Various industries utilize laser diode drivers; the driver provides the laser diode with a steady current source. Using a driver is also important to keep your laser functioning properly. So, how exactly does a laser diode driver work? In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into how laser diode drivers work, boosting your understanding of this piece of technology.
What Is a Laser Diode Driver?
As we briefly explained, a laser diode driver provides a laser diode with a stable, low-noise current source. Lasers are extremely sensitive devices and very accurately replicate the performance of the laser driver, so any drift or noise from the laser driver will be replicated into the light output of the laser. When using your laser, the level for the current will depend on the laser and task at hand. A laser driver typically includes safety features, such as current and voltage limits. This is especially important to a laser diode because they are sensitive to the current you use; exceeding a laser’s limits for even a short time can damage or destroy a laser.
Due to the design of a laser, a voltage source should not be used to drive a laser. Experts recommend using a constant current over voltage source because with a current source, you can precisely control the current for that device. Using a voltage source can easily lead to applying too much current, damaging the laser device. Additionally, some laser drivers also have a slow turn-on which is necessary when working with higher power lasers since it prevents thermal spikes.
How Does a Driver Work?
How exactly does a laser diode driver work? Power supplies are inherently a voltage source and connected to a laser without controls would drive the maximum current available from the power supply. A laser diode driver delivers current to the laser by monitoring current flow and controlling a transistor or MOSFET to throttle the current to the target set point. Modern laser diode drivers can also utilize photodiode feedback, delivering the appropriate drive current to maintain consistent optical power output. In this mode, the current limit is crucial to preventing over-driving of the laser. You can also input a voltage limit to further safeguard the operation on the laser.
Shop At Arroyo Instruments
As you shop for a laser diode power supply, shop at a company that carries high-quality products at a fair price. At Arroyo Instruments, our laser diode drivers are precise and easy to use to ensure you have all of the essentials for your laser technology. Keep your laser functioning properly with the best quality driver!