Drivers for Laser
Laser diode controllers or drivers are uniquely designed to drive a laser diode by providing a current instead of a voltage to the laser diode. They typically have a “soft start” to avoid damaging the laser diode while being powered on or off, transient protection, as well as a high modulation bandwidth – often 150 kHz or more – Laser diode drivers are sometimes also referred to as current drivers, current controllers or laser diode controllers and the names are used almost interchangeably. All laser diodes, also called diode lasers or semiconductor lasers, require a laser diode driver to operate.
Laser diode drivers are available with various features. In addition to bandwidths, features include integrated temperature controller boards, thermal protection, requirements for a suitable power supply unit, efficiency, heat sinking requirements, as well as dimensions or form factor. Refer to our laser diode drivers product family page to review products with these and other features or options.
Current controllers can operate laser diodes with different operating currents and compliance voltages (voltage required to operate the laser diode at a given or specified current). The current and voltage requirements can vary widely between diode laser products. Opt Lasers™ offers low, medium and high-current laser diode drivers. The highest current and voltage we offer as a standard product is 60 A and 50 V. These are typically used for operating high-current NIR broad area lasers (BALs), also called multimode laser diodes, in a C-mount or F-mount package. Such laser diode devices are typically connected in series for greater efficiency (lower loss by having a higher current rather than voltage). Opt Lasers designs and manufactures laser diode drivers with both higher currents and voltages for customers as special or custom products. Please refer to our custom laser diode drivers page for more information about possibilities for custom drivers. We also offer lower current laser diode drivers, which are typically used to drive single mode devices, often in a 5.6 or 9 mm TO-Can package.