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mirSense integrated QCLs target gas-sensing and biomed roles

18 Feb 2015

French startup says attraction is its silicon platform, which features "no moving parts".

The mid-infrared (MIR) region is ideal for a number of applications, including high sensitivity trace detection, chemical emission monitoring, process control, and a range of biological sensing applications.

The growing availability of quantum cascade lasers, which cover a broad portion of the MIR spectral range (3-12 µm), where many chemicals of interest for safety and security have their strongest absorption lines, has recently pushed forward the commercialization of tunable diode-based detection units.

Making its debut at Photonics West 2015 and capitalizing on this trend, mirSense, based in Palaiseau, France, is a startup which develops and produces QCL diodes and advanced photonic devices such as wideband tunable sources for real-time, high sensitivity trace detection and chemical analysis of gas, liquids and solids by infra-red laser absorption spectroscopy.

The company, which was only established at the beginning of 2015, says its “unique” approach uses only microelectronic solutions without any moving mechanical or optic components, resulting in compact and robust devices. CEO Mathieu Carras told optics.org, “MirSense is a startup with its origins in III-V Lab in France. At the moment we are four people but we expect that this will soon grow to ten.

”mirSense's expertise is the development a unique silicon platform that enables mid-range photonics ICs. We use it for combining lasers and providing advanced MIR sensing solutions. Our philosophy is to be as close to the applications as possible. Our target customers are equipment manufacturers needing sensing systems such as for gas, chemical or medical sensing.”

”Our two available products are: a multigas detecting laser module with pulsed or CW operation and 10 mW mean power, which offers a 100 cm-1 tuning range; and a single gas laser, which can deliver more than 100 mW. We have already delivered hundreds of these lasers to customers.”


III-V Lab is a private R&D organisation jointly established by Alcatel-Lucent and Thales in 2004 under the French Economic Interest Group status, rejoined by the CEA at the end of 2010. It is considered to be one of the most advanced industrial research facilities in the field of III-V semiconductors in Europe.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

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