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Sensors 2013, 13(2), 2196-2205; doi:10.3390/s130202196

Monolithically Integrated Mid-Infrared Quantum Cascade Laser and Detector

Institute for Solid State Electronics and Center for Micro- and Nanostructures, Vienna University of Technology, 1040 Vienna, Austria
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Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Sensing and Imaging)
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Abstract

We demonstrate the monolithic integration of a mid-infrared laser and detector utilizing a bi-functional quantum cascade active region. When biased, this active region provides optical gain, while it can be used as a detector at zero bias. With our novel approach we can measure the light intensity of the laser on the same chip without the need of external lenses or detectors. Based on a bound-to-continuum design, the bi-functional active region has an inherent broad electro-luminescence spectrum of 200 cm-1, which indicates its use for single mode laser arrays. We have measured a peak signal of 191.5 mV at the on-chip detector, without any amplification. The room-temperature pulsed emission with an averaged power consumption of 4 mW and the high-speed detection makes these devices ideal for low-power sensors. The combination of the on-chip detection functionality, the broad emission spectrum and the low average power consumption indicates the potential of our bi-functional quantum cascade structures to build a mid-infrared lab-on-a-chip based on quantum cascade laser technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum cascade laser; quantum cascade detector; sensing; lab-on-a-chip; mid-infrared spectroscopy; monolithic integrated; bi-functional quantum cascade laser; quantum cascade detector; sensing; lab-on-a-chip; mid-infrared spectroscopy; monolithic integrated; bi-functional
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarz, B.; Reininger, P.; Detz, H.; Zederbauer, T.; Andrews, A.M.; Schrenk, W.; Strasser, G. Monolithically Integrated Mid-Infrared Quantum Cascade Laser and Detector. Sensors 2013, 13, 2196-2205.

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