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Keywords:

  • quantum cascade laser (QCL) tuning;
  • plasmonic nanoantennas;
  • frequency/amplitude modulation;
  • mechanical tuning
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Antenna-integrated quantum cascade lasers are extremely attractive as a compact method to couple the vibrational resonances in the mid-infrared to nanometer-sized biomolecules in an integrated form. The high sensitivity of such devices to extreme sub-diffraction objects is demonstrated with a volume that is five orders of magnitude smaller than the cubic wavelength (λ3). This suggests a new method to sense objects with extreme sub-diffraction dimensions.