Block Engineering Releases Ultra-Miniaturized Quantum Cascade Laser Products
Marlborough, MA – January 28, 2014
Block Engineering, the leader in Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) instrumentation, announced today the release of two ultra-miniaturized QCL products, the Mini-QCL™ Module and the new LaserTune™ Infrared Source. The Mini-QCL is a widely-tunable QCL module for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), weighing only 75 grams (~2.5 oz). Block's next-generation LaserTune has been miniaturized to a compact (16.5 × 12.7 × 11 cm), wirelessly-controllable system, while offering the widest contiguous tuning range available on the market (greater than 1000 cm-1).
Scott Riggi, VP of Sales, commented, "We are receiving tremendous interest in these new products from universities, corporate R&D labs, and a wide range of OEMs. Block has now introduced the world's most compact, full-function QCL source with the widest contiguous spectral tuning range. The demand for these devices in gas sensing, metrology, and academic and corporate R&D applications is significant."
Petros Kotidis, Block's CEO added, "These two new products are the result of Block's innovation spirit, engineering strength, and optical packaging capabilities. They meet a strong market need for ultra-compact, ultra-widely tunable sources for OEM integration and all-in-one laser sources. These devices are now enabling new applications, which were not available to the past generations of QCLs, due to size, ruggedness and performance limitations. I look forward to the adoption of these new devices by our customers and the rapid growth of their applications."
The Mini-QCL Module is available in spectral ranges greater than 250 cm-1 per module, and multiple modules can be combined by OEMs. The module can be used in a wide variety of real-time gas analysis applications requiring a mid-infrared laser source, including greenhouse gas monitoring, automotive combustion analysis, oil and gas exploration, and air quality monitoring. The module is also designed to be integrated into a variety of spectroscopic instruments, including products used in the fields of Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (PAS), Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS), Infrared Microscopy, and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
The New LaserTune Infrared Source has been significantly reduced in size, while leading the industry in contiguous tuning range. The 2x4 mm collimated beam can now be programmed to operate in several modes with a manual step, programmable step, and programmable sweep. The LaserTune offers fast scan capability at 25 cm-1 per msec, and the source can be programmed to emit pulses from 20 to 500 nsec, while maintaining a duty-cycle up to ~30%. Computer control of the LaserTune is via Wireless or Ethernet/HDMI with analog and digital control for monitoring and controlling the laser wavelength.
Block will be demonstrating the products at SPIE's Photonics West Conference (Booth #5333) and the BiOS Conference (Booth #8507) in San Francisco.
About Block Engineering, LLC
Founded in 1956, Block Engineering, LLC is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high performance Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) and FTIR spectrometers for commercial, industrial, military and government customers. Block's Mobile Chemical Agent Detector (MCAD) system is a fixed site, passive FTIR spectrometer offered in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corp. Block's PORTHOS (TM) is a portable, passive FTIR spectrometer system that remotely detects chemical threats as far as three miles and protects against chemical warfare agents and weapons of mass destruction. Block's OEM FTIR spectrometers are finding applications in the Oil and Gas Industry for gas analysis and process control. Block Engineering is also manufacturing and selling a line of unique QCL-based spectrometers, including the LaserScan Analyzer, for applications ranging from detection of explosives and liquid/solid chemical warfare agents to control of manufacturing operations and verification of surface conditions in a variety of industrial processes — including drug manufacturing, coating and paints application, and gas analysis. Block also offers the LaserTune product line of QCL-based Infrared Sources for corporate research and academic markets.