• Technical Conference: 

    09 – 14 May 2021

  • Exhibition: 

    10 – 14 May 2021

SC476 - Quantum Cascade Lasers and Their role in Producing Optical Frequency Combs

Sunday, 09 May
13:00 - 17:00

Short Course Level: Intermediate


Jérôme Faist, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Short Course Materials

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Access to Short Course Materials

Access to the short course materials, including the link to join the event on zoom will be available 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start and up to 60 minutes after the scheduled end.

Short Course Description:

The first section of this course will discuss the fundamental physical principles behind the operation of a quantum cascade laser. This will entail the models used to describe the electronic states, as well as a discussion of the key scattering mechanism. We will then describe the various active region architectures and their respective advantages. An emphasis will also be given on the fundamental limits of quantum cascade laser structures. The second part of the lecture will discuss the engineering of single mode and broad gain devices. Beside external cavity, multi-wavelength and other Vernier devices will be discussed as some of the key applications of QCLs. The third and final part of the lecture will address the optical frequency comb quantum cascade laser. It will start by  the description of the physics behind the comb formation, the Maxwell-Bloch modeling of the QCL combs. The various techniques used to correct the group velocity dispersion of the device will then be discussed. It will then describe the various characterization techniques, as well as some of the emerging applications in broadband time-resolved mid-infrared spectroscopy as well as .

J. Faist, “Quantum Cascade Lasers”, Oxford University Press

J. Faist et al., “Quantum Cascade Laser frequency combs”, Nanophotonics, 5, pp. 272–291, (2016)

Short Course Benefits:

The lecture will give a broad overview of the key aspects of quantum cascade lasers and optical frequency combs. Namely, it will:

  • Explain the basic physical principles underlying the quantum cascade laser

  • Compare the various active region architectures

  • Compute the limit to the maximum quantum cascade laser performances

  • Identify the main properties of the devices in their applicatons

  • Determine the reasons for the optical frequency comb operation.

  • Summarize the various techniques used to correct for the group velocity dispersion

  • Determine the key application areas of these devices

Short Course Audience:

This lecture is intended for Ph.D students or researchers in the industry wanting to learn the essential features of quantum cascade lasers and optical frequency combs for their applications.

Instructor Biography:

The instructor conceived and designed the first quantum cascade laser as well as the first quantum cascade laser and quantum cascade laser comb. He was a key player in the development of the quantum cascade laser concepts.