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Mid infrared laser and integrated with on chip amplifer

A team from Northwestern University in the US claims it has made the laser simpler and more versatile by integrating a mid infrared tunable laser with an on chip amplifier. The development is said to allow an adjustable wavelength output, modulators and amplifiers to be held inside a single package.

According to the team, the laser has demonstrated an order of magnitude more output power than its predecessors, while the tuning range has been enhanced by more than 100%.

“We have always been a leader in high-power and high-efficiency lasers,” said Professor Manijeh Razeghi. “Combining an electrically tunable wavelength with high power output was the next logical extension.”

Mid-infrared spectroscopy allows chemicals to be identified through their unique absorption spectra. This enables the detection of hazardous chemicals or possible explosives. Because Prof Razeghi’s system is also directional, the high power can enhance the ability to detect chemicals. The technology could also find application in free space optical communications and aircraft protection, says the team.

Graham Pitcher

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