LongWave Photonics is proposing a novel DFB Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) based on active cryogenic alignment of a grating to the gain chip, in order to achieve accurate frequency output (e.g. 4.744 THz). Devices will be based on waveguides with loosely confined optical modes, resulting in highly symmetric output beams, and higher output power levels. The devices will be suitable for use as either local oscillators, or as frequency references for spectrometers. The second thrust of this proposal is in improving the frequency stabilization the QCLs. LongWave is proposing a robust optical frequency stabilization technique based on difference frequency generation of the THz QCL and a NIR pump wavelength. The resulting QCL will be stabilized to <20 kHz linewidth, and will be capable of simultaneously stabilized several QCLs in the 2 to 5 THz frequency range.
NASA applications include the use of QCLs for local oscillators on GUSTO, OST or future SOFIA instruments. These sources can also be used as frequency standard and as instrument calibrators for HIRMES.
Applications include made-to-order precision frequency sources for trace gas detection or as frequency standards. Optical upconversion will potentially high signal to noise ratio, room temperature detection technique for terahertz light.