Recent years have shown the importance of tunable semiconductor lasers in optical sensing. We describe the status quo concerning DFB laser diodes between 760 nm and 3,000 nm as well as new developments aiming for up to 80 nm tuning range in this spectral region. Furthermore we report on QCL between 3 μm and 16 μm and present new developments. An overview of the most interesting applications using such devices is given at the end of this paper.
Keywords: 42.62.-b; 42.62.Fi; DFB; PACS 42.55.Px; QCL; laser; sensing.