Abstract: A rapidly-swept external-cavity quantum cascade laser with an open-path Herriott cell is used to quantify gas-phase chemical mixtures of D2O and HDO at a rate of 40 Hz (25-ms measurement time). The chemical mixtures were generated by evaporating D2O liquid near the open-path Herriott cell, allowing the H/D exchange reaction with ambient H2O to produce HDO. Fluctuations in the ratio of D2O and HDO on timescales of <1 s due to the combined effects of plume transport and the H/D exchange chemical reaction are observed. Noise-equivalent concentrations (1σ) (NEC) of 147.0 ppbv and 151.6 ppbv in a 25-ms measurement time are determined for D2O and HDO, respectively, with a 127-m optical path. These NECs are improved to 23.0 and 24.0 ppbv with a 1-s averaging time for D2O and HDO, respectively. NECs <200 ppbv are also estimated for N2O, 1,1,1,2–tetrafluoroethane (F134A), CH4, acetone and SO2 for a 25-ms measurement time. The isotopic precision for measurement of the [D2O]/[HDO] concentration ratio of 33‰ and 5‰ is calculated for the current experimental conditions for measurement times of 25 ms and 1 s, respectively.
Abstract: The actual metabolic capacity of the liver is crucial for disease identification, liver therapy, and liver tumor resection. By combining induced drug metabolism and high sensitivity IR spectroscopy of exhaled air, we provide a method for quantitative liver assessment at bedside within 20 to 60 min. Fast administration of 13C-labelled methacetin induces a fast response of liver metabolism and is tracked in real-time by the increase of 13CO2 in exhaled air. The 13CO2 concentration increase in exhaled air allows the determination of the metabolic liver capacity (LiMAx-test). Fluctuations in CO2 concentration, pressure and temperature are minimized by special gas handling, and tracking of several spectrally resolved CO2 absorption bands with a quantum cascade laser. Absorption measurement of different 12CO2 and 13CO2 rotation-vibration transitions in the same time window allows for multiple referencing and reduction of systematic errors. This FLIP (Fast liver investigation package) setup is being successfully used to plan operations and determine the liver status of patients.
Abstract: Quasi-crystal structures are conventionally built following deterministic generation rules although they do not present a full spatial periodicity. If used as laser resonators, they open up intriguing design possibilities that are simply not possible in conventional periodic photonic crystals: the distinction between symmetric (vertically radiative but low quality factor Q) and anti-symmetric (non-radiative, high Q) modes is indeed here fully overcome, offering a concrete perspective of highly efficient vertical emitting resonators. We here exploit electrically pumped terahertz quantum cascade heterostructures to devise two-dimensional seven-fold quasi-crystal resonators, exploiting rotational order or irregularly distributed defects. By lithographically tuning the lattice quasi-periodicity and/or the hole radius of the imprinted patterns, efficient multimode surface emission with a rich sequence of spectral lines distributed over a 2.9–3.4 THz bandwidth was reached. We demonstrated multicolor emission with 67 mW of peak optical power, slope efficiencies up to ≈70 mW/A, 0.14% wall plug efficiencies and beam profile results of the rich quasi-crystal Fourier spectrum that, in the case of larger rotational order, can reach very low divergence.
Abstract: Three-dimensional photonic crystals (3D PhCs) are a fascinating platform for manipulating photons and controlling their interactions with matter. One widely investigated structure is the layer-by-layer woodpile structure, which possesses a complete photonic bandgap. On the other hand, other types of 3D PhC structures also offer various possibilities for controlling light by utilizing the three dimensional nature of structures. In this article, we discuss our recent research into novel types of layer-by-layer structures, including the experimental demonstration of a 3D PhC nanocavity formed in a <110>-layered diamond structure and the realization of artificial optical activity in rotationally stacked woodpile structures.
Abstract: Performance modeling of the characteristics of mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers (MIR QCL) is an essential element in formulating consistent component requirements and specifications, in preparing guidelines for the design and manufacture of the QCL structures, and in assessing different modes of operation of the laser device. We use principles of system physics to analyze the electro-optical characteristics of high power MIR QCL, including thermal backfilling of the lower laser level, hot electron effects, and Stark detuning during lasing. The analysis is based on analytical modeling to give simple mathematical expressions which are easily incorporated in system-level simulations of defense applications such as directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM). The paper delineates the system physics of the electro-optical energy conversion in QCL and the related modeling. The application of the performance model to a DIRCM QCL is explained by an example.
Abstract: In the framework of a microscopic model for intersubband gain from electrically pumped quantum-dot structures we investigate electrically pumped quantum-dots as active material for a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser. Our previous calculations have indicated that these structures could operate with reduced threshold current densities while also achieving a modal gain comparable to that of quantum well active materials. Here, we study the influence of two important quantum-dot material parameters, namely inhomogeneous broadening and quantum-dot sheet density, on the performance of a proposed quantum cascade laser design. In terms of achieving a positive modal net gain, a high quantum-dot density can compensate for moderately high inhomogeneous broadening, but at a cost of increased threshold current density. However, by minimizing quantum-dot density with presently achievable inhomogeneous broadening and total losses, significantly lower threshold densities than those reported in quantum-well quantum-cascade lasers are predicted by our theory.