Low cost, high volume, rapidly tunable wide tuning semiconductor laser

AFFILIATION:   Praevium Research Inc., Santa Barbara, California, United States


Track: Energy & Resilience
Area: Efficiency Solutions
Tech Readiness: TRL 7

Tech Brief: Semiconductor laser which changes color over a wide range and at fast speeds is the core of an advanced sensing, imaging, or metrology system. The module is embedded in commercial products used for medical imaging, by universities for combustion spectroscopy and is in the early development stage of distance finding.


Value Proposition: The cost, complexity, and limited tuning range/speed of tunable lasers have inhibited the adoption of advanced tunable laser-based sensors in military, industrial, medical, and consumer environments. The Praevium micro-electromechanical tunable lasers (MEMS-VCSELs), however, have emerged as a high performance low-cost tunable laser technology alternative that has broken down market application barriers. The narrow instantaneous linewidth (~1MHZ), wide fractional tuning range (>10%), and rapid tuning speed (>200nm/usec) of Praevium-developed MEMS-VCSELs are unmatched in performance, yet the high volume manufacturing of these monolithic semiconductor lasers drive costs low. Praevium Research has partnered with Thorlabs to successfully commercialize MEMS-VCSELs for swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) to meet market demand for fast, high resolution medical eye imaging. High pressures and fast dynamics encountered in advanced gas turbine combustors, coal gasifiers and liquid fueled rockets are too demanding for existing diagnostic tools, but can be effectively addressed by laser optical interrogation using MEMS-VCSELs. Combustion monitoring is the next near-term application area, broadly impacting national defense concerns of industrial and consumer energy usage and green house gas emissions. Beyond combustion monitoring, MEMS-VCSELs stand poised to impact numerous defense-related real-time imaging and spectroscopic chemical analysis applications.


Org Type: Small to Medium Enterprise
Booth Number: 1014