Infrared Laser Diodes: Exploring the Applications of Infrared Laser Diodes

The term ‘infrared’ often conjures images of military and defense applications, but the reality is that infrared laser diodes are employed across a wide array of uses, including gesture recognition, optical communication, security and beyond. This blog delves into the diverse applications of infrared laser diodes and their capabilities. 

Data and Communications Applications 

Since the 1950s, NASA missions have been leveraging laser technology to improve optical communication for sending data to and from space. Infrared lasers are revolutionizing modern optical data transmission by enabling precise, long-distance communication. 

More recently, NASAs LCRD project demonstrated how infrared lasers can enable 10 to 100 times more data transmitted back to Earth than current radio frequency systems. (1) Compared to radio frequency (RF) systems, infrared beams can compress data into tightly packed waves, allowing ground stations to receive larger data volumes in a single transmission. 

Industrial and Manufacturing Applications 

Infrared laser diodes are integral to industrial and manufacturing processes, facilitating key applications such as gesture recognition, additive manufacturing, and quality control. Their use in gesture recognition systems enhances human-machine interaction, particularly in automotive and manufacturing industries. 

In industrial settings, infrared laser diodes are utilized in optical modules and sensors, some equipped with built-in photodiodes for performance monitoring, enabling applications in robotics and motion sensing. 

Medical and Healthcare Applications

The unique absorption characteristics of infrared radiation by biological tissues make laser lights with infrared wavelengths indispensable in biomedical applications including tissue incisions, wound sealing etc. Infrared spectroscopy also finds widespread use in manufacturing, quality control, forensics, and research and development.

Security and Guidance Applications

In security monitoring systems and night vision devices, IR laser illumination ensures reliable surveillance and enhanced visibility in low-light conditions. They power robotics, motion sensing, targeting, and night vision applications, ensuring heightened security capabilities. Additionally, their narrow emission width makes them ideal for LiDAR systems, useful for automotive guidance, proximity sensing and eye tracking in smartphones and VR devices.


The continuous advancement of diode laser technology has enhanced the capabilities of infrared laser diodes. As a laser diode integrator as well as a distributor with more than two decades of experience, ProPhotonix offers 700nm to 940nm infrared laser diodes with power levels from 5mW up to 75W and is well-positioned to support you in selecting the optimum infrared laser diode for your application.

Our technical team specializes in understanding each aspect of your specification, quickly providing laser solutions that offer the best value for your application. Contact us now for free expert advice.

Enhance your laser diode technology with our premium infrared laser diodes, renowned for their exceptional quality. Explore our extensive range of color laser diodes including red laser diodesgreen laser diodesviolet laser diodes and blue laser diodes, tailored to meet your specific industry needs. Discover our complete laser diode offering and elevate your business capabilities now.



  1. Schauer, K. (2021) ‘Laser Communications: Empowering More Data Than Ever Before’, NASA, 21 May. Available at:

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