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Published on 21 January 2020

Quantum cascade lasers

mirSense’s quantum cascade lasers are helping to make multi-gas spectrometers smaller and more accessible without compromising on performance.

mirSense was founded in 2015 to commercialize sensor solutions based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology developed by the CEA, Alcatel, and Thales in research at the III-V Lab. The lasers are the key component of mirSense’s cigarettepack-sized multi-gas spectrometers. Although they are a hundred times more compact than traditional spectrometers, mirSense’s solutions do not compromise on performance. Capable of detecting a number of different gases, the sensors are precise, sensitive, and selective. The company chose photoacoustic rather than optical detection technology for its spectrometers, a choice that will allow for further miniaturization and silicon integration to reduce costs, two key advantages for penetrating high-volume markets. The mirSense-CEA joint R&D lab is working to support this go-to-market strategy. mirSense is currently targeting industrial markets (emission gas detection, process control, and leak detection) and plans to expand into other markets like automotive emissions testing, indoor air quality, and onboard automotive sensors. The company also sells high-power quantum cascade lasers to the defence industry.