PerspectiveApplied Physics

Semiconductor Lasers Lose Their Cool

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2459-2460
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2459

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A relatively new concept in semiconductor laser technology, the quantum cascade (QC) laser, promises to revolutionize laser technology in the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) also have promising potential because the perpendicular beam they emit allows arrays of lasers to be packed closely on a wafer surface. Three recent papers (1 - 3) may help overcome some of the remaining technical obstacles to the wider applicability of QC and VCSEL lasers.