Applied Physics B

, Volume 100, Issue 2, pp 243-251

First online:

External-cavity quantum cascade lasers with fast wavelength scanning

  • T. TsaiAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University
  • , G. WysockiAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University Email author 

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Fast wavelength scanning of an external-cavity quantum cascade laser (EC-QCL) has been developed using a modified Littrow-type cavity configuration. Scan rates up to 5 kHz and tuning ranges up to 7 cm−1 have been realized using folded cavity arrangement with a fast piezoactuated intracavity mirror to vary the effective diffraction grating angle. High-resolution molecular spectroscopy, limited primarily by the effective laser linewidth, has been demonstrated in pulsed and CW mode using direct absorption spectroscopy of ammonia and ethylene in the 10-μm wavelength region. A high-resolution broadband spectral scan employing mode-hop-free tuning of a set of discrete laser modes within the fast frequency scan has been developed. The method has been demonstrated by performing high-resolution broadband spectrum of ethylene under atmospheric and reduced pressures.