BRICS project

Broadly Tuneable Interband Cascade Laser Source for Gas Analysers

The project revolves around the development of Interband Cascade Laser (ICL) broadgain sources and external cavities configurations.


The aim of this project is to develop the prototype of a tuneable light source specifically adapted for ethanol, aldehydes and C1 to C9 hydrocarbon spectroscopy which will be suitable for integration in optical gas analysers. The advantage of the laser-based gas analysers is that they allow for lower limit of detection and lower maintenance costs in comparison to Fourier transform infrared spectrometers (FTIRs) and gas chromatographs.


For this application, a broadly tuneable laser source in the 3-4 μm range provided by Alpes is needed for simultaneous detection of ethanol and aldehydes for the automotive and biogas industry where FTIRs are used, or of C1 to C9 hydrocarbon analysers for the evaluation of the BTU of natural gas in the oil and gas industry. 


A prototype of a tuneable laser source will be able to emit light over an at least 200 cm-1 wide spectral range centered around 3.3 μm with a minimum 1 mW power output over the whole emission band. This product will be the first compact (3x3x1 cm), low power consumption, tuneable laser source in this wavelength range to be developed.


Thanks to its wide tuning range, the developed laser source will cover the broad and overlapping absorption features of ethanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and C1 to C9 hydrocarbons and will thus allow systems based on it to quantify each molecule by spectral analysis.

Funding programme type: Eurostars

Grant reference #: 12128

Duration: 36 months

Total budget: 2,144,208.5 €

Website: BRICS project on ERA-LEARN

Partners: Alpes Lasers (CH), Helia Photonics (UK), Sacher Lasertechnik (DE), Universität Ulm (DE)

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