Alpes Lasers SA of St-Blaise, Switzerland – an engineering company pioneering advanced light sources, especially quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) – has introduced frequency comb quantum cascade lasers.
A frequency comb is a laser source whose spectrum consists of a series of discrete, equally spaced frequency lines. Originally developed at optical wavelengths (for which John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics), frequency combs can be used for fast, high-sensitivity and high-resolution spectroscopy.
With up to 200mW of power spread over more than 100 comb teeth, Alpes Lasers’ frequency comb quantum cascade lasers cover the important mid-infrared ‘fingerprint’ region that is useful for identifying a wide range of complex molecules such as organic molecules, pollutants and/or explosives.
In development since 2012 in the Quantum Optoelectronics Group of professor Jérôme Faist at ETH Zürich, the firm’s frequency comb quantum cascade laser is claimed to be the first commercially available laser of its type. Faist is “especially happy to see the quantum cascade laser comb come out from academia and become a commercial product, and in doing so help the development of broadband mid-IR spectroscopy”.