A laser diode is a semiconductor device that requires a steady electrical current at the diode’s junction for optimum operation. Laser diode drivers provide the laser diode with a stable, low-noise current source. Here are a few reasons why a laser diode needs a driver to function properly.
Most importantly, people need laser diode drivers because they provide a stable, constant current supply for the laser diode. Never use a general-purpose voltage output power supply. Even small changes in voltage can result is substantial changes in current, potentially damaging the diode. A fast, hardware-based current limit is also important, as it safeguards the laser from possible damaging current spikes.
The current flowing through a laser diode dictates much of its performance. If you want the laser diode to have consistent and repeatable performances, you need an efficient driver with the same consistent and repeatable performances to control it. Accuracy determines the ability to repeatedly return to a specific operating point, and good accuracy removes a degree of variability from your experiment.
Because lasers faithfully mirror incoming currents, the performance of the laser is a direct result of the laser driver’s performance. As noted above, accuracy provides consistent control. But beyond accuracy is stability, which defines the driver’s ability to hold current accuracy over time. Because most lasers are very high-bandwidth devices, noise is another significant consideration, as the laser will optically replicate any noise produced by the driver. Finally, high resolution enables very small changes to be made to the driver’s output, allowing you to tune the laser to the exact operation level needed.
The overall performance of the laser application is crucially important, and you should consider all these factors when choosing your laser driver. They are some of the reasons why a laser diode needs a driver. When you look for Laser Diode Drivers, come to Arroyo Instruments. We have the precise instrumentation you need for laser and LED applications as well as excellent temperature control and diode mounting solutions. Cannot find exactly what you are looking for? We adapt many of our configurations to meet your project requirements, so come to us for your instrumentation needs.