A schematic of the new laser system.
(January 7, 2016) High power and rapid tuning for the detection of hazardous chemicals
From their use in telecommunication to detecting hazardous chemicals, lasers play a major role in our everyday lives. They keep us connected, keep us safe, and allow us to explore the dark corners of the universe.
Now a Northwestern Engineering team has made this ever-important tool even simpler and more versatile by integrating a mid-infrared tunable laser with an on-chip amplifier. This breakthrough allows adjustable wavelength output, modulators, and amplifiers to be held inside a single package.
With this architecture, the laser has demonstrated an order-of-magnitude more output power than its predecessors, and the tuning range has been enhanced by more than a factor of two.
“We have always been leaders in high-power and high-efficiency lasers,” said Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who led the study. “Combining an electrically tunable wavelength with high power output was the next logical extension.”