ASTRID - Accompagnement Spécifique de Travaux de Recherches et d'Innovation Défense

COherent quantum Cascade laser Array for high SEnsitivity gas detection – COCASE

COCASE

COherent quantum Cascade laser Array for high SEnsitivity gas detection

High sensibility actéone detection

This project aims at improving the detection sensitivity of explosives and their precursors using photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS). To this end, we propose to develop a new and innovative approach for increasing the power of quantum cascade lasers (QCL) based on the realisation of coherent QCL micro-stripe arrays. Such QCL arrays will be used as gain medium inside an external cavity (EC) taking into account the specificity of the source to produce a widely tuneable Mid Infra-Red (MIR) source (EC-QCL) for PAS system. Increasing the QCL source power is also of critical importance for other strategic defense applications, according to the DGA POS, including remote-sensing of explosives or Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) and Directional InfraRed Countermeasure (DIRCM). Civil applications will benefit as well from the development of a high power EC-QCL-based PAS for the detection of large size complex molecules and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and, more generally, for multi-gas sensing. Therefore the COCASE project is devoted to a dual technology development with expected breakthroughs on both defence and civil cutting edge applications. However, in the framework of the ASTRID call, it will be focused on a specific objective which is the high sensitivity detection of acetone, a precursor of triacetone triperoxide (TATP, one of the explosives frequently used by terrorists in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)). The main objectives to be achieved by the COCASE project are: - Design and fabrication of coherent QCL micro-stripe arrays with output power above 1W (WPE 10%) for a wavelength selected around 8 µm for the purpose of high-sensitivity detection of acetone; - Design and fabrication of a high power (> 500 mW) compact external cavity (EC) QCL to extend the usable wavelength range to 200 cm-1; - Implementation of the high power EC-QCL in a compact easy-to use-PAS set-up; - Demonstration of a detection limit of acetone = 3 ppb using the improved PAS system.

- Comprehension and manufacture of networks of QCLs with consisting of micro-stripes with a potency of power above 1W (WPE 10 %) for a wavelength chosen around 8 µm with the aim of high sensitivity detection of acetone;
- Comprehension and manufacture of an high power external cavity EC-QCL (> 500 mW) with tunability of 200 cm in MIR (around 8µm);
- Installation of the source EC-QCL in a compact PAS system;

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This project aims at improving the detection sensitivity of explosives and their precursors using photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS). To this end, we propose to develop a new and innovative approach for increasing the power of quantum cascade lasers (QCL) based on the realisation of coherent QCL micro-stripe arrays. Such QCL arrays will be used as gain medium inside an external cavity (EC) taking into account the specificity of the source to produce a widely tuneable Mid Infra-Red (MIR) source (EC-QCL) for PAS system. Increasing the QCL source power is also of critical importance for other strategic defense applications, according to the DGA POS, including remote-sensing of explosives or Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) and Directional InfraRed Countermeasure (DIRCM). Civil applications will benefit as well from the development of a high power EC-QCL-based PAS for the detection of large size complex molecules and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and, more generally, for multi-gas sensing.
Therefore the COCASE project is devoted to a dual technology development with expected breakthroughs on both defence and civil cutting edge applications. However, in the framework of the ASTRID call, it will be focused on a specific objective which is the high sensitivity detection of acetone, a precursor of triacetone triperoxide (TATP, one of the explosives frequently used by terrorists in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)).
The main objectives to be achieved by the COCASE project are:
- Design and fabrication of coherent QCL micro-stripe arrays with output power above 1W (WPE 10%) for a wavelength selected around 8 µm for the purpose of high-sensitivity detection of acetone;
- Design and fabrication of a high power (> 500 mW) compact external cavity (EC) QCL to extend the usable wavelength range to 200 cm-1;
- Implementation of the high power EC-QCL in a compact easy-to use-PAS set-up;
- Demonstration of a detection limit of acetone = 3 ppb using the improved PAS system.
The COCASE consortium is composed of an industrial and an academic partner. The project activities will concern basic studies in semiconductor laser applied physics, technological development as well as gas spectroscopy system improvements and gas analysis performance assessment.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Mathieu CARRAS (III-V LAB) – mathieu.carras@mirsense.com

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

III-V Lab III-V LAB
URCA (GSMA) UNIVERSITE DE REIMS

Help of the ANR 295,692 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2011 - 36 Months

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