A technique based on composite quantum wells for design and growth of strain balanced Al0.63In0.37As/Ga0.35In0.65As/Ga0.47In0.53As quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), emitting in 5.2–11 μm wavelength range, is reported. The strained Al0.63In0.37As provides good electron confinement at all wavelengths, and strain balancing can be achieved through composite wells of Ga0.35In0.65As/Ga0.47In0.53As for different wavelength. The use of these fixed composition materials can avoid the need for frequent calibration of a MBE reactor to grow active regions with different strain levels for different wavelengths. Experimental results for QCLs emitting at 5.2, 6.7, 8.2, 9.1, and 11 μm exhibit good wall plug efficiencies and power across the whole wavelength range. It is shown that the emission wavelength can be predictably changed using the same design template. These lasers are also compatible with a heterogeneous broadband active region, consisting of multiple QCL cores, which can be produced in a single growth run.

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