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Lasers & Sources

Video interview: Federico Capasso on the quantum cascade laser

The mature technology of the QCL is now finding commercial applications.

8 April 2010, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201004.02

Federico Capasso and collaborators invented the quantum cascade laser (QCL), a fundamentally new light source whose emission wavelength can be designed to cover the entire spectrum from mid to far infrared by tailoring the active region layer thickness. The Capasso Group at Harvard University has expanded QCL research to new coherent light sources utilizing intracavity nonlinear optical effects.

Capasso joined Bell Labs in 1976. In 1984 he was made a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and in 1997 a Bell Labs Fellow. In addition to his research activity he held several management positions at Bell Labs including Head of the Quantum Phenomena and Device Research Department and the Semiconductor Physics Research Department (1987-2000) and Vice President of Physical Research (2000-2002). He joined Harvard on January 1, 2003.

His honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The European Academy of Sciences and honorary membership in the Franklin Institute.

Capasso has co-authored over 300 papers, edited four volumes, and holds over 50 US patents. He was interviewed at SPIE Photonics West in January 2010.

Capasso Group homepage at Harvard University