Pranalytica wins contract to improve quantum cascade laser

November 10, 2009--The U.S. Army has awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) contract to Pranalytica, Inc (Santa Monica, CA) aimed at radically improving that company's quantum cascade laser (QCL) performance.

November 10, 2009--The U.S. Army has awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) contract to Pranalytica, Inc (Santa Monica, CA) aimed at radically improving that company's quantum cascade laser (QCL) performance.

As it has already done on several previous programs, Pranalytica will collaborate with Professor Federico Capasso's group at Harvard University and will concentrate its efforts on developing the 3.5 to 4.2 um and 8 to 12 um wavelength regions. Major application areas for these devices include free-space optical communications, LADAR (laser detection and ranging), Differential absorption LIDAR (DIAL), remote gas sensing, and noninvasive medical diagnostics.

"We are excited to have been chosen for this contract," said Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, president and CEO of Pranalytica. "The principal objective is to leverage Pranalytica's recent advances in QCL design and packaging technology made under DARPA's (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) EMIL (Efficient Mid-Infrared Laser) program to radically improve QCL performance in other wavelength regions. The ultimate goal of the STTR will be to extend the world-leading QCL performance that Pranalytica has already demonstrated at 4.6 um under the EMIL program to the 3.5 to 4.2 um and 8 to 12 um spectral windows. Full implementation of this proposal, including Phase II, will result in commercial availability of high-power, high-efficiency QCLs emitting in the 3.8-4.2 and 8-12 um wavelength regions."

Pranalytica has extensive experience in the development of high performance QCLs. In addition to its own R&D efforts, the company is the prime contractor of one of the teams on the DARPA's EMIL project. Together with Professor Capasso's group, Pranalytica developed 3 W continuous-wave, room temperature QCLs emitting at 4.6 um during Phase I of the EMIL program. According to the company, this is currently the highest single-facet optical power reported for QCLs. Corresponding maximum wallplug efficiency is approximately 13%.

For details on DARPA's EMIL, see the program website . For more information on Pranalytica visit the company's website

Editor's note: Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, president and CEO of Pranalytica will be the opening speaker at the 2010 Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar at Photonics West in San Francisco, CA


--Posted by Steve Anderson, stevega@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

More in Lasers & Sources