Distributed Feedback Quantum Cascade Lasers for Trace Gas Detection

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: NASA1567
Amount: $69,844.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.
242 Kingfisher Drive, Sugar Land, TX, 77478
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Baillargeon
 Vice President
 (713) 743-9928
Business Contact
 Thompson Lin
Title: President
Phone: (281) 242-2588
Email: chlin@ao-inc.com
Research Institution
This proposal concerns the fabrication and delivery of the Quantum Cascade (QC) semiconductor laser as a coherent light source operating in the mid-infrared region of the optical spectrum. This laser is unique as a semiconductor laser in that it utilizes only one carrier type, electrons, from recycled intersubband transitions to efficiently generate photons [1]. The photon emission energy itself is determined by the difference in subband energies. The QC laser is lightweight, compact, energy efficient and widely tunable by either temperature or current. The QC laser emission wavelength can span the entire 3.4 - 17 mm region employing the exact same semiconductor materials, growth and fabrication technologies by modification of QW layer thickness and periodicity [2]. The wavelength region between 4 - 12 mm is particularly important for high sensitivity detection of such compounds as NOx, N2O, CO, CO2, H2O and CH4. QC lasers are reliable, stable sources with intrinsic linewidths of a few MHz [3] and are capable of output powers useful for trace gas detection [4-7]. The QC laser is an ideal, cost effective source for extraterrestrial atmospheric and planetary sensing of biogenic compounds.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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