Quantum cascade lasers for better product quality

Miniaturized, broadband spectrally tunable quantum cascade laser with emission wavelengths in the mid-infrared range and high scanning frequency up to 1 kHz.
© Fraunhofer IAF

Miniaturized, broadband spectrally tunable quantum cascade laser with emission wavelengths in the mid-infrared range and high scanning frequency up to 1 kHz.

Cooperation with Fraunhofer IPMS for laser-based measuring systems

To secure a high quality of food or pharma products, production processes need to be continuously monitored. For this purpose, Fraunhofer IAF, together with other Fraunhofer Institutes, is developing a sensor system based on an external cavity quantum cacade laser (QCL): Through the combination of the spectral tunable QCL with micromechanical optical grating, it is possible to scan a broad wavelength range, analyze specific absorption bands, and hence detect chemical substances within milliseconds. This »finger print« technique allows compact sensor systems for inline-process control or for the fast detection of hazardous substances in liquids or on surfaces.

»By integrating our micromechanical scanning grating in the external cavity of the QCL developed at Fraunhofer IAF, we can now measure 2000 spectra per second, increasing the performance of previous measuring systems by a factor of 20.« Dr. Jan Grahmann, Fraunhofer IPMS, Dresden