Quantum Cascade Lasers

ICL External Cavity

Interband Cascade Lasers are available in both DFB format and as a  broad gain lasers suitable for use in an external cavity. You can find here a recent Optics Express article available in open access describing the performance of the external cavity system, or come to Photonics West 2022 to see a talk by the main author in the Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XXI session.nullICL chip BG-3.2-3.6
tuning range in External cavity


Tumor and Lymph Node on Chip for cancer studies


Alpes Lasers is a partner in the recently-launched Tumor-LN-oC project which proposes the development of a tumor-lymph node-on-chip (Tumor-LN-oC) platform composed of 3D tissue models and microfluidic chips.

Using sensitive off-chip proteomic and molecular approaches this platform will allow the identification of novel biomarkers characterizing metastatic cells which could be exploited therapeutically by generating a spectral “fingerprint” to be used  be used for diagnostic purposes

More information can be found in the Press Release.

ICL Single Mode Lasers

nullInterband Cascade Lasers (ICL) are a mid-IR light source with emission in the 2.7-3.9 μm range, which is important in particular for hydrocarbon detection and other gases of interest. They are now available at the selected frequencies of 2853 cm-1, 2898 cm-1, 2913 cm-1 and 2946 cm-1 (respectively 3505 nm, 3450 nm, 3433 nm and 3394nm).

 With lower dissipation than traditional QCLs some ICL lasers are available in TO-66 housing in addition to the standard TO3 and HHL.

ICL-based External Cavities

Available Now!

nullAlpes Lasers now offers Broad Gain Interband Cascade Laser (ICL) chips for use in External cavity systems. ICLs allow emission at shorter wavelengths than traditional QCLs, many of which are particularly interesting for hydrocarbon detection. The initially offered chip covers the range 3.2-3.6 um (2820-3070 cm-1) which contains strong absorption lines for CH4C2H6HCl and CH2O (formaldehyde).

Contact us at sales@alpeslasers.ch for more information!

PWest 2021

In 2021 the Photonics West exhibition is virtual only but as always we will be present! Come to our booth to chat or discuss via video anytime from March 8th to 11th!

Balloon-borne QCL measurements

Using the lightweigth and small size intrinsic to QCL systems, nullresearchers at EMPA have demonstrated a new Compact and lightweight mid-infrared laser spectrometer for balloon-borne water vapor measurements. This comes on top of their previous achievement of mounting a QCL on a drone!

Laser Spectroscopy with XT-QCL

nullA group at the TU Wien and Friedrich-Alexander University, who are partners with Alpes Lasers through the Hydroptics and WaterSpy project, have recently published a paper titled "Polarimetric Balanced Detection: Background-Free Mid-IR Evanescent Field Laser Spectroscopy for Low-Noise, Long-term Stable Chemical Sensing" which uses a QC-XT laser from Alpes Lasers to measure water quality in situ at the Prato water treatment plant in Genova, Italy.

By using different mirror configurations, the QC-XT laser can be rapidly switched between different configurations, allowing rapid multi-point sampling and/or scanning. null

In this study, the QC-XT proved to be superior to classic DFB-QCLs due to the broad tuning capabilities of this novel laser type. In addition, unused spectral information for data interpretation was used as an inherent stability control of the system.

EPIC PHOTONICS+ virtual exhibition


Alpes Lasers will be exhibiting at the EPIC PHOTONICS+ virtual exhibition on Feb. 17-18 2021 - check this space soon for registration information!

Phosphine (PH3) - a possible biosignature on rocky planets - was detected in significant quantities in Venus’ atmosphere. With absorption spectra in the mid-IR, Alpes Lasers QCLs are uniquely suited for measuring phosphine even at extremely low concentrations. See how our QCLs have recently been used to measure PH3 concentrations.

Monitoring Water Quality using QCLs

WaterSpy is a consortium of 10 partners, including Alpes Lasers, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020 in order to develop water quality analysis photonics technology suitable for inline, field measurements.

© CyRIC Cyprus Research & Innovation Center Ltd

At the completion of the project in 2020, the WaterSpy module was extensively tested in the labs of partners in Austria, Germany and Italy, followed by a real-world demonstration at a water treatment plant near Genoa in Italy. While a full sample analysis of 100 ml of water may take up to 3 days using current laboratory analysis systems, the WaterSpy portable device takes no more than 7 hours to conduct an equivalent analysis, and is therefore less costly. It also complies with the latest EU drinking water regulations.

This system only requires two standard Quantum Cascade Lasers to perform the analysis. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

New Frequency Comb Lasers

Frequency Combs Lasers are now available centered around 6.02 microns, in the amine band, in addition to previously available comb lasers available around 7.95 microns. You can more details in this Optics Express paper as well as in this a sample datasheet.

Gas Sensing aboard drones

The small size and weight of quantum cascade lasers (only ~100 g for HHL housings) make them ideal candidates for integration into remote sensing devices. 

nullIn this paper published by EMPA an Alpes QCL emitting at 7.83 microns is integrated into a hexacopter drone, achieving a methane concentration measurement with a precision of 0.1 ppb. The system was flown in a field study to measure a vertical profile of methane concentration.


nullNeuchâtel (Switzerland). EU funded project “Photonics sensing platform for process optimisation in the oil industry”

, in short HYDROPTICS, had its official kick-off meeting on the 5th December 2019. The projects goal is to increase the competitiveness of the EU oil industry sector, by providing high-accuracy oil-in-water analyzer based on state of the art mid-IR light sources and spectroscopy techniques. 

The EU is the second largest producer of petroleum products in the world after the United States, with a crude refining capacity of about 15 million barrels per day, representing 16% of total global capacity. In both up- and down stream processing, water is of crucial importance. Therefore, having a reliable, cost-effective, and high-accuracy monitoring of produced water quality is of utmost importance for oil industry.

HYDROPTICS will develop and apply advanced photonic components as key enabling technologies for optimizing most critical steps in oil production as well as to control downstream processing routines for final mineral oil product development. Digitalisation of process data, data fusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence shall enable a new level of process optimization yielding high and constant product quality despite fluctuating process conditions.

You can find more details about the HYDROPTICS project here.

Defense and Commercial Sensing


Due to lockdown measures in California and Switzerland, our presence at the DCS event in 2020 as well as in CLEO are cancelled.

 High-precision ethanol measurement using QCL

In this paper (also referred to in Laser Focus World) recently published by a collaboration between the EMPAnull Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology and the Federal Institute of Metrology in Switzerland, a Quantum Cascade Laser manufactured by Alpes Laser was used for high-precision measurements of ethanol in breath-like air mixtures.
everaging the intermittent CW method to cover a spectral range of 1.7 cm-1, the method achieved a measurement precision of 9 ppb while allowing cross-sensitivity measurement with CO2 and water, important parameters to ensure the validity of the method for law enforcement. By using the QC-XT lasers, a similar method could be extended to measure multiple VOC gases at the same time.

Springer Prize

nullPr. Jérôme Faist, founder and Chairman of Alpes Lasers, is the latest recipient of the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics awarded to a researcher who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the field of applied physics since 1998.

The first experimental demonstration of a Quantum Cascade Laser was made at Bell Labs by Jérôme Faist, Federico Capasso, Deborah Sivco, Carlo Sirtori, Albert Hutchinson, and Alfred Cho in 1994.

In 1998 Alpes Lasers was founded in Neuchatel, Switzerland by Jérôme Faist, then a Professor at the University of Neuchâtel, now at ETH Zürich, Antoine Müller and Matthias Beck. It was then the first company to offer Quantum Cascade Lasers on the market, a priority it has maintained by commercialising the first CW laser in 2001, first broad gain laser in 2009 and the first mid-infrared frequency comb in 2017.

Short Wave Infrared Laser Diodes

Alpes Lasers introduces new Short Wave Infrared Laser Diodes. These diodes are continuous wave, multiple longitudinal mode Fabry-Perot devices emitting light over a bandwidth of ~20 nm with output power up to 50 mW. They are offered either as chip-on-carrier or encapsulated in a low power TO-66 package with collimated or divergent free-space beam output.

Based on InP technology, Alpes SWIR Laser Diodes emission can be tailored in the range from 1.45-2.2 microns with each design having a bandwidth of ~20 nm. 

You can find here a datasheet of a prototype laser at 1890 nm.

Other wavelengths can be developed upon request, please write to us with any enquiry.

Central WavelengthMax. Power
1450 nm30 mW
1470 nm
50 mW
1550 nm30 mW
1630 nm50 mW
1650 nm50 mW
1730 nm30 mW
1740 nm40 mW
1830 nm50 mW
1890 nm50 mW
2080 nm20 mW
2100 nm10 mW
2150 nm50 mW

You can find here a datasheet of a prototype laser at 1890 nm.

Other wavelengths can be developed upon request, please write to us with any enquiry.


nullNeuchâtel(Switzerland). EU funded project “Fact-based personalized nutrition for the young”, in short NUTRISHIELD, had its official kick-off meeting on the 8th November 2018.
The project’s goal is a mobile and interactive platform for guiding EU citizens towards personalized nutritional plans, to contribute to reducing diet-related health disorders. The project has a duration of 48 months (1 November 2018 – 31 October 2022) and a total budget of 8.5 Million Euros, bringing together 16 leading European research and academic institutions, industries and SMEs from the nutritional, medical, biological, IT and instrumentation domains.

There is a general expectation from society that food will be safe. However,what can be considered as “safe” for many people may not be for a few others. Each individual responds differently to the same food or nutrient. This is determined by genetic factors as well as by acquired factors, such as the metabolic and physiological states, the development of the microbiome, dietary habits, the amount of stress and exercise in daily life. In recent decades, the range of food choices available to consumers greatly expanded as well as the number of healthy food choice oriented-services. However, the number of people suffering from health problems related to unhealthy nutritional behavior in the EU remains on the rise, while well-intentioned generic advice on healthy food choices may confuse,and in some cases even mislead, consumers. The need for an efficient and reliable platform to personalize nutrition, based on the acquisition and scientific interpretation of genetic and acquired factors, is today evident.

NUTRISHIELD aims at creating an innovative framework to support personalized nutrition based on a comprehensive set of genetic and environmental factors. The approach will be validated through three clinical studies: one for personalized nutrition of young individuals with obesity or/and type 2 diabetes; the second focused on prematurely born infants and their lactating mothers, aiming at augmenting the nutritional value of human milk; the third exploring the relationship between nutrition and cognitive decline in young individuals. In order to bring analytical capabilities to a larger number of practicing physicians, NUTRISHIELD will develop as well as different analyzer concepts for urine, breath and human milk analysis based on the Quantum Cascade Lasers technology. Leveraging both existing and newly acquired knowledge on personalized nutrition, NUTRISHIELD will finally develop a mobile application to support individual personalized food choice, building on existing apps Platemate© and Carbcounter©, developed by the NUTRISHIELD consortium.

The consortium, comprising 16 partner organizations, is led by the company Alpes Lasers (Neuchâtel, Switzerland). The consortium is balanced in terms of competencies and involvement of industrial and SME partners: Quantared Technologies (AT), Vertoyo Lim. (CY), IntraSoftInternational (LU), Argos Messtechnik (DE), SweetBee (BE); and Academic and research institutions: Ospedale San Raffaele (IT), Fondation Institut Suisse des Vitamines (CH), Harokopio University(EL), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE), CSEM (CH), CranfieldUniversity (UK), Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (CH), Radboud University Nijmegen (NL), Technische Universität Wien (AT) and Fundación Para La Investigación Del Hospital Universitario La Fe(ES).

EU Project No:818110
Start Date:01/11/2018
Project Duration:48 months

For additional information please contact the Project Coordinator at Alpes Lasers:
Dr. Antoine Muller: antoine.muller@alpeslasers.ch,+41 32 729 95 10
Dr. Maurizio Tormen: maurizio.tormen@alpeslasers.ch,+41 32 729 95 17

Web Store

You can find in the new Alpes Lasers Web Store a selection of our products which can be purchased directly with a credit card and will be shipped to you promptly. It is now  easier to get additional parts for your system!

Pigtailed Quantum Cascade Laser

nullAlpes Lasers now offers Pigtailed Quantum Cascade Lasers. Indium Fluoride can be used for a single-mode optical fiber output at wavelengths of 5 microns or shorter; other types of fibers can also be used.

Frequency Comb Lasers

Frequency Comb Quantum Cascade Lasers are devices emitting light on a wide spectrum consisting of equidistant peaks in frequency space. The distance between these peaks being fixed, typically given by the pulse repetition rate of a train of ultrashort pulses, they can be used as rulers in the frequency domain for Frequency Comb Spectroscopy.

In the mid-infrared range, Quantum Cascade Lasers with specifically engineered optical dispersion have been shown to emit broad and powerful optical frequency combs. As for ultrashort-pulse lasers, the mode spacing of QCL combs is given by cavity length. However, in the case of QCLs, the periodic modulation in the time-domain is of the FM, not AM, type and the output power is constant.

Click to enlarge
Frequency Comb Quantum Cascade Lasers are now available from Alpes Lasers at central wavelengths of 7.95 microns with an Optical Frequency Span of 60 cm-1. Write to us for more detail and get them for your lab!

The wide and flat gain spectrum of Broad Gain Lasers make them suitable for operation as Frequency Combs. As the operating range where comb operation can occur is very sensitive to the fine structure of the heterostructure, each QCL-Comb is tested and qualified. 

The QCL comb is a stand alone device as it integrates the pump laser and the microcavity in its waveguide contrarily to other comb technologies. This makes it a very compact comb source. Being based on QCL technology, comb devices can be manufactured over all the MWIR and LWIR. Frequency Combs with the following specifications are currently available with a 8 weeks lead time; inquire for other wavelength ranges.


Click to enlarge
nullDual-comb spectroscopy relies on two OFCs, a sample and a local oscillator (LO) comb, with slightly different comb spacings. The heterodyne beat spectrum of two such combs consists of equally spaced peaks mapping the lasers’ optical spectra in the RF domain as seen in the picture on the left. 

While a similar technique has also been demonstrated using standard Fabry-Perot QCLs, the much narrower intermode beat linewidth of QCLs operating in the comb regime allows to stack a much larger number of beat notes within the RF bandwidth of the optical detector, resulting in higher resolution and/or broader spectral bandwidth.

QCL-based dual-comb spectroscopy offers the possibility to acquire high-resolution spectra over a wide spectral range of several tens of cm-1 in a very short acquisition time of the order of µs, i.e. in quasi real time. This technique combines the advantages of DFB-QCLs, i.e. narrrow linewidth and mode-hop-free tuning,with the large wavelength coverage of external cavity QCLs.

PWest 2018

Come and meet us at LACSEA 2018 (Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis), from June 25th to 28th in orlando, Florida.

S-3 Pulser

The new S-3 High Power Pulse Generator is designed to drive devices requiring short or long pulses of high current with a non-linear response, including optical devices such as high power quantum cascade lasers, infrared laser diodes, LEDs or electronic devices such as Gunn diodes or high speeds transistors and rectifiers.


The S-3 is a good replacement for the obsolete Keysight/Agilent 8114A or the AV-107 from Avtech and provides additional features. 

High Peak Power Source


Alpes Lasers introduces its new high peak power sources. Based on a unique gain-guided design, these Quantum Cascade Lasers are optimized for emitting short pulses from 20 ns to 1000 ns with minimum peak power of 20 W, or ~5 microjoules per pulse. 

Available on submount or in a HHL package with a dedicated driver, these lasers can be used for free-space optical communications, LIDAR applications and IR countermeasures.

You can read more about the technology behind these high peak power devices in this  Optics Express paper.

Electro-Optical Characteristic Min.TypicalMax.
Peak Power20 W25 W30 W
Output SpectrumMultimode
Spectral Width50 cm-1100 cm-1150 cm-1
Duty Cycle 01%20%
Central Wavelength
4.57 um
Wall-Plug Efficiency5%
Horizontal Beam Divergence of laser chip50 mrad90 mrad120 mradHalf angle beam divergence at 1/e^2 of maximum
Vertical Beam Divergence of laser chip650 mradHalf angle beam divergence at 1/e^2 of maximum
Pulse length20 ns300 ns1000 ns
Heatsink cooling capacity25 W35 W65 W

The beam divergence of these lasers is much reduced in the horizontal axis compared to standard high power or low power
nulldevices. This is due to the unique large width of the active region of the gain-guided laser technology. Typical beam shapes are shown in the picture  to the right. Encapsulation in a collimated HHL housing is possible with an elliptical beam output. Other wavelengths are also available with lower power, please write to us with any enquiry.

Click to enlarge

QCLs used for GHG monitoring

In this study, Harris et al. use QCL to track the isotopic composition  of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide over a period of 18 months on a suburban site in Switzerland. This allows tracking of the natural and anthropogenic sources of the pollutant. QCLs allow for isotopic measurements of a large number of organic molecules including all major greenhouse gases for both rapid and long term variability study.


Alpes Lasers announces its collaboration in the WaterSpy partnership
 which aims at  developing water quality analysis photonics technology suitable for inline, field measurements, as well as in the SILMARILS project to develop a standoff illuminatorfor measuring absorbance and reflectance infrared light signatures.

External Cavity 

Alpes Lasers introduces a new External Cavity Laser Kit (ECLK)  designed for single-mode operation with wide spectral tunability.
 The ECLK consists of a quantum cascade laser (QCL) gain chip, a grating-tuned extended optical cavity in Littrow configuration, laser drive electronics, an Alpes Lasers TC-3 temperature controller, and a graphical user interface software. 


The ECLK is compatible with the Alpes Lasers line of Broad Gain QCLs which tune over up to 25% of their center wavelength. The laser is driven by an integrated Alpes Lasers S-2 pulsed driver. The graphical user interface allows for automatic wavelength tuning. The kit is delivered pre-aligned and ready to use.

QCL for breath analysis

In this paper published recently in the Photonics journal, quantum cascade lasers from Alpes Lasers are used in a new method to measure liver function in patients by analyzing their breath in real time
, allowing a reduction of mortality rates by more than 70% in laser resections.

You can find more information about Alpes’ new QC-ET and QC-XT nullextended tuning QCL products by reading these papers published in November 2015:

New Address


Alpes Lasers has a new adress! Our new offices are located in

Avenue des Pâquiers 1, 2072 St-Blaise, Switzerland

Be sure to update your files.

TO3 CW lasers

Lasers with low dissipation below 3W are available from Alpes Lasers at various wavelengths, including the important wavelengths of 7.8 μm (CH4 absorption), 5.25 μm (NO absorption), 4.6 μm (N2O absorption) and 4.3 μm (CO2 absorption).

In a recently published Optics Express article, the Alpes development team discusses the research that was required to develop such low-dissipation lasers, and in particular the optimization of facet reflectivity which allowed both low-dissipation and high-power lasers to be produced from the same underlying material.

At such low heat dissipation levels, even CW lasers operating at 100% null
duty cycle can be encapsulated in TO3 housings. These housings have a much smaller footprint than the LLH or HHL options, and can be especially useful for embedded devices, applications in harsh thermal environments or for applications where high electrical power is not readily available.TO3 housings are available with or without a collimating lens.

We present here two sample devices of CW lasers performance as  encapsulated in TO3-L housing. These devices operate at 4.3 μm or 7.8 μm. Other wavelengths are available on demand - contact us with any inquiry!

TO3-L-21 Datasheet
TO3-L-22 Datasheet

New wavelengths

New wavelengths are now available for the High Power QCL devices. Lasers with more than 1W of average power are now available from stock at the following central wavelengths:

  • 4.55 microns
  • 4.65 microns
  • 4.90 microns


Other wavelengths are also available with lower power, please write to us with any enquiry.

Extended Tuning DFB Sources

Alpes Lasers introduces a new class of lasers: the QC-XT Laser SourcesQC-XT Lasers allow a very large tuning range of 2% of the central wavelength (40 cm-1 at 5 microns).

N2O Spectroscopy using a QC-XT laser

The system is controlled by three independent current inputs. Two inputs control the front and back mirrors of the cavity (IF and IB).The laser itself is driven by the laser current IL and behaves as anormal DFB laser with the available range modified by the values of IF and IB.

By using different mirror configurations, the laser can be rapidly switched between different configurations, allowing rapid multi-point sampling and/or scanning. 

Key Benefits:
  • Wavelength and power independent control
  • Direct access to any wavelength
  • Extended tuning range at constant heat-sink temperature
  • Increased wavelength scanning span fully electrically (Increased electrical wavelength scan)
  • Possibility of arbitrary scanning scheme
  • DFB wavelength reproducibility
  • DFB linewidth and noise


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Faraday Rotation Spectroscopy

A Quantum Cascade Laser from Alpes Lasers is used to detect Nitric Oxide isotopes that play a role in the formation of the Ozone.  The Faraday Rotation Spectroscopy method is sensitive enough to detect gases to the degree of parts-per-billion (0.53ppbv/Hz^1/2 for 15NO).


In addition to monitoring pollution levels, this technique can be used to detect minute quantities of NO molecules in breath, urine, and blood.  NO is an important cellular signaling molecule that is involved in many physiological and pathological processes.

Recently, Alpes Lasers has partnered with the PULSE Lab of Princeton University through the MIRTHE Collaboration.  In a recent study by the PULSE Lab, Alpes Lasers was distinguished for providing the Quantum Cascade Laser for their study.  In their study PULSE Lab praises the Quantum Cascade Laser for providing “ record sensitivity in its class.” (Article published in Nature by PULSE Lab)


Wang, Y. et al. Shot-noise Limited Faraday Rotation Spectroscopy for nullDetection of Nitric Oxide Isotopes in Breath, Urine, and Blood. Sci. Rep. 5 , 9096; DOI:10.1038/srep09096 (2015).

Two New Product Lines

Alpes Lasers SA introduces two new product lines to its line-up of Quantum Cascade Lasers. Both are available in High Heat Load housing with collimated output and can be included with drivers for optimal usage.


The HP-QCL High Power Sources has a minimum average power of 1 W and more than 9 W of peak power with a multi-mode spectral output. Devices centered around 2040 cm−1 (4.9 μm) are available in stock and other wavelengths on demand. The dedicated driver for these high power lasers can be programmed internally or externally controlled through TTL signals with arbitrary pulse sequences.

These lasers can be used for free-space optical communications, energy deposition, illumination and IR countermeasures.

The QC-ET Extended Tuning Quantum Cascade Lasers features an  increased wavelength scanning span through fully electrical control at constant heat sink temperatures, allowing wavelength ramps and dither over a range of more than 0.4% of the central wavelength (6 cm−1 at  1270 cm−1). Such an extended tuning range can be used for fast wide scanning and multi-species gas monitoring.

More details on all these products can be read on the news to the right on your screen!

Come meet us and see out new products at Booth #1010 at the Photonics West 2015 Exhibition from Feb. 10th to Feb. 12th!

Extended Tuning DFB Sources

Alpes Lasers introduces a new class of Extended Tuning DFB-QCL, the QC-ET. The QC-ET uses a dual current control to extend the mode-hop free tuning to more than 0.4% of the central wavelength (>6 cm-1 at 1270 cm-1). While the first laser input allows direct intensity modulation in the same way as standard DFB lasers, the integrated heater current IT will offset the wavelength much faster than the temperature change of the heatsink temperature would do.

Key Benefits:null
  • Increased wavelength scanning span fully electrically
    (Increased electrical wavelength scan)
  • Wavelength dither and ramps as in conventional DFB
  • DFB wavelength reproducibility
  • DFB quality linewidth and noise

Click to enlarge

nullCome to see us at Booth #1010 at Photonics West to learn more!

High Power Sources

Alpes Lasers introduces its new High Power Sources. These Quantum Cascade Lasers have a minimum average power of 1W and more than 9W of peak power. They are available in a collimated HHL package with a dedicated driver, these lasers can be used for free-space optical communications, energy deposition, illumination and IR countermeasures.

Key Features:null
  • High Power
  • Collimated Source
  • High Beam Quality
  • Multi-Mode Spectrum

Click to enlarge


Come to see us at Booth #1010 at Photonics West to learn more!

All-Electrical Frequency Noise Reduction

A new paper published jointly by Alpes Lasers and the Laboratoire Temps-Fréquence of the University of Neuchâtel describes an all-electrical method of reducing the frequency noise and effective linewidth of Quantum Cascade Lasers.


The results from the experiment show a reduction in the linewidth from 1.7 MHz in the standard constant current mode of operation down to 480 kHz at 10-ms without recourse to a calibrated gas cell.

Intermittent CW Driver

The ICW driver is dedicated to the usage of a QCL laser.  Using the ICW modulation scheme allows one to perform spectroscopy with slow detectors while using lasers at low duty cycle.


This scheme can be implemented with the new ICW driver because it was developed specifically for this application. This new ICW driver is now available for loan or purchase.

This scheme was developped in collaboration with the Air Pollution /  Environmental Technology group of EMPA. More information and details can be found in the paper published here.

Recent applications of QCLs

We present two recent new applications of Quantum Cascade Lasers that have been recently published.

nullIn the first application was published in Nature Communications.  A team from ETH Zürich has used two AL broad gains lasers in frequency comb operation to perform dual-comb spectroscopy in the mid-infrared.
They achieve broadband high-resolution (80 MHz) absorption spectroscopy.

Villares, G. et al.,Dual-comb spectroscopy based on quantum-cascade-laser frequency combs. Nat. Commun. 5:5192 doi: 10.1038/ncomms6192 (2014)

In the second experiment, which has been discussed in Laser Focus nullWorld, researchers from Stanford University have incorporated a QCL into a cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy instrument in order to detect  carbon monoxide (CO) in situ in a shock tube with high time resolution.

K. Sun et al., Opt. Exp., 6 October 2014; doi:10.1364/OE.22.024559.

A similar shock tube experiment has also been performed by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology:

Robin S.M. Chrystie, Ehson F. Nasir, and Aamir Farooq, "Ultra-fast and calibration-free temperature sensing in the intrapulse mode", Optics Letters, 39(23), 6620-6623, (2014).

All these experiments have been performed with lasers from Alpes Lasers. Order one and see for yourself!

Laser Safety

Alpes now offers laser safety goggles with 7+ OD protection in the mid-IR.null

Intermittent CW Modulation


A new modulation scheme was  developed in a collaboration between Alpes Lasers and Air Pollution /  Environmental Technology group of EMPA.
The ICW scheme allows spectroscopy to be performed with slow detectors and drivers while using lasers in TO-3 cans. This method is less expensive than the LLH and HHL options for housing of true CW lasers. You can find more information in our section on modulation schemes, or in the paper recently published by Optics Express.


Alpes Lasers celebrated the 20th year of the Quantum Cascade Laser on January 16th and 17th 2014 in ETH Zürich!  The following is a short video demonstration that showcases what happens optically, electronically and thermallz in a Quantum Cascade Laser when under increasing bias.


Alpes Lasers welcomes students for internships! If you are interested in an internship, contact us with your CV, a letter of motivation explaining your domain of research, why you think Alpes Lasers would be a good fit, your career intentions, your current affilitiation as well as all relevant details (such as the name of your supervisor and what your university would expect from Alpes Lasers SA).


New Lasers Around 4.6 um

Alpes Lasers has recently produced a new series of lasers covering the range 2194-2236 cm-1 (4.47-4.56 um). This range is particularly useful for the detection of pollutants in atmosphere such as N2O and CO. The lasers functioning in this range at higher temperature and with higher output power will appear on the website over the coming weeks.
Here is a recent sampler of new lasers in stock:

Link to datasheetMinimum frequencyMaximum frequency

As always, you can request a quote for any of these lasers by contacting your country’s distributor or by writing directly to us if you are outside of our distributor network.

Quantum Cascade Lasers for Infrared Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy Magazine has interview Bernhard Lendl, professor of analytical chemistry at the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics at the Vienna University of Technology, and his graduate student Markus Brandstetter on Quantum Cascade Lasers.  They identify some of the many advantages of the Quantum Cascade Laser to be practical in blood analysis, contamination monitoring for the pharmaceutical industry, and the hydrocarbon analysis pioneered by Quantared GmbHYou can read the article on the Spectroscopy Magazine website:

Laser World 

Alpes Lasers will be presenting at Laser World of Photonics trade fair in the Messe München from May 14th to May 16th. Come see us in Hall B2, stand 175 with our distributor, MG Optical Solutions.

Liver Function Monitor

Humedics GmbH recently announced the start of the clinical Phase III trial for its LiMAX test.

The LiMAX test determines the actual liver function in real-time by analyzing the patients breath using the FLIP device, which incorporates Alpes Lasers products.

 Using the LiMAX allows the clinician to determine the functioning capacity a patient’s liver within minutes, improving diagnosis, surgery planning and post-operative assessment. As of now the LiMAx test has been used more than 8,500 times and the results have been published in highly respected scientific journals.
You can read the press release from Humedics:

Humedics Press Release

Laser World China

Alpes Lasers will be presenting at Laser World of Photonics China in the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) from March 19th to March 21st. Come see us at our distributor’s booth, Universal (HK) Technology Co. Ltd.

Quantum Cascade Lasers In The News

null Dr Damien Weidmann’s team from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in England recently announced the development of a new device that uses Quantum Cascade Lasers, supplied by Alpes Lasers, to detect counterfeit food.

Counterfeit food is a big problem that has become an important issue recently due to rising concerns of counterfeit meat in Europe. One  example in particular is that of honey. It is estimated that as much as one third of all the honey sold in the United States is smuggled and fraudulently labeled.  These fraudulently labeled products are either claiming that the products are  produced locally when it originates from a foreign country or even sometimes contain other sugars such as corn syrup.  The device developed by RAL can identify the provenance and nature of food by analyzing the isotopic content of the food thus preventing fraud.

The original announcement can be seen here.

Additional articles by the media can be found here, here and here.

Finally, some information about honey counterfeiting can be found here.

Photonics West 2013


Alpes Lasers will present at the Photonics West 2013 conference and exhibition that will be taking placeat the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 2nd-7th .

  • Alpes Production Manager, Dr Stéphane Blaser, will give a talk entitled "Quantum cascade lasers optimized for low dissipation and broadgain" in the Mid-IR QCL session at 4:25 PM on Sunday Feb. 3rd in room 122.
  • Alpes CEO, Dr Antoine Müller, will be presenting on the exhibition floor in booth #817 that we will be shared with our American distributor, Boston Electronics.

Mid-infrared Frequency Comb

nullAndreas Hugi , a doctoral student at the Quantum Electronics Group of the ETHZ in Zürich, recently published a Nature Letter titled "Mid-infrared frequency comb based on a quantum cascade laser" in collaboration with Alpes Lasers.

Optical frequency combs, which act as rulers in the frequency domain, can be used to build spectrometers with unprecedented speed and precision. Using QCLs a direct, compact and electrically driven frequency comb generation scheme is developed. The measured linewidth of the comb lines is <1.3 MHz. The comb spans a spectral range of 60 cm-1 centered at a wave wavelength of 7 micron . A narrow intermode beat linewidth < 200 Hz is measured.

You can find more information with these links:

New Website

nullWelcome to Alpes Lasers’ NEW website! Be sure to visit the main pages.

If you have any trouble finding laser datasheets, please note that you can still see them at the old adress:


This page will be updated from time to time with special offer, new products or new applications notes.

Do not hesitate to contact us or the distributor from your region for any question or for a RFQ.

New Temperature Controller

Alpes Lasers introduces its new TC-3 temperature controller which replaced the TCU unit.

Based on a design by Arroyo, the new TC-3 has many advantages: It is user-controlled, can be re-programmed to be used with any of Alpes housings (or other devices) and with an LCD front panel and USB connector making it easier to use and integrate. All of the new temperature controllers shipped starting today will be TC-3 with complete backwards compatibility.

IRMMW 2012-THz at Wollongong

Alpes Lasers will be presenting on the exhibition floor of the International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW-THz)
 in Wollongong, Australia, from September 23rd to 28th. This presentation is in collaboration with the TREASURE Project.

This is Alpes Lasers first ever presentation in Australia!

Alpes at IQCLSW 2012

You can meet with Alpes Lasers at the International Quantum Cascade Lasers School and Workshop 2012 held in Baden near Vienna, Austria from September 2nd to September 6th.

Alpes Lasers sponsors the Best Paper Award. In addition you can meet our distributor for Germany and Austria MG Optical Solutions in the exhibition room.  You may also attend Romain Terazzi’s lecture titled "Frequency-dependence of the effective refractive index in broadband quantum cascade lasers" at 8:50 on September 6th.

QuantaRed Wins Mercur Preis 2010

The Chamber of Commerce of Vienna has awarded the Mercury Prize for most innovative young entrepreneur of 2010.

QuantaRed was awarded this honor in 2010 for its use of a QC lasers from Alpes Lasers to create a new cutting-edge measurement method that succeeded in quickly and accurately measuring the oil composition in water without the use of any CFC gas. This is used primarily for the analysis of oil content in production and measure waste levels in water from oil platforms in order to analyze the impact of oil spills.

Some links:

http://www.mercur2010.at/ (in German)

Industry Perspective

Nature Photonics published an "Industry Perspective" paper on the current status and future prospects of Quantum Cascade Lasers written by Antoine Müller, CEO of Alpes Lasers and Pr. Jérome Faist, Alpes Lasers co-founder.

You can read the abstract:

"Since their invention, quantum cascade lasers have made considerable progress in terms of their wavelength range and efficiency. Today, they have important applications in environmental science, process control and medical diagnostics."

The whole article can be found in the May 2010 issue of Nature Photonics.

Nature Photonics 4, 291 (2010) "The quantum cascade laser: Ready for take-off"

Broadband Lasers

Be sure to have a look at our list of broadband lasers, available for broadband illumination for use in external cavities from 6 to 12 microns!