News Article

Stony Brook University Researcher Achieves Breakthroughs In Mid-Infrared Diode Lasers
Date: Apr 08, 2008
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Featured firm in this article: Power Photonic Corporation of Stony Brook, NY

STONY BROOK, NY, April 7, 2008 -- Stony Brook University's NYSTAR-designated Center for Advanced Sensor Technology today announced the achievement of record-breaking output performance by new electrically pumped semiconductor lasers emitting in the mid-infrared spectral region. Developed in the laboratory of Gregory Belenky, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University, the devices operate at room temperature in contrast with conventional devices, and produce continuous output of up to 32 times the power of devices previously reported.

Such compact highly efficient light emitters operating in this spectral region are in demand for military, industrial and homeland security applications. The list of applications includes: remote spectroscopic analysis and identification of dangerous chemicals or explosives (including methane and TNT); infrared countermeasures technologies; and, the development of advanced infrared scene projectors.

"We are highly gratified by the progress that our research team has made with the core technology and in setting up manufacturing of these unique devices," said Belenky. "This represents the fruit of years of funding by NYSTAR AFOSR and ARO, and we are grateful for their support that has enabled these developments," he added.

Previously, the needs of these applications were approached by bulky optically pumped solid-state light emitters with poor power conversion efficiency or by cryogenically cooled semiconductor lasers. The development of room temperature high efficiency electrically pumped semiconductor devices at Stony Brook promises significant system simplification, and opens up new avenues for development of highly portable, rugged, and low cost systems.

Two new high performance devices were grown at Stony Brook by molecular beam epitaxy on gallium antimonide semiconductor wafers, in the laboratory of Professor Belenky. His research group has developed new laser designs employing strained InGaAsSb quantum well layers and novel barrier materials. Both devices are manufactured at Stony Brook University under exclusive contract to Power Photonic, Inc.

"We feel that these developments place our private sector marketing capability on an advantageous technological footing, and look forward to evaluating opportunities in the private sector, as well as to the expansion of our solid DOD constituency in missile defense," said Dr. David Westerfeld, President of Power Photonic. "We will continue as the exclusive intellectual property owner for these outstanding devices, and now are looking for partners or licensees capable of helping us leverage into private sector markets suggesting a good fit to our technology, in areas such as gas sensing devices, plastic welding machines, infrared scene projection, and in biomedical applications," he added

The research group is also applying the new designs to high efficiency light emitting diodes (LEDs) which promise even lower costs and an enhanced scope of applications.


NYSTAR is a government public-benefit corporation that supports collaborative industry/ academic partnerships to foster integrated approaches for developing and commercializing innovative technologies. NYSTAR's initiatives include investment in academic research and development facilities to promote work with industry, recruitment and retention programs for higher education researchers, technology transfer initiatives and efforts to ensure a skilled workforce through high technology training programs.

About Power Photonic

Power Photonic Corporation is dedicated to commercializing the know-how and intellectual property developed in mid-infrared lasers at the NYSTAR supported Stony Brook University Center for Advanced Sensor Technology. Incorporated in 2002, Power Photonic has successfully attracted substantial Federal support, with four Air Force contracts awarded for the development of its mid-infrared emitters.

Prof. Gregory Belenky
Engineering Light Laboratory
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794

David Westerfeld, Ph.D.
Power Photonic
25 Health Sciences Dr, Box 111
631-632-8397 Stony Brook, NY 11790-3350