Innovative Tunable Laser

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University of South Wales


Electronics, Sensors and Photonics, Engineering and Manufacturing, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences

About The Opportunity:

A tunable laser is a laser source that can have its wavelength adjusted continuously over a specified wavelength range. For some applications a wide tuning range is desired but traditionally tunable lasers have suffered from wavelength mode hopping during the tuning process which can lead to instability of laser-based systems.

Although tunable lasers can be a useful tool in scientific research they have not been as widely accepted for use in industrial laser equipment because of the potential short lifetimes associated with their optical tuning designs and internal components.

The Wireless & Optoelectronic Research and Innovation Centre (WORIC) at the University of South Wales has developed a tunable laser based on a novel etalon design which enables the tuning of wavelength and laser cavity length simultaneously without the need for complex and inaccurate gratings that can lead to wavelength mode hopping and short lifetimes.

Key Benefits:

  • 8 times tuning range
  • Faster and more stable
  • Robust technology with longer lifetime
  • Suitable for industrial applications

The WORIC laser can be customized to any specific wavelength spanning the UV to the mid- infrared and the operating wavelength range is limited by the gain spectrum of the laser diode used in the laser system. The mode hop-free tuning range is >7nm at 650nm and >40nm at 1550nm. Tunable lasers based on grating tuning can have a mode hop free tuning range >30GHz whereas the WORIC laser has achieved > 1,000GHz mode hop free tuning in a small robust assembly measuring 80mm x 80mm x 100mm.

WORIC is able to configure its tunable laser technology depending on application-specific requirements and the output power can be optimised up to 10mW in the UV to mid-visible range.


  • Life sciences including biophotonics
  • Laboratory instrumentation including microscopy
  • Industrial applications such as gas analysis

Tunable lasers are good sources for wide broadband applications including healthcare imaging, medical diagnostics, biosensors, Optical Coherence Tomography, telecomms measurement equipment and industrial inspection.

Tunable lasers are ideal applications in broadband (e.g., Raman spectroscopy, semiconductor studies) through single-frequency, high-resolution spectroscopy studies (e.g. laser cooling and trapping, optical pumping).



The university is seeking licensing and collaborative research partners.