Mid-infrared (IR) semiconductor optoelectronic devices such as lasers and photodetectors are required for many applications in chemical sensing, greenhouse gas/pollution and pipeline monitoring, homeland security, industrial process control, medical diagnostics, and many other practical applications. In the past, many applications were primarily limited by the lack of efficient mid-IR semiconductor lasers operating at room temperature. Since the emergence of intersubband quantum cascade (QC) and interband cascade (IC) lasers in 1994, mid-IR semiconductor lasers have been developed with remarkable progress and successes in many applications. For example, an IC laser has been operated over 5 years in Curiosity Rover (好奇号火星探测车) and successfully detected CH4 on Mars. In this talk, I will review the current status of mid-IR semiconductor lasers and other relevant optoelectronic devices, and discuss examples of their applications, as well as their future prospects.
Dr. Yang is a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He is the inventor of interband cascade (IC) lasers, detectors, and photovoltaic devices with research activities ranging from condensed matter physics to semiconductor quantum devices such as tunneling diodes, mid-infrared lasers and detectors, and photovoltaic devices for converting infrared light to electricity. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma in 2007, he was a Principal Member of Engineering Staff and a Task Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, where he led the development of advanced mid-infrared interband cascade lasers for applications in Earth sciences and planetary explorations. He received the Edward Stone Award in 2007 from JPL for outstanding research publication and the successful accelerated infusion of cutting-edge interband cascade semiconductor laser technology into flight mission readiness. The lasers that he invented and developed with his colleagues at JPL have been landed with Curiosity on Mars for NASA flight missions and successfully detected organic molecules CH4. He has authored/co-authored more than 130 refereed journal articles and two book chapters with 8 patents and over 200 conference contributions, invited seminars, and talks. He has been the principal investigator on many tasks and contracts from NASA, DoD, DoE funding agencies, and NSF.