The objective of the QuantumCascade project is the design of a multispectrum MIR light source as an easily integrated system component for use in applications that work with mid-infrared light. The system should be usable without requiring particular knowledge of the complex technology behind multispectrum light sources. This makes it available for commercial enterprises from other fields, e.g. medical technology, facilitating the development of innovative systems without the risk of having to design a stable and controlled light source of this type.
The multispectrum MIR light source or MIR engine combines the following innovations:
- Modular use with a selection of individually combinable QCLs / spectral lines
- Integrated and automatic temperature controls for the individual QCLs for the stabilization or fine adjustment (sweeping) of wavelengths
- Novel packaging concept for controlling the temperature of the QCL chips placed in immediate proximity to each other (formation of heat-stabilizing cavities in a glass stack)
- Embedding of laser drivers adjacent to the QCLs to achieve low inductivity / top pulse quality and modularity
- Integrated control circuits to automatically regulate the MIR engine for top performance without additional electronics needed for operating the light sources when integrated in the final applications
- Encapsulation concept for the entire MIR engine for use in rugged environments and to allow disinfection in critical medical applications
- Significant miniaturization of the MIR engine with a free beam or a fiberoptical bus
In the interest of greater integration, the new developments are based on a thin-glass platform that has already been in use at IZM for several for the construction of hybrid systems that can integrate and efficiently couple a diverse range of optical and electronic components.