Tunable Diode Lasers (TDL) for Spectroscopy and Environmental Monitoring
The current status of III-V semiconductor diode lasers emitting between 1 -5 μm wavelengths to be used as light sources for absorption spectroscopy is reviewed. The emission wavelength of the laser is chosen to coincide with the primary absorption line of a molecule or one of its many overtones. The lasers, with a single longitudinal mode emission, are wavelength tuned over several angstroms by modulating the drive current of the device. This sweeping of the wavelength leads to the nomenclature tunable diode laser or TDL. Single mode distributed feedback (DFB) strained layer InGaAs(P) lasers grown on InP substrates with emission wavelengths from 1.2 to 2.06 μm have been developed at JPL, and several devices will be used for planetary atmospheric studies for the first time.