Highly power-efficient quantum cascade lasers

Peter Q. Liu, Anthony J. Hoffman, Matthew D. Escarra, Kale J. Franz, Jacob B. Khurgin, Yamac Dikmelik, Xiaojun Wang, Jen Yu Fan, Claire F. Gmachl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Quantum cascade lasers are promising mid-infrared semiconductor light sources for molecular detection in applications such as environmental sensing or medical diagnostics. For such applications, researchers have been striving to improve device performance. Recently, improvements in wall plug efficiency have been pursued with a view to realizing compact, portable, power-efficient and high-power quantum cascade laser systems. However, advances have largely been incremental, and the basic quantum design has remained unchanged for many years, with the wall plug efficiency yet to reach above 35%. A crucial factor in quantum cascade laser performance is the efficient transport of electrons into the laser active regions. We recently theoretically described this transport process as limited by the interface-roughness-induced detuning of resonant tunnelling. Here, we report that an ultrastrong coupling design strategy overcomes this limiting factor and leads to the experimental realization of quantum cascade lasers with 40-50% wall plug efficiency when operated in pulsed mode at temperatures of 160K or lower.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-98
Number of pages4
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Highly power-efficient quantum cascade lasers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this