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Unicorn™ Fixed Wavelength Lasers

The Unicorn™ II laser has an extremely robust and stable resonator structure that provides users with superb linewidth and wavelength stability, especially as environmental conditions vary. And with a wide selection of QCL chip center wavelengths from which to choose, Unicorn-II can be factory-configured to suit different wavelength needs. Driven by Daylight’s field-proven SideKick™ laser controller, Unicorn-II users also have flexible, precise control of laser: output power; temperature; scan speed; and pulse parameters, and enjoy gain chip protection via Daylight’s High-Fidelity Quantum Cascade Drive (HFQD™) circuitry. Stability, control, and proven performance—the Unicorn™ II.
  • Unicorn-II Laser


  • Fixed-wavelength
  • Expanded modulation functionality
  • Accurate wavelength set
  • Low wavelength drift
  • High-power
  • Expanded repetition rate, pulse width, and duty cycles
  • Pulsed and/or cw operation
  • No cryogenic cooling


  • Easy to operate
  • Flexible modes to enhance signal
  • On target for application
  • Continued functionality
  • Signal to spare
  • Improved signal to noise
  • Flexible for many experiments
  • Convenient & economical

Product Details

The Unicorn™ II fixed-wavelength laser was designed for flexibility and performance. Each Unicorn™ II incorporates Daylight’s proprietary, field-proven ECqcL™ highly stable laser resonator design that provides high linewidth and wavelength stability, even if environmental conditions vary. Unicorn-II users can choose a factory-set operating wavelength—adjusted to an accuracy of ±30 GHz (±1 cm-1)—from a library of chip options that span the mid-IR spectrum from 3 μm to 13 μm. All Unicorn-II systems provide pulsed output (up to 10% duty cycle, up to 1MHz repetition rate, and pulse widths up to 1 μs), and CW output if a CW-capable chip is selected. Depending on the chip selected, pulsed peak powers up to 1W and CW average powers up to 500mW are available. Custom pulsed operation at up to 30% duty cycle, up to 3MHz, and up to 10μs is also available – please inquire. No external cooling is needed for pulsed operation up to 5% duty cycle, and >5% duty cycle pulsed or CW operation requires only a small closed-loop water chiller. No cryogenic cooling. Ever!

A current modulation input circuit offers up to 10 % amplitude and up to 0.1 cm-1 of frequency modulation. Laser control is via Daylight’s new SideKick™ controller, which provides straightforward USB or Ethernet control via supplied GUI or SDK interfaces. Daylight’s HFQD™ drive electronics also protect your gain chip.

Please contact us today to learn how the Unicorn™ II—and our highly experienced team--can meet your application needs.


Overall Performance
Operation Mode
Pulsed and cw1
Center Wavelength Availability2 <4 to >11 microns – please inquire.
Wavelength Set-point Accuracy ±1 cm-1
Beam Divergence
<5 mrad
Beam Pointing Stability
<50 µrad
Polarization Linear, Vertical, 100:1
Beam Spacial Mode
Beam M2
Spot Size <2.5 mm (1/e point)
Beam Waist
30-50 cm from exit port
CW Performance
Power3 Depends on wavelength, typically >100 mW
CW Linewidth4 ≤100 MHz
Wavelength Drift ≤0.5 cm-1/8 hr  within operating temperature range
Current Modulation Bandwidth5 DC to 2 MHz
Current Modulation Amplitude Depth
Current Modulation Frequency Depth ~0.05 cm-1
Pulsed Performance
Pulsed Linewidth ≤1 cm-1
Peak Power1 Depends on wavelength, typically >100 mW
Minimum Average Power (pulsed)1
Depends on wavelength, typically >5 mW
Pulsewidths6,7 40-500 ns
Repetition Rate5,8 0.1-100 kHz
Maximum Duty Cycle4 5%
Power Variation (pulse-to-pulse)9 <2% rms
Control Specifications
Control Interface Sidekick Laser Controller10
Triggering Capabilities
Internal and external trigger, external pulse input
External Control Interfaces
USB 2.0, Ethernet 10/100
Operation Specifications
Operating Temperature 15-35 °C
Operating Humidity 10-90% RH, non-condensing
Cooling (pulsed)11 Passive air
Cooling (cw)7 Water12
Power Requirements 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz, 1φ
Mechanical Specifications
Head Dimensions 5.50” × 3.45” × 3.31” L × W × H
Controller Dimensions 7.3” × 5.2” × 1.4” L × W × H

All specifications subject to change without notice. As it is difficult to specify exact performance for a family of lasers with a single data column, these values may vary slightly from wavelength to wavelength. Please contact the factory to discuss the key performance parameters of the specific system that will provide results for you.

1 Some wavelengths only available in pulsed operation.

Values listed are the peak of the gain curve for available QC gain chips. Essentially all wavelengths from 3.5–10.4 μm are available. Contact factory for performance of system at your wavelength of choice.

3 Contact factory for power at your wavelength.

4 Averaged over 200 ms.

5 Current modulation in pulsed mode is not advised.

6 Some gain chips can support longer or shorter pulsewidths, higher repetition rates, and/or duty cycles.  Contact factory for your specific needs.
7 20 ns increments.

8 0.1 kHz increments.

9 Measured over 1 hour interval.

10 The Unicorn™ II laser heads are only compatible with HFQD-enabled controllers

11 No cryogenic cooling required

12 ~50 W capacity water cooling


Industries & Applications

  • Imaging
  • OPO seeding
  • Detector Calibration

  • Stand-off detection
  • Infrared countermeasures (IRCM) research
  • Illumination
  • Remote sensing
  • Atmospheric research
  • Gas leak and toxic industrial chemical (TIC) detection
  • Green house gas monitoring
  • TIC & gas leak detection
  • Remote stack monitoring