The Quantum cascade (QC) laser is an entirely new type of semiconductor device in which the laser wavelength depends on the band-gap engineering. It can be made to operate over a much larger range than lead salt lasers, covering significant parts of both the infrared and submillimetre regions, and with higher output power.
In this tutorial review we survey some of the applications of these new lasers, which range from trace gas detection for atmospheric or medical purposes to sub-Doppler and time dependent non-linear spectroscopy.
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