Multiheterodyne spectroscopy using interband cascade lasers

Lukasz A. Sterczewski, Jonas Westberg, Charles Link Patrick, Chul Soo Kim, Mijin Kim, Chadwick L. Canedy, William W. Bewley, Charles D. Merritt, Igor Vurgaftman, Jerry R. Meyer, Gerard Wysocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


While midinfrared radiation can be used to identify and quantify numerous chemical species, contemporary broadband midinfrared spectroscopic systems are often hindered by large footprints, moving parts, and high power consumption. In this work, we demonstrate multiheterodyne spectroscopy (MHS) using interband cascade lasers, which combines broadband spectral coverage with high spectral resolution and energy-efficient operation. The lasers generate up to 30 mW of continuous-wave optical power while consuming <0.5W of electrical power. A computational phase and timing correction algorithm is used to obtain kHz linewidths of the multiheterodyne beat notes and up to 30 dB improvement in signal-to-noise ratio. The versatility of the multiheterodyne technique is demonstrated by performing both rapidly swept absorption and dispersion spectroscopic assessments of low-pressure ethylene (C2H4) acquired by extracting a single beat note from the multiheterodyne signal, as well as broadband MHS of methane (CH4) acquired with all available beat notes with microsecond temporal resolution and an instantaneous optical bandwidth of ∼240GHz. The technology shows excellent potential for portable and high-resolution solid-state spectroscopic chemical sensors operating in the midinfrared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011014
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Engineering


  • Interband cascade laser
  • multiheterodyne
  • spectroscopy


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