Quantum Cascade Laser Companies – Thorlabs, Inc. (US) and Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Japan) are the Key Players

Chicago, March 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Quantum Cascade Laser Market size is projected to reach from USD 429 million in 2023 to USD 533 million by 2028; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2023 to 2028. The overall growth of the Quantum Cascade Laser market is being driven by the growing demand for QCLs in healthcare and medical diagnostics and the increasing use of quantum cascade lasers in gas sensing and chemical detection applications.

  • Thorlabs, Inc. (US),
  • Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Japan),
  • MirSense (France), 
  • Emerson Electric Co. (US),
  • Block Engineering. (US),
  • Wavelength Electronics, Inc. (US),
  • Daylight Solutions. (US),
  • Alpes Lasers (Switzerland),
  • nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies GmbH (Germany),
  • Akela Laser Corporation (US),

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Thorlabs, Inc.

Thorlabs, Inc. is a manufacturer of vertically integrated photonics goods for the laser and electro-optics research markets. Thorlabs, Inc. has expanded its core capabilities to contribute to an ever-increasing role in serving the Photonics Industry at the research end and the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments since that industry has given rise to various technical advancements. The organization’s highly integrated and varied manufacturing resources include semiconductor fabrication for Fabry-Perot, DFB, and VCSEL lasers, fiber towers for drawing optical fibers made of silica and fluoride glass, MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors, extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities, cutting-edge thin film deposition capabilities, and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.

Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.

Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of photonics devices, including innovative image detectors for the medical, environmental, biological, and semiconductor industries. Critical photonics components are provided by optical sensors, light sources, cameras, photometry systems, and measurement/analysis systems across various demanding applications and markets. They perform fundamental research on the fundamental characteristics of light and invest heavily in R&D to create new products in accordance with their business philosophy. All across the world, applications, including science, industry, and commerce, use their gadgets. They run an international network of businesses.


The French high-tech business MirSense specializes in QCL (Quantum Cascade Laser)-based solutions for the industry/environment and defense markets. The mirSense product line is divided into three categories: DFB Lasers: uniMir (for spectroscopy), powerMir: powerful lasers for security and defense, and multiSense: OEM Laser Gas Analyzer (for Business/Environment) MirSense’s distinctive QCL technologies bridge the performance, size, and cost-effectiveness gaps.

Emerson Electric Co.

Emerson Electric Co. is a global leader in technological innovation, manufacturing know-how, and various industries. Emerson continues to provide customers in the industrial, commercial, and residential markets with cutting-edge solutions to some of the most challenging problems in the world. Through the use of best-in-class technologies and extensive industry knowledge, Automation Solutions is a leader in supporting processes, and discrete manufacturers automate and improve production processes. The solutions and services created by Commercial & Residential Solutions enhance human comfort, safeguard food, safeguard the environment, enable sustainable food waste disposal, and assist effective building and infrastructure management.

Block Engineering.

Block Engineering has created chemical detection systems for safety, security, and environmental monitoring applications. Their quantum cascade laser-based spectrometers provide almost immediate chemical danger detection from distances of hundreds of meters. Additionally, Block provides researchers, academic institutions, and OEM partners with broadly tunable mid-infrared laser systems.

Block’s safety and security products are the first line of defense in case of a chemical attack or unintentional chemical spill. Their solutions are used in sensitive government spaces, business buildings, and transportation hubs that are important infrastructure. In order to create innovative technologies for quick standoff detection of explosive residue, chemical warfare agents, and pharmaceutical-based agents, Block collaborates with the US Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, IARPA, and other agencies.

Quantum Cascade Laser Market Dynamics

Driver: Growing demand for quantum cascade lasers in healthcare and medical diagnostics

Quantum Cascade Lasers are rapidly being used in medical diagnostics for non-invasive spectroscopy, breath analysis, and disease diagnosis. They provide precise and accurate measurements, making them useful in fields like breath analysis for disease diagnosis, blood glucose monitoring, and cancer biomarker detection. QCLs have transformed non-invasive spectroscopic analysis in healthcare. They produce light in the mid-infrared region, which correlates to the absorption bands of numerous compounds in biological samples. Identifying and quantifying biomarkers and analytes in biological fluids, tissues, and breath samples is possible with QCL-based spectroscopy, enabling early identification of diseases and monitoring.

Restraint: High costs of QCL-based devices

QCLs are currently more expensive than other laser technologies. The complicated manufacturing process, specific materials, and developing design factors contribute to its increased cost. This cost aspect may limit their broad use, particularly in price-sensitive applications or industries. QCL-based devices use expensive wafers and complicated circuitry, which results in significant development costs, making them pricey. Furthermore, developing custom QCL-based devices is expensive, resulting in high device costs as firms are required to create QCLs for a specific wavelength within the mid-infrared range. Compared to other laser technologies, QCLs are frequently produced in lesser numbers, and modifications may be necessary to fulfill specific application needs. Additionally, the requirement for particular manufacturing setups, individualized testing, lesser economies of scale, customization, and low-volume production might result in higher prices.

Opportunity: Use of quantum cascade lasers in industrial and environmental monitoring

QCLs are suitable for industrial and environmental monitoring. They are useful for detecting and analyzing trace gases and contaminants due to their great sensitivity, precision, and selectivity. Opportunities exist in areas where QCL-based sensors and systems can increase efficiency, compliance, and environmental sustainability, such as gas sensing, emissions monitoring, industrial process control, and air quality monitoring. QCLs monitor air quality in cities, industrial zones, and indoor spaces. QCL-based sensors can detect and measure a variety of air pollutants, including particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile organic compounds. These sensors give continuous, real-time data that can be used to analyze air quality, identify pollution sources, and perform targeted mitigation actions.

Challenge: Manufacturing complexities of quantum cascade lasers

QCLs require complex manufacturing processes such as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). MBE is an accurate and controlled deposition process that involves the growth of multiple layers of semiconductor materials with specific compositions and thicknesses, resulting in the precise layer structures required for QCL operation. The manufacturing process is complex and time-consuming, which raises production costs. Furthermore, QCLs’ sensitivity to material flaws and faults can reduce production yields, restricting their availability and increasing costs. The manufacturing complexity of QCL devices comes from the requirement to achieve exact control over material properties, layer architectures, and device shape. Each phase necessitates specialized equipment, experience, and tight quality control procedures. Manufacturing techniques, equipment, and process optimization are constantly being improved to meet these challenges and improve the scalability, yield, and cost-effectiveness of QCL devices.

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