Low-Cost Single-mode Quantum Cascade Lasers

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 10-2622


Currently available commercial single-mode QC lasers either employ distributed feedback or external cavity technique to achieve single-mode emission.  Due to the complexity and yield issue of these techniques, the costs and thus the sale prices for single-mode QC lasers are very high, which is a crucial barrier to the development of applications. 


This invention permits single-mode operation of QC lasers with folded Fabry-Perot cavities, which solves the problem that QC lasers with conventional straight Fabry-Perot cavities generally do not operate in single mode.  It possesses the advantages of simplicity in fabrication processes and lower cost over other types of single-mode QC lasers.  



·         Air quality monitoring, greenhouse gas monitoring

·         Medical diagnostics

·         Detection of explosive and hazardous material

·         Industrial processes monitoring



·         Single-mode operation

·         Simple fabrication processes

·         Lower cost of manufacturing



P. Q. Liu, X. Wang, J. Fan, and C. Gmachl. ¿Single-Mode Quantum Cascade Lasers with a Folded Fabry-Perot Cavity¿. Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS),San Jose, CA. May 2010.


Principal Investigator

Clair Gmachl, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of MIRTHE, is the principle inventor for these QC laser technologies.  Her research group is working on the development of new quantum devices, especially lasers, and their optimization for sensor systems and their applications in environment and health.  Among the numerous honors Professor Gmachl has received are Election to Austrian Academy of Sciences as Corresponding Member Abroad (2008), MacArthur Fellow (2005), and Popular Science Magazine's list of Brilliant 10 (2004).


Intellectual Property status

Patent protection is pending.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Ritter
Princeton University
Qiang Liu
Claire Gmachl
Kamil Sladek