World’s most powerful mid-IR lasers

PPC-BAH has developed high power, laterally coupled distributed-feedback (LC-DFB) single-mode Type I lasers emitting in the 2.0 to 3.5 µm infrared region. These tunable lasers operate at room temperature and hold world records for output power and conversion efficiency. We are prepared to adapt these lasers  to the particular applications of our clients. Due to high absorption of common hydrocarbons in 3 µm range, our lasers are uniquely suitable for real-time hyperspectral imaging of gas leaks, diagnostics of chemical reactions and robotic vision. One of the mid-IR lasers is currently operating on a NASA Mars rover.


Single-mode mid-IR laser structure developed by PPC-BAH.

The following figure shows current-voltage and light output measurements at different heat sink temperatures for a LC-DFB laser with a cavity length of L = 2 mm. This device can emit over 16 mW of power at 10 °C and 11 mW at 30 °C from the AR coated facet. The near threshold slope efficiency was ~65 mW/A, for a current threshold density ranging from 1.25 kA/cm² to 1.56 kA/cm².


Left, light-current-voltage (LIV) characteristics of a 2-mm-long LC-DFB laser at heat sink temperatures from 10 °C to 30 °C by 5 °C increments. Right,  wall-plug efficiency of the same 2-mm-long LC-DFB lasers developed by PPC-BAH.

The following figure demonstrates tuning capabilities of the laser.


Left, current and temperature tuning characteristics of the laser emission wavelength near the target OH absorption frequency of 3447.1 cm‾¹. Right, emission spectra from a 2-mm-long LC-DFB laser measured at 25 °C with the drive current varied from 180 mA to 240 mA in increments of 20 mA.

Demonstration of 3.2 micron BAH-PPC laser cutting acrylic.