Researchers have made a breakthrough in mid-infrared semiconductor laser technology that combines tunable wavelength emission with high-output power on a single chip.From their use in telecommunication to detecting hazardous chemicals, lasers play a major role in our everyday lives. They keep us connected, keep us safe, and allow us to explore the dark corners of the universe.Now a Northwestern University team has made this ever-important tool even simpler and more versatile by integrating a mid-infrared tunable laser with an on-chip amplifier. This breakthrough allows adjustable wavelength output, modulators, and amplifiers to be held inside a single package.With this architecture, the laser has demonstrated an order-of-magnitude more output power than its predecessors, and the tuning range has been enhanced by more than a factor of two.
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