UNIMIR 10 to 17 µm wavelengths

Distributed feedback Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs)

Power and precision

Laser spectroscopy is a technique used to measure concentration of molecules in various applications like pollution monitoring, process control or non-invasive medical monitoring. Indeed, most molecules absorb infrared light at specific wavelengths and therefore, by tuning our infrared laser at the right wavelength and shining it on a given gas, liquid or solid sample, our clients can determine the amount of molecules present in the sample with the right detection setup (using pyroelectric detectors or photoacoustics  for example).

One core parameter of successful laser spectroscopy is the selected wavelength and mirSense offers its clients the unprecedented 10 to 17 microns wavelength spectrum. The production of QCL lasers in the 10-17 microns range is unique in the world as mirSense holds an exclusive license of this technology developed at the University of Montpellier, France. In this long wave wavelength region, customers can detect various molecules like BTEX or hydrogen cyanide (see below some examples). Furthermore at these long wavelengths, the intrapulse linewidth broadening is relatively smaller than in the mid-infrared region and therefore, pulsed operation can be more attractive for spectroscopy.

The uniMir lasers are mounted on a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) inside a sealed High Heat Load (HHL) package integrating a collimation lens and a thermistor to readout the laser chip temperature. By controlling the chip’s operating temperature through the TEC element inside the laser’s package, customers tune the emission wavelength without mode hopping while keeping a single-mode operation.


HHL-package diagram showing the built-in thermistor that monitors the laser chip temperature and the base plate that dissipates the heat generated by the laser and the TEC.

Example of emission spectra as a function of the chip temperature for a QCL emitting at the wavelength of 17.7 µm. These DFB lasers are single mode with a side mode suppression ratio larger than 25dB.

Typical output characteristics of a DFB QCL emitting at 13.5µm.

mirSense can manufacture any wavelength in the 10-17 µm range and below are examples of gases that can be measured by spectroscopy at specific wavelengths.

General datasheet presenting the 10-17 µm offer

Wavelength Measurable gases QCL product datasheet when available
In microns units In cm-1 units
~ 11.3 µm ~  885  cm-1 CH3i Methyl Iodide UN0885C010HNA
~ 12.6 µm ~ 795  cm-1 p-Xylene UN0746C005HNA
~ 13 µm ~ 769  cm-1 m-Xylene UN0746C005HNA
~ 13.5 µm ~ 741 cm-1 o-Xylene UN0746C005HNA
~ 13.7 µm ~  729 cm-1 Toluene UN0746C005HNA
~ 14 µm ~ 713 cm-1 HCn  Hydrogen cyanide UN0713C005HNA
~ 14.3 µm ~  697 cm-1 Ethylbenzene
~ 14.4 µm ~   694 cm-1 Toluene
~ 14.8 µm ~ 673 cm-1 Benzene UN0674C005HNA
~ 15.9 µm ~ 628 cm-1 UF6 Uranium hexafluoride UN0628C002HNA
~ 16 µm ~ 624 cm-1 Neptunium NpF6
~ 16.1 µm ~ 619 cm-1 Plutonium PuF6
~ 17.2 µm ~ 581 cm-1  Nitrous oxide N2O

Unimir benefits

  • Very tight linewidth that drives the very high sensitivity of gas sensing
  • CW operation delivering mW levels of output power at room temperature
  • Pulsed operation for larger tuning range is a good option because at these long wavelengths, the intrapulse linewidth broadening is relatively small
  • Low power consumption for integration in portable gas analysers
  • Very stable over time with good Allan deviation results when integrated inside a gas analyser

At the Photonics West 2021 laser show, mirSense was a finalist at the Prism Award in the category smart sensing for the uniMir quantum cascade lasers that allow new spectroscopy applications in the 10 to 17 microns wavelength spectrum like Benzene detection.

Download uniMir datasheets

Adrien Dequaire

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