The time for mid-infrared lasers has finally come. Never mind that CO2 and certain mid-IR solid-state lasers have been around for years. But change is coming, with new solutions, new applications, and new companies.
We finally completed our masterwork on the subject, our market report on mid-IR lasers. We found that the new applications should grow 30% per year in coming years. What's exciting is that some new military applications are helping to develop new technologies while other applications in sensing can get some traction. And, there are new solutions in quantum cascade and interband cascade lasers, GaSb diode lasers and OPSLs, fiber lasers, solid-state lasers, and compact OPOs. Not to mention help from other innovations, like QEPAs, uncooled focal plane arrays, and hollow-core optical fibers.
Altogether, we counted over 50 companies selling lasers or OPOs and OPAs in the mid-IR range. Over half are headquartered in North America.
Of course it's not easy. Some applications are very challenging, and unraveling the technologies and the applications is messy. Not to brag, but we did a nice job in the report to unravel it all for you.
There's more going on with mid-IR market information. We worked with Robert Thornton of Ubiquilight in his survey of mid-IR laser needs. Please do the survey.
And, there will be a panel discussing the mid-IR market at the Laser Focus World Marketplace Seminar in January. To make it a little more direct, we're calling it "Quantum Cascade Lasers for Mid-IR Applications: Pro vs. Con." We will have Tim Day (Daylight Solutions), Robert Afzal (Lockheed Martin), Ken Kaufmann (Hamamatsu Photonics), Lars Hildebrandt (nanoplus), and me. The agenda will up shortly, if it isn't already. We hope to see you there.