Brightness Scaling of Quantum Cascade Lasers
Navy SBIR 2019.1 - Topic N191-014
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - email@example.com
Opens: January 8, 2019 - Closes: February 6, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)
AREA(S): Air Platform
PROGRAM: PMA272 Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems
technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in
Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and
import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive
technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts
730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use
of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or
work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for
accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement.
Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be
restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
Investigate and develop new quantum cascade laser (QCL) architectures that
enable scaling the laser brightness by a factor of five over current state-of-the-art
single-element, single-mode QCLs.
Single-element, edge-emitting quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) operating in the
4.5-5.0-micron wavelength region generally require a relatively narrow element
width (~ 5-6 microns) to maintain stable, single-spatial-mode continuous wave
(CW) operation up to the 1.5-2.0 watt-range output power levels. Higher CW
output powers (~ 5 watts) have been achieved at the expense of multi-mode
operation [Ref 1], as evidenced by unintended beam steering with increasing
drive level [Ref 2], and more importantly, much degraded beam quality resulting
in much lower brightness than that from a single-mode, diffraction-limited (M2
< 1.5) QCL with output power under 1.5 watts. It is very important to point
out that for most, if not all, of the military applications based on the use of
high-power lasers, such as Infrared Countermeasure (IRCM), the laser must have
sufficient intensity (power per unit area) or power-in-the-bucket on target
down range above the threshold value in order to achieve its intended effect
[Refs 3, 4]. It is also worth noting that the achievable intensity is directly
proportional to the laser beam brightness (not just laser power), which is a
strong function of both the laser power and beam quality. To increase the laser
intensity on target, effective modular approaches such as coherent beam
combining or spectral beam combining [Refs 5, 6] can be used to scale up the
power and also brightness of a laser array so long as the lasers in the array
are near-beam-diffraction limited. Under this beam quality condition, both the
power and brightness will scale linearly with the number of elements in the
I: Develop and demonstrate feasibility of a QCL design around 4.5-micron
wavelength, with no integrated linear or tapered amplifier, and with the
brightness scaled up by a factor of 5 over buried hetero-structure devices with
the current state-of-the-art brightness [Ref 9] that has achieved approximately
2 to 2.5 W room-temperature output power at 4.6 microns with an M2 value of
~1.06. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under
II: Demonstrate a single-mode QCL prototype that produces at least 10 W with M2
no more than 1.5 in both the fast and slow axes, and achieves a factor of 5
improvement in brightness under CW operation, based on the design developed in
Phase I. The single QCL device should have no unexpected and undesirable beam
steering effect as the QCL drive current is increased.
III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Fabricate, test, and finalize the technology based
on the design and demonstration results developed during Phase II.
Commercialize the technology for private sector use including law enforcement,
marine navigation, commercial aviation enhanced vision, medical applications,
and industrial manufacturing processing.
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Gopinath, J.T., Daneu, V., Chann, B., and Huang, R. “Wavelength Beam Combining
for Power and Brightness Scaling of Laser Systems.” Lincoln Laboratory Journal,
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Dugmore, D., Shattuck, J., and Tayebati, P. “Teradiode's high brightness
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D.E., and Goodhue, W.D. “High-Power Nearly Diffraction-Limited AlGaAs–InGaAs
Semiconductor Slab-Coupled Optical Waveguide Laser.” IEEE Phot. Tech. Lett, 15,
2003, 900. doi: 10.1109/LPT.2003.813406
Kintzer, E.S., Walpole, J.N., Chinn, S.R., Wang, C.A., and Missaggia, L.J.
“High-Power, Strained-Layer Amplifiers and Lasers with Tapered Gain Regions.”
IEEE Phot. Tech. Lett, 5, 1993, p. 605. doi: 10.1109/68.219683
Feng Xie, Catherine Caneau, Herve P. LeBlanc, Nick J. Visovsky, Satish C.
Chaparala, Oberon D. Deichmann, Lawrence C. Hughes, Chung-en Zah, David P.
Caffey, and Timothy Day, “Room Temperature CW Operation of Short Wavelength
Quantum Cascade Lasers Made of Strain Balanced GaxIn1-xAs/AlyIn1-yAs
QCL; Wall-Plug Efficiency; Thermal Load; Scaling; Mid-Wave Infrared; MWIR;