared to laser diodes.

Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationPhotonics Spectra
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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