SBIR-STTR Award

Two-Dimensional Surface Emitting Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) Quantum Cascade Laser Arrays for High-Power Applications
Profile last edited on: 9/13/2021

Program
SBIR
Agency
Navy
Total Award Amount
$375,001
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Robin Huang
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Forward Photonics LLC

500 West Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801
   (978) 224-5488
   N/A
   www.forwardphotonics.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   05
County:   Middlesex

Phase I

Phase I year
2018
Phase I Amount
$124,999
Significant progress has been made in recent years in improving the efficiency and output powers of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). With the inherent low efficiency of QCL devices, there is a limit to the amount of extra power that can be coaxed out of a device before the amount of waste heat generated overwhelms the available cooling. In order to increase the power output of these devices, and simultaneously reduce the thermal management needs, innovative pathways such as development of broad area vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) could be beneficial. Here, Forward Photonics in combination with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) propose to use a novel technique for controlling the output mode of a QCL to produce a broad area single spatial mode laser with high output power and efficiency.

Benefit:
For many applications, such as infrared missile countermeasures (IRCM), light detection and ranging (LIDAR), free-space communication, and stand-off detection increasing the output power of mid-infrared devices is greatly desired, and this type of novel QCL device will have great benefit for these applications. Such a laser has the potential to create a high power device with broad surface area for efficient cooling. The device is also a vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL, in contrast to a VCSEL) which makes it amenable for inclusion in a wavelength beam combining (WBC) cavity already used by Forward Photonics effectively for the highest brightness QCL MWIR lasers.

Keywords:
LASER, LASER, Quantum Cascade Laser, vertical emission, high power, Wavelength Beam Combination, MWIR, high brightness

Phase II

Phase II year
2019 (last award dollars: 2019)
Phase II Amount
$250,002
Significant progress has been made in recent years in improving the efficiency and output powers of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) in the mid-wavelength infrared wavelength range. In order to increase the power output of these devices, and simultaneously reduce the thermal management needs, innovative pathways such as development of broad area vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) could be beneficial. Such a laser has the potential to create a high power device with broad surface area for efficient cooling. This architecture also works well for two-dimensional array power scaling and for beam combination methods. Forward Photonics proposes to continue the development of novel high power QC-laser surface emitting lasers and arrays in this proposal.