Q UANTUM C ASCADE L ASER U SER ’ S M ANUAL
Version number 3.0
c 2012 A LPES L ASERS SA
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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
This manual can be copied and distributed under the following conditions: the work
must be attributed in the manner specified by the author or licensor, and cannot be
altered or transformed.
WARRANTY
1. The customer must control the incoming deliveries and inform A LPES L ASERS
about incomplete shipments or defective goods within 30 days after delivery.
A LPES L ASERS warrants that the products respect the performance set forth in
the quotation, provided that the product is used according to A LPES L ASERS
recommendations described in the datasheet included in the shipment.
2. Defective products will be replaced during the 2 years following delivery.
3. All other claims such as purchase refund, product reconditioning or damage of
any nature, be it direct, indirect or consequential, are expressly ousted.
4. The customer is aware of laser products being devices with a statistical rate of
failure. Depending on the use made of this product, it is the customer’s responsibility to use caution, redundancy and appropriate technical measurement to
ensure the final product’s proper operation.
5. In case of discrepancy between the manual and terms written in the order confirmation, the order confirmation prevails.
CONTACT INFORMATION
Max-Meuron 1-3
C.P. 1766
CH-2001 Neuchâtel
Switzerland
Telephone:
Fax:
Email:
Web site:
c 2012
SA
+41 32 729 9510
+41 32 721 3619
info@alpeslasers.ch
http://www.alpeslasers.ch
iii
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Preface
This manual is a reference tool for personnel using A LPES L ASERS QCLs and electronic equipment. Its purpose is to provide the customer with sufficient information to
carry out normal installation and operational procedures. It is not intended to replace
or supersede any local directive. Table 1 gives a summary of the content of each
chapter.
CAUTION:
All personnel must read and understand this manual before attempting
to operate A LPES L ASERS QCLs or electronic device. Failure to follow
safety instructions could result in death or serious injury.
Chapter
1. Overview
2. Safety
3. Installation
4. QCL operation
5. Starter Kit Operation
6. Technical specifications
7. Maintenance
Appendices
Content
General overview of A LPES L ASERS QCLs and Starter
Kit components.
Information for ensuring safety during the installation, operation and maintenance of A LPES L ASERS QCLs and
electronic equipment.
Prerequisites, guidelines and list of connections for the
installation of A LPES L ASERS equipment.
Principle of operation of QCLs, A LPES L ASERS datasheet
and QCL parameters.
Procedures for setting up the Starter Kit and operating a
QCL.
Technical specifications and drawings of A LPES L ASERS
QCLs and electronic equipment.
Procedures for exchanging a laser in the LLH housing
and calibrating A LPES L ASERS electronic equipment.
Informations and procedures for advanced users.
Table 1.: Structure of the QCL User’s Manual.
v
Typesetting conventions
• Table 2 gives a list of the acronyms used in this manual.
• A boxed item indicates a hardware setting on an electronic device.
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Table 2.: Acronyms used in this manual.
vi
QCL user’s manual v3.0
Contents
Preface
v
1. Overview
1.1. A LPES L ASERS products . . . . . . . . .
1.1.1. QCL parameters and performance
1.1.2. QCL geometry . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.3. QCL mounting . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2. QCL housings and packages . . . . . . .
1.2.1. Laboratory Laser Housing (LLH) .
1.2.2. High Heat Load (HHL) Housing . .
1.2.3. TO3 Housing . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3. Starter kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3.1. Temperature Controller (TCU) . .
1.3.2. Laser Diode Driver (LDD) . . . . .
1.3.3. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG) . . .
1.4. Peripherals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.5. Fields of applications . . . . . . . . . . .
1.5.1. IR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.5.2. THz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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1
2
2
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
11
12
13
14
14
15
2. Safety
2.1. General safety considerations
2.2. Notation . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2.1. Symbols and labels . .
2.3. Health hazard . . . . . . . . .
2.3.1. L ASER radiation hazard
2.3.2. Electrical hazard . . . .
2.3.3. Environmental hazard .
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17
18
19
20
21
21
21
21
3. Installation
3.1. Prerequisites . . . . . . . . . . .
3.1.1. Environmental conditions
3.1.2. Cooling . . . . . . . . . .
3.2. Receiving procedure . . . . . .
3.3. Connections . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.1. LLH . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.2. HHL . . . . . . . . . . .
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23
24
24
26
27
29
31
32
vii
3.3.3.
3.3.4.
3.3.5.
3.3.6.
3.3.7.
3.3.8.
3.3.9.
TO3 . . . . . . . . .
LDD . . . . . . . . .
CTL cable . . . . . .
CTLm cable . . . . .
CPL cable . . . . . .
CIL cable . . . . . . .
Connection procedure
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33
34
35
36
37
38
39
4. QCL Operation
4.1. Principle of operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2. A LPES L ASERS datasheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3. QCL spectra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3.1. Temperature and current tuning . . . . . .
4.3.2. Linewidth of pulsed single-mode DFB QCLs
4.3.3. Linewidth of CW single-mode DFB QCLs .
4.3.4. Bandwidth of multi-mode FP QCLs . . . . .
4.4. I-V curve and emitted power . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.4.1. Maximum operating current . . . . . . . . .
4.4.2. Maximum LDD voltage . . . . . . . . . . .
4.4.3. Other DFB QCL plots . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.5. Beam Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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41
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5. Starter Kit Operation
5.1. Temperature Controller Unit (TCU)
5.1.1. TCU startup . . . . . . . . .
5.1.2. Internal/external mode . . .
5.1.3. TCU interlock . . . . . . . .
5.2. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG) . . . .
5.2.1. Internal and external modes
5.2.2. Setting the pulse parameters
5.2.3. Maximum duty cycle . . . . .
5.3. General procedures . . . . . . . . .
5.3.1. QCL startup . . . . . . . . .
5.3.2. QCL shutdown . . . . . . . .
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6. Technical specifications
7. Maintenance
7.1. Laser installation in LLH housing . . . . . . .
7.1.1. Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.1.2. Contact set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.1.3. Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.1.4. UP and DN contact exchange . . . .
7.2. Calibration procedures . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.2.1. TCU interlock level setting procedure
viii
69
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76
77
79
81
82
83
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.2.2. TCU calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.2.3. TPG calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
84
93
A. QCL theory and application notes
A.1. QCL wavelength range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.2. QCL electrical response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
97
97
98
B. Operations for advanced users
B.1. Direct QCL voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.2. Soldering wire bonds from laser chip to submount
B.3. Bias-T circuit for pulsed lasers . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.1. Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.2. Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.3. Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.3.4. Gas concentration measurement . . . . . .
B.4. CW modulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
B.4.1. External power supply protection . . . . . .
c 2012
SA
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99
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ix
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1. Overview
In this chapter, a general overview of A LPES L ASERS lasers and equipment is given,
as well as a brief introduction to the detection principle and fields of application of
quantum cascade lasers (QCLs).
Contents
1.1. A LPES L ASERS products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
1.1.1. QCL parameters and performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
1.1.2. QCL geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
1.1.3. QCL mounting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3
1.2. QCL housings and packages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4
1.2.1. Laboratory Laser Housing (LLH) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
1.2.2. High Heat Load (HHL) Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6
1.2.3. TO3 Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
1.3. Starter kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
1.3.1. Temperature Controller (TCU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.3.2. Laser Diode Driver (LDD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.3.3. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.4. Peripherals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13
1.5. Fields of applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14
1.5.1. IR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.5.2. THz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1
Chapter 1: Overview
1.1. A LPES L ASERS products
A LPES L ASERS manufactures Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) of two types: singlemode Distributed-Feedback (DFB) or multimode Fabry-Perot (FP), which can be
operated in two modes: continuous wave (CW) or pulsed. A LPES L ASERS lasers are
available in different types of packaging, presented in section 1.2. A LPES L ASERS
developed dedicated electronics to control the temperature and current drive of its
QCLs; see section 1.3 for details.
A LPES L ASERS constantly develops new QCLs and electronics to satisfy inquiries from
its customers. Contact A LPES L ASERS to find the best solution for your application.
1.1.1. QCL parameters and performance
All A LPES L ASERS lasers are thoroughly tested and characterized. The results are
reported in datasheets, which are readily available on A LPES L ASERS website. Each
QCL is delivered with its datasheet, containing data on singlemode and multimode
emission, IV curves, emitted power, maximum operating current and operation temperature. See section 4.2 for details.
1.1.2. QCL geometry
Figure 1.1 shows an A LPES L ASERS QCL growth and a laser chip mounted on an NS
submount (see section 1.1.3). By convention, the vertical axis of the laser is parallel
to the growth direction, as well as the beam polarization (i.e. electric field) and the
NS submount screw holes axis. The emission axis is perpendicular to the growth
direction and to the edges of the NS submount.
Figure 1.1.: A LPES L ASERS QCL growth (left) and laser chip mounted on a submount
(right).
The laser chip is soldered to a copper base and is bonded with gold bonds to
two AlN ceramic pads, which are themselves mounted on the same copper base, as
2
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.1 A LPES L ASERS products
shown in figure 1.2. The ceramic pads surface is covered with a gold layer, and their
sides have a whitish ceramic color; the golden surface must be positioned upwards.
When looking into the LLH from the top, the pad left of the direction of emission is
called DN for down, and the right pad UP for up. Only one pad is characterized, as
specified in the datasheet. If only one pad is present, it is in the DN position by default.
Polarity
By default, the laser has negative polarity: the cathode is connected to the ceramic
pads and the anode is connected to the submount copper plate (see figure 1.2). The
laser may be mounted junction down; this is clearly indicated on the laser box. In
this case, the laser has positive polarity: the cathode is connected to the submount
copper plate and the anode to the ceramic pads.
1.1.3. QCL mounting
A LPES L ASERS QCLs can be mounted on two types of submounts:
• ST: clamped mounting
• NS: screwed mounting
The QCL submount can be integrated in a LLH, HHL or in any package designed by
the customer. The QCL submount is itself mounted on a copper plate, which lies on
a Peltier junction for heat dissipation, as shown in figure 1.2.
JROGZLUHERQGV
ODVHUFKLS
SDG
VXEPRXQWFRSSHUSODWH
EDVHFRSSHUSODWH
3HOWLHUMXQFWLRQ
Figure 1.2.: A LPES L ASERS QCL NS submount mounted in a HHL or LLH housing.
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.2. QCL housings and packages
A LPES L ASERS QCLs can be delivered in 5 kinds of packages:
Chip-on-Carrier (CoC) A laser chip available on stock is mounted on either a NS or
ST submount (see section 1.1.3) . These submounts can be integrated into a
LLH or HHL housing, or can be sold as an such, to be integrated in a piece of
equipment manufactured by the customer.
Laboratory Laser Housing (LLH) The LLH is designed for research applications,
and can be cooled down to -30◦ C with water cooling. With easy laser exchange
and compatibility with the Starter Kit, it is the most versatile housing available.
All A LPES L ASERS available on stock can be used in a LLH housing. See section 1.2.1 for details.
High Heat Load (HHL) The HHL housing is a sealed collimated housing with TEC
for CW or pulsed lasers. The optional collimating lens is protected by a plane
window, making it ideal for operation in aggressive environments. See section
1.2.2 for details.
TO3 Pulsed lasers are available in TO3 cans, which are smaller and less powerintensive than the HHL packages. TO3 housings are sealed, include a TEC and
are available with AR coated lenses for beam collimation or flat windows. Their
small size and low dissipation (less than 4W in pulsed mode) make them ideal
for integrating the QCL in a piece of equipment manufactured by the customer.
Note: most lasers listed on A LPES L ASERS website cannot be mounted in a
TO3 housing; address your inquiry directly to A LPES L ASERS.
Bare Chips : untested laser chips
4
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.2 QCL housings and packages
1.2.1. Laboratory Laser Housing (LLH)
The LLH consists in a housing including a TEC and encapsulating the QCL chip;
it is designed to ease its installation and replacement. Its internal temperature is
controlled by a Peltier junction and a PT-100 or NTC temperature sensor, and can go
down to less than -30◦ C. Heat should be dissipated using one of the setups described
in section 3.1.2. The LLH temperature is controlled by the TCU (see section 1.3.1).
Figure 1.3.: LLH housing.
Figure 1.4.: LLH housing connection panel and window.
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.2.2. High Heat Load (HHL) Housing
The HHL housing is much smaller than the LLH and is completely sealed. The HHL
contains a Peltier junction and a PT-100 or NTC temperature sensor, which can be
controlled by the TCU (see section 1.3.1) or a local temperature control system. Heat
dissipation is performed by thermal contact with its copper base; the heat dissipation
capacity depends on the operation mode and environmental conditions. The IR beam
is collimated through a chalcogenide glass lens and goes through an AR-coated ZnSe
window.
Figure 1.5.: HHL housing.
6
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.2 QCL housings and packages
1.2.3. TO3 Housing
The TO3 housing is a hermetically sealed small-footprint housing designed for integration into commercial devices. It is available in two versions: the TO3-W has a
divergent output through an AR coated window, and the TO3-L (shown in figure 1.6)
has a collimated output. The TO3 contains a TEC and a NTC temperature sensor.
The TEC power is limited compared to the TEC included in the HHL or LLH housing,
therefore only pulsed lasers can be encapsulated in TO3 housings.
Figure 1.6.: TO3-L housing.
Note: QCLs mounted on an NS submount and controllers of the Starter Kit (see
section 1.3) are not compatible with the TO3 housing, therefore encapsulation of a
QCL in a TO3 housing is performed upon specific request only.
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.3. Starter kit
The purpose of the Starter Kit is to readily operate an A LPES L ASERS QCL. The
user must provide an external power supply; see section 3.1 for prerequisites and
section 1.4 for recommended peripherals. The kit is delivered with all cables needed
to connect the LLH or HHL housing, electronic devices (TCU, LDD and TPG for pulsed
operation), power cables and connections for optional water cooling. The installation
and connections of the Starter Kit components are described in chapter 3.
CW mode
The Starter Kit shown in figure 1.7 is meant to operate QCLs in CW mode. It consists
of the following elements, which are described in dedicated subsections:
• Temperature Controller Unit (TCU), section 1.3.1
• CIL and CTL or CTLm cables for laser driver and TCU, section 3.3
Figure 1.7.: Starter Kit for CW mode operation, shown with laser driver (not included
in the Starter Kit).
Note: a CW QCL is very sensitive to electrical surges and instabilities as any conventional bipolar laser diode (telecom NIR laser). It is necessary to use a good quality
power supply; see section 1.4 for recommended peripherals.
8
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.3 Starter kit
Pulsed mode
The Starter Kit shown in figure 1.8 is meant to operate QCLs in pulsed mode. It
consists of the following elements, which are described in dedicated subsections:
• Temperature Controller Unit (TCU), section 1.3.1
• Laser Diode Driver (LDD), section 1.3.2
• TTL pulse generator (TPG), section 1.3.3
• CPL and CTL or CTLm cables for laser driver and TCU, section 3.3
2
3
1
4
Figure 1.8.: Starter Kit TCU (2), LDD (3) and TPG (4) for operation in pulsed mode.
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.3.1. Temperature Controller (TCU)
The TCU purpose is to control the laser temperature inside the LLH or HHL housing. It
powers the Peltier junction and reads the temperature from the PT100 sensor coupled
to the laser chip (see section 1.2.1). The TCU internal parameters are set in factory
according to its use with a LLH or HHL housing. It maintains a preset temperature
using the front panel knobs (internal mode) or from a user supplied voltage (external
mode). It also provides an output for real temperature monitoring. The TCU interlock system protects the laser from overheating; see section 5.1 for TCU operation
procedures.
Figure 1.9.: TCU front panel.
10
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.3 Starter kit
1.3.2. Laser Diode Driver (LDD)
The Laser Diode Driver shown in figure 1.10 is a switching unit which creates current pulses to drive the laser. The LDD is controlled by a TPG (see section 1.3.3)
and powered by an external power supply. It is equipped with a Bias-T for electrical
wavelength tuning (see section B.3 for details).
Figure 1.10.: Laser Diode Driver (LDD).
Voltage rating and operating temperature
The LDD is based on dedicated power MOSFETS with compliance with up to 30A
and 60V. During operation, the temperature of the case should not exceed 60◦ C.
The LDD electronic card lies on a copper plate and no other means of active cooling
is provided. In normal conditions, those temperatures are not reached as the laser
operating voltage is of typically 2A, well above the LDD voltage rating.
Laser pulse parameters measurement
Estimated values of the laser pulse parameters (peak voltage, supply voltage, duty
cycle, frequency) can be measured through the BNC monitor connector with 20A/V
shown in figure 1.10. The data provided by the measuring unit is useful for monitoring
and surveillance, and to give a rough estimate of current parameters.
Note: the exact measurement of short strong pulses with diodes and averaging
circuitry is non-trivial, therefore accurate time and voltage measurements should be
performed directly on the LLH or HHL housing through the laser and base connectors.
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.3.3. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
The TPG shown in figure 1.11 is designed to power and control the LDD (see section
1.3.2) by generating TTL pulses on 50Ω. The pulse duration can be set from 0 to
200 ns and the interval between pulses from 200 ns to 105 µs. See section 5.2 for
operation instructions.
Figure 1.11.: TTL Pulse Generator (TPG).
12
QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.4 Peripherals
1.4. Peripherals
The following devices are recommended as peripherals for operating A LPES L ASERS
lasers.
CW laser driver : precision laser diode current source such as
• ILX L IGHTWAVE LDX-3232 High Compliance Quantum Cascade Laser
Diode Driver
(http://www.ilxlightwave.com/propgs/laser-diode-driver-3232.html)
Note: cables compatible with the LLH or HHL housing can be provided by
A LPES L ASERS.
• K EITHLEY Model 2420 High-Current SourceMeter w/ Measurements up to
60V and 3A, 60W Power Output
(http://www.keithley.com/products/dcac/currentvoltage/highcurrent/
?mn=2420)
Powermeter To measure the laser ouptput power, semiconductor powermeters such
as those from OPHIR can be used (www.ophiropt.com).
Spectrometer Low resolution measurements measurements can be done with monochromators such as a TRIAX320 from J OBIN Y VON (http://www.jobinyvon.com),
special measurements (high resolution and CW) with a spectrometer such as
the N ICOLET 800 and 860 FTIR (www.nicolet.com), or B RUKER I NSTRUMENTS
(www.bruker.com).
Fast detectors For time-critical measurements, detectors from V IGO S YSTEM SA
(www.vigo.com.pl).
Monitoring For monitoring laser emission, simple pyroelectric detectors can be used,
such as the LGTP101 by M EM T EK (memtek.lgcit.com).
Beam collimation Due to the large divergence of the beam, it is recommended to
use fast optics (f/1 . . . f/0.8) to collect most of the emitted light, like lens system aspheres from J ANOS (http://www.janostech.com) or Optical solutions
(http://www.opticalsolutionsinc.com).
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Chapter 1: Overview
1.5. Fields of applications
1.5.1. IR
The A LPES L ASERS QCLs address the need for gas sensing and spectroscopy applications in the wavelength region from 3 to 15µm as most chemical compounds have
their fundamental vibrational modes in the mid-infrared. More specifically, the high
transparency of the atmosphere in two so-called atmospheric windows at approximately 3-5µm and 8-12µm allows remote sensing and detection. The long wavelength
reduces Rayleigh scattering from dust and rain drops dramatically, allowing applications such as radars, ranging, anti-collision systems, covert telecommunications, etc.
As an example, Rayleigh scattering decreases by a factor 104 for wavelengths ranging
from 1µm to 10µm. Examples of applications are:
• Industrial process monitoring: contamination in semiconductor fabrication lines,
food processing, brewering, combustion diagnostics. Life sciences and medical
applications
• Medical diagnostics, biological contaminants.
• Law enforcement
Drug or explosive detection.
• Military: chemical/biological agents detection, counter measures, covert telecommunications.
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QCL user’s manual v3.0
1.5 Fields of applications
1.5.2. THz
Terahertz radiation is safe and non-ionizing. It bridges the gap between the midinfrared and microwaves. It can penetrate most non-conductive materials and can be
used in a wide range of applications:
• Water content mapping
• Tissue density mapping
• Metals detection
• Spectral identification
Terahertz QCLs operate in the range from 1 to 6 THz. Coherent polarized THz
radiation is generated by means of direct stimulated optical transitions of electrons
within the conduction band of a semiconductor heterostructure. THz lasers need
cryogenic cooling but at temperatures higher than 77K (boiling point of liquid nitrogen),
making their operation non-prohibitive in terms of cooling equipment.
A LPES L ASERS THz QCLs are available as CoC or readily mounted in a variable
temperature cryostat. A LPES L ASERS offers three types of cryogenic system solutions:
• LN2 dewar
• cryostat
• standalone
Contact A LPES L ASERS for more details.
Note: THz QCLs are not pre-tested; contact A LPES L ASERS to discuss the requirements for a specific application.
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2. Safety
A LPES L ASERS electronic equipment operates with high voltage and includes a L ASER
that may cause serious injury if not handled properly. The guidelines in this document
follow as closely as possible the IEC 60825-1 International Standard for safety of laser
products.
IMPORTANT:
This document provides general safety instructions. Site specific safety
regulations on electricity and lasers must be followed if they supersede
the recommendations in this manual.
Potential sources of hazard when working with the Starter Kit are environmental,
electrical or due to L ASER radiation; they are explained in more detail in sections 2.3.1,
2.3.2 and 2.3.3. The access to potentially dangerous operations is not controlled and
is left to the supervision of the owner.
IMPORTANT:
Any personnel working directly or in the surroundings of A LPES L ASERS
equipment must read carefully and understand the safety issues
discussed in this chapter.
Contents
2.1. General safety considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18
2.2. Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
19
2.2.1. Symbols and labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.3. Health hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
21
2.3.1. L ASER radiation hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.3.2. Electrical hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.3.3. Environmental hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
17
Chapter 2: Safety
2.1. General safety considerations
If any of the following conditions exist, or are even suspected, do not use the instrument until safe operation can be verified by trained service personnel:
• Visible damage
• Severe transport stress
• Prolonged storage under adverse conditions
• Failure to perform intended measurements or functions
If necessary, return the instrument to A LPES L ASERS for service or repair to ensure
that safety features are maintained.
18
QCL user’s manual v3.0
2.2 Notation
2.2. Notation
The use of DANGER, WARNING and CAUTION notation in this manual is conform to
the SEMI standard S-13-02981 ; their definition is given below. They may also be used
to alert against unsafe practices.
DANGER:
Indicates an immediate hazardous situation, which, if not avoided,
may result in death or serious injury.
WARNING:
Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which, if not avoided,
may result in death or serious injury.
CAUTION:
Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which, if not avoided,
may result in minor or moderate injury or property damage.
The use of IMPORTANT and Note notations is defined below.
IMPORTANT:
Contains instructions or practices associated with maintenance and operation
of the Starter Kit. Highlights specific actions or steps to be followed in order to
avoid defeating equipment functionality or cause product damage.
Note: contains instructions or practices associated with maintaining the Starter Kit.
Clarifies issues needing the reader’s attention.
1
SEMI S13-0298: Safety Guidelines for Operation and Maintenance Manuals Used with Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (Mountainview, CA) 1998
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Chapter 2: Safety
2.2.1. Symbols and labels
The danger and warning symbols used in this manual are shown in table 2.1.
general danger
electrical hazard
L ASER radiation hazard
safety eyewear mandatory
Table 2.1.: Safety symbols most commonly used in the A LPES L ASERS user’s manual.
20
QCL user’s manual v3.0
2.3 Health hazard
2.3. Health hazard
There are three main sources of hazard associated with the Starter Kit:
• L ASER radiation, detailed in section 2.3.1;
• electrical, detailed in section 2.3.2;
• environmental, detailed in section 2.3.3.
2.3.1. L ASER radiation hazard
The eye and skin are the body parts the most likely to be injured. Warnings for tasks
that may lead to health hazard when operating a QCL are shown below.
WARNING:
Never insert shiny objects in the L ASER beam path: stray reflections
can be extremely hazardous to eyes and skin.
2.3.2. Electrical hazard
Work on live electrical circuits must be performed using all appropriate precautions
and site specific procedures. Those tasks must be performed by qualified service
personnel familiar with the wiring schematics of A LPES L ASERS electronic equipment
only; electrical cabinets shall not be accessed during normal operation nor during
maintenance tasks.
DANGER:
Contact with the AC line can cause death or serious injury: ramp
down power from all the equipment before attempting any
maintenance procedure.
2.3.3. Environmental hazard
Always consult the material manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), paying close attention to dust and combustion by-products.
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This page intentionally left blank.
3. Installation
This chapter presents the general workflow between delivery and operation of A LPES
L ASERS QCLs and electronic equipment:
IMPORTANT:
The facility must fulfill all prerequisites listed in section 3.1, all utilities must be duly
prepared in a suitable location. The location of A LPES L ASERS QCLs and electronic
equipment must comply to the environmental conditions listed in section 3.1.1.
Contents
3.1. Prerequisites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
24
3.1.1. Environmental conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.1.2. Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
3.2. Receiving procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
27
3.3. Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
29
3.3.1. LLH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
3.3.2. HHL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
3.3.3. TO3
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
3.3.4. LDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.3.5. CTL cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
3.3.6. CTLm cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3.3.7. CPL cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.3.8. CIL cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.3.9. Connection procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
23
Chapter 3: Installation
3.1. Prerequisites
In this section are described the environmental conditions in which A LPES L ASERS
QCLs and electronic equipment should be stored and manipulated and prerequisites
for its operation. The items listed in table 3.1 must be provided by the customer for
A LPES L ASERS QCLs and electronic equipment to be operated. It is highly advisable
to have the recommended equipment available.
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Table 3.1.: Prerequisites for the operation of the A LPES L ASERS QCLs and Starter Kit.
3.1.1. Environmental conditions
The following guidelines are standard across all A LPES L ASERS products:
• Indoor use only
• Ordinary Protection: This product is NOT protected against the harmful ingress
of moisture.
• Maximum Relative Humidity: <80% RH, non-condensing
• Operating temperature range of 0◦ C to 40◦ C
• Storage and transportation temperature of -40◦ C to 70◦ C
24
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.1 Prerequisites
Storage
All A LPES L ASERS lasers are delivered in a hermetic waterproof storage box, shown
in figure 3.1, in which the laser chip is held with pins. This box should always be
used when storing the laser out of its housing. The laser chip is soldered to the pads
using In soldering, which melts at 120◦ C, therefore the storage temperature should
not exceed 80◦ C.
Figure 3.1.: A LPES L ASERS QCL storage box.
QCLs can be stored at ambient temperature (10 to 30◦ C) in normal atmosphere.
Humidity should not exceed 80%, and condensation is to be avoided. The laser must
be operated in a dry atmosphere below 50% relative humidity. If possible, it should be
completely dried using a desiccant material or by flushing with N2 .
CAUTION:
Even when packed, A LPES L ASERS equipment should not be exposed to rain,
snow or direct sunlight. Extreme temperature changes must be avoided.
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Chapter 3: Installation
3.1.2. Cooling
The laser performance is highly dependent on its operating temperature, it is therefore
necessary to cool down the laser accordingly. The following setups can be used:
• for LLH only: closed loop cooling system with chiller
• for LLH only: tap water, Swagelok fitting to the tap, 4 mm tubing
• good mechanical contact between the LLH or HHL housing or QCL submount
and the heat sink, such as an optical table
• heat sink and fan
CAUTION:
Overheating the laser chip may result in permanent damage.
26
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.2 Receiving procedure
3.2. Receiving procedure
Upon delivery of the Starter Kit, the following procedure must be performed:
1. check that all components are included in the shipment. By default, the QCL is
included in its housing1 ; the remainder consists of different sets of components
depending on the housing and operation mode of the laser. The default packing
lists are given in table 3.2.
LLH
TCU
LDD
TPG
power cords
CTL
CTLm
CPL
CIL
pulsed
x
x
x
x
x
HHL
CW
x
x
x
pulsed
x
x
x
x
CW
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Figure 3.2.: Packing lists.
IMPORTANT:
The customer must control the incoming deliveries and inform A LPES
L ASERS about incomplete shipments or defective goods within 30 days
after delivery.
2. before unpacking the Starter Kit components, make sure that all environmental
conditions and prerequisites are fulfilled (see sections 3.1.1 and 3.1).
3. for LLH only: mount the laser submount into the LLH housing following the
procedure presented in section 7.1.3.
4. check that the TCU voltage setting is appropriate: the fuse holder (6) on the
rear panel shown in figure 3.3 should be set to 100-120V and 60 Hz for North
America, 220-240 V and 50 Hz in Europe. If not, set the appropriate AC voltage
by setting the fuse holder in the proper position:
a) Pull out the fuse holder (3) from the socket (2)
b) check that the fuse holder is in the proper position to get the appropriate
voltage. The arrow on the fuse holder (3) should correspond to the mark
on the socket (2).
c) Insert the fuse holder (3) into the socket (2).
1
Replacement lasers are delivered in their storage box.
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Chapter 3: Installation
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Figure 3.3.: TCU installation: rear panel (left), fuse holder (right).
28
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3. Connections
Table 3.2 lists the cables and use of all connections for the Starter Kit including the
LLH or HHL housing operated in pulsed or CW mode. Refer to figure 3.4 for cable
identification.
IURP
WR
FDEOH
7&8
//+
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7&8
++/
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7&8
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Table 3.2.: Starter Kit connections. The "ref" column refers to cable numbering in
figure 3.4.
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Chapter 3: Installation
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eri
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10 .5
od
5 msms
−−
0 to
−−
20
50
0n
oh −−
Ga
ms
s
−−
te
−
IN
50
Trig
oh
ms
−D
OU
ura
T
tion
50
oh
ms
−
Ou
t1
Ou
t2
10
7
4
3
hm
0O
ito
r 20
, Z5
A/V
V
t
12V 60
Inpu pply Max
su rol
wer nt
Po nt co
re
Cur
Mon
conn Pu Out
ecte lse on put
d to top,
+ hi Bot
Hig tom
hV
olta
ge
D
LD
0
10
TC
Tem U1
pera 51
ture
Co
ntro
ller
5
6
Figure 3.4.: Starter Kit cables.
30
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3.1. LLH
The LLH front and rear panels shown in figure 3.5 consist of the following items:
• anti-reflective (3.5 to 12 µm) ZnSe coated laser beam window (1)
• CTL cable connector (2) for Peltier junction and PT-100 sensor
• connector for LBI or CIL cable (3)
• cooling water flow fittings (4) for 4 mm flexible cables
• monitoring base connector (5) and laser connector (6) for direct voltage measurement on the laser. The cables are not supplied by A LPES L ASERS as it is a
non-standard measurement.
1
2
3
177
6
4
5
Figure 3.5.: LLH
IMPORTANT:
The low impedance line and laser chip are floating and connected to the laser connector
and have negative polarity; the base connector must have positive polarity.
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Chapter 3: Installation
3.3.2. HHL
The HHL housing and CTLm cable shown in figure 3.6 must be connected according
to the numbering of the CTLm connector pins (from 1 to 10) and the HHL connector
pins description provided in section 3.3.6.
Figure 3.6.: HHL housing and CTLm cable.
32
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3.3. TO3
Figure 3.7 shows the TO3 housing connector; the pinout is detailed in table 3.3. TO3L and TO3-W housing have identical pinouts. The polarity of the laser connection is
specified on the laser datasheet.
Figure 3.7.: TO3 housing connector.
Pin nb
Purpose
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
TEC +
Thermistor
Thermistor
laser bondpad
laser substrate
Not connected
Not connected
TEC -
Table 3.3.: TO3 housing pinout.
Note: A LPES L ASERS does not produce cables for TO3 housings.
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Chapter 3: Installation
3.3.4. LDD
Figure 3.8 show the LDD connectors. The low-impedance line LBI has a locating pin
to avoid false connection on the LLH laser housing and on LDD. The LBI has to be
connected with "NEG" up unless specifically told to connect with "POS" up.
2
3
50
m
Oh
,Z
Mo
r
ito
20
V
A/
ut
12V 60V
Inp
pply ax
r su trol M
we
Po t con
en
rr
Cu
n
Ou
con Pu
n
ecte lse o tpu
d to n top t
+ h , Bo
iH
tt
igh om
Vo
lta
ge
0
D
LD
10
1
Figure 3.8.: LDD low impedance connector for LBI cable (1), drive cable connector for
CPL cable (2) and monitoring BNC connector (3).
IMPORTANT:
The connection between the LDD and LLH or HHL must be floating
and should not be grounded. Do not twist the LBI cable.
34
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3.5. CTL cable
The TCU controls the temperature of the LLH with a Peltier junction and monitors
the temperature with a PT100 through the CTL cable. The Peltier connector shown
in figure 3.9 carries 6 pins, described in table 3.4. Pin 1 is circled, and a half-moon
engraving runs from pin 1 to pin 6. A fixed current is supplied to pin 3 and 6. The
resistance of the PT100 varies as a function of temperature and the temperature
measurement is given by the voltage between pin 4 and 5.
6
1
5
6
4
7
5
2
1
1
3
4
3
2
Figure 3.9.: Peltier junction and PT100 cable connectors on LLH (left) and TCU (right).
pin nb name purpose
1
1 +power supply for Peltier element
2
2 -power supply for Peltier element
3
3 +I PT100
4
4 +signal PT100
5
5 -signal PT100
6
6 -I PT100
7
GND ground
Table 3.4.: CTL cable connector pinout.
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Chapter 3: Installation
3.3.6. CTLm cable
The CTLm cable connects the HHL on one side, and splits into two connectors on
the other side: one for the TCU, the other for the laser driver. The TCU controls the
temperature of the HHL with a Peltier junction and monitors the temperature with a
PT100 temperature sensor. The TCU side of the CTLm cable is the same as the CTL
cable, as described in section 3.3.5. The laser driver connector is compatible with the
CIL cable for CW mode operation, or the LBI cable for pulsed mode operation. The
HHL side of the CTLm cable contains the female connections described in table 3.5.
pin nb
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
purpose
-power supply for Peltier element
(no corresponding pin)
(not connected)
+power supply for laser
-signal PT100
+signal PT100
-power supply for laser
(not connected)
(not connected)
+power supply for Peltier element
Table 3.5.: CTLm cable HHL connector pinout.
The CTLm male connector for the laser driver has the same function as the LLH
laser and base connector. It consists of two rows of pins; in one row, all pins are
connected, and correspond to the laser connector (negative polarity), in the other
row, two pins are removed, and correspond to the base connector (positive polarity).
36
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3.7. CPL cable
The CPL cable shown in figure 3.10 connects the LDD to the TPG and external power
supply, using a DE-9 connector on the LDD side, yellow/black banana connectors for
Bias-T operation, Lemo 00 for LDD power supply, BNC for LDD timing signal and
red/black banana connectors for TPG power supply
Figure 3.10.: CPL cable.
The LDD side consists of a D-sub-9 connector, composed of 9 pins as shown in
figure 3.11 and described in table 3.6.
Figure 3.11.: DE-9 connector pinout numbering.
pin nb
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
purpose
+ external power supply (red banana cable)
center of LEMO connector (+12 V)
(not connected)
center of BNC connector
+ yellow banana cable
- external power supply (black banana cable, associated with red banana cable)
LEMO ground (chassis)
BNC ground (chassis)
- black banana cable (associated with yellow banana cable)
Table 3.6.: CPL cable connector pinout.
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Chapter 3: Installation
3.3.8. CIL cable
The CIL cable connects the LLH housing to the ILX LDX-3232 CW laser driver. On
the LLH end, the connector consists of two rows of pin slots. All slots of one row
are connected together, resulting in two terminals. In order to insure the correct polarity, some slots are filled with solder, which should match broken pins on the LLH
connector.
The ILX side of the CIL cable consists of a D-sub-9 connector, shown in figure 3.11
and described in table 3.7.
pin nb
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
purpose
shorted with pin 2
shorted with pin 1
(not connected)
LLH connector (negative polarity)
LLH connector (negative polarity)
(not connected)
(not connected)
LLH connector (positive polarity)
LLH connector (positive polarity)
Table 3.7.: CIL cable connector pinout.
38
QCL user’s manual v3.0
3.3 Connections
3.3.9. Connection procedure
The procedure to connect the Starter Kit components depends on the laser housing
and operation mode. Refer to figure 3.4 for cable identification.
In all cases
To prevent any damage to the Starter Kit components, make sure the TPG, TCU and
the external power supply are all turned off.
CAUTION:
Make sure that the connectors polarity is correct: the laser’s ground
must be floating for both its anode and cathode. Inverting the
connector’s polarity may result in permanent damage to the laser.
CW mode operation
• LLH housing in CW mode:
1. connect the LLH to the TCU using the CTL cable
2. connect the ILX to the LLH using the CIL cable
3. if available, connect the cooling water tubing to the corresponding connectors of the LLH
Note: if no water cooling is being used, carefully monitor the LLH module
case temperature. Air cooling and heat dissipation must be provided.
CAUTION:
If the LLH module case exceeds a temperature of 60◦ C, permanent
damage to the laser chip may occur.
• HHL housing in CW mode:
1. connect the HHL to the TCU using the CTLm
2. connect the ILX to the HHL using the CIL cable through the CTLm cable
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Chapter 3: Installation
Pulsed mode operation
1. connect the CPL cable to the LDD
2. connect the LDD to the TPG:
a) using the CPL Lemo 00 +12VDC cable for power supply of the LDD
b) using the CPL BNC cable into the Out1 and Out2 output
IMPORTANT:
The LDD ground must be floating.
3. connect the LDD to the external power supply using the CPL red and black
banana cables
4. if no bias-T external circuit is to be used, shortcut the signal (yellow) and ground
(black) banana cables by connecting them together. See section B.3 for details
on bias-T control
• LLH housing in pulsed mode:
1. connect the LLH to the TCU using the CTL cable
2. connect the LLH to the LDD using the low impedance line LBI
3. if available, connect the cooling water tubing to the corresponding connectors of the LLH
Note: if no water cooling is being used, carefully monitor the LLH module
case temperature. Air cooling and heat dissipation must be provided.
CAUTION:
If the LLH module case exceeds a temperature of 60◦ C, permanent
damage to the laser chip may occur.
• HHL housing in pulsed mode:
1. connect the HHL to the TCU using the CTLm
2. connect the HHL to the LDD using the low impedance line LBI via the
CTLm cable
40
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4. QCL Operation
In this chapter, the general operation principle of a QCL is presented, and its main
characteristics are illustrated using actual plots included in the datasheet provided
with each A LPES L ASERS QCL upon delivery.
Contents
4.1. Principle of operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
42
4.2. A LPES L ASERS datasheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
43
4.3. QCL spectra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
44
4.3.1. Temperature and current tuning
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
4.3.2. Linewidth of pulsed single-mode DFB QCLs . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.3.3. Linewidth of CW single-mode DFB QCLs . . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.3.4. Bandwidth of multi-mode FP QCLs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
4.4. I-V curve and emitted power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
48
4.4.1. Maximum operating current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
4.4.2. Maximum LDD voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4.4.3. Other DFB QCL plots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4.5. Beam Properties
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
53
41
Chapter 4: QCL Operation
4.1. Principle of operation
Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) are unipolar lasers emitting in the mid-infrared from
4 to 20 microns. The laser is a ridge of InGaAs and AlInAs grown on InP providing
gain and a Fabry-Pérot cavity in order to build up the laser oscillations. A LPES L ASERS
produces QCLs of two types:
• Distributed Feedback (DFB) QCL: a grating is etched over the active region to
force the operation of the laser at very specific wavelength given by the grating
periodicity.
• Fabry-Pérot (FP) QCLs are capable of producing higher powers, but are typically multi-mode. They emit in a broad range of wavelengths and can cover
more than 10% of the central emitting wavelength. FP QCLs are well suited for
applications such as liquid spectroscopy and high power emitting sources, for
which broadband emission is acceptable, and when no signal purity is required.
– Broadgain QCLs consist in FP lasers designed for maximum width of the
gain profile. They can be used as broad spectrum illuminators for spectroscopy or imaging. Combined with an anti-reflection coating, they are
suitable for use in an external cavity to obtain a tunable laser with a wide
tuning range.
– THz FP QCLs can reach wavelengths of 70 to 200 µm but must be operated under cryogenic conditions; contact A LPES L ASERS for more details.
42
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.2 A LPES L ASERS datasheet
4.2. A LPES L ASERS datasheet
The datasheet provided with each A LPES L ASERS QCL upon delivery contains the
data obtained from standardized quality control tests performed at A LPES L ASERS
production site. The tests are performed on the QCL installed in a test-bench LLH
housing operated at a temperature ranging from -30◦ C up to their maximal operating
temperature (up to +50◦ C). If the QCL is then encapsulated in a different type of housing, the tests are repeated and a new datasheet is provided to the user. The measured parameters are used for controlling and comparing laser chips, performance
evaluation and as starting points for operation parameters; they are readily available
on A LPES L ASERS website. Those parameters can be extrapolated for a specific application, or broader tests can be performed at A LPES L ASERS on demand.
IMPORTANT:
The operating parameters are specified in the datasheet provided with each laser
upon delivery; any operation outside the specified range must be agreed with A LPES
L ASERS or may result in the loss of warranty.
In the following sections, examples of plots shown in the datasheets are presented,
in order to help the user in operating A LPES L ASERS QCLs in a safe and efficient
manner.
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Chapter 4: QCL Operation
4.3. QCL spectra
A QCL is characterized by its emission frequency (spectral domain), wavelength or
wavenumber (spatial domain); all three are equivalent. The following table gives typical values for A LPES L ASERS QCLs.
wavelength (λ)
4 - 20 µm
4000 - 20 000 nm
frequency (f )
15 - 75 THz
wavenumber (ν )
500 - 2500 cm−1
4.3.1. Temperature and current tuning
QCL emission can be precisely tuned with temperature (slow tuning) or current (quick
tuning), but the later is in fact just apparent, as it results from the increase of temperature of the active region1 .
DFB QCL
Figure 4.1 shows the temperature and current tuning on a DFB laser operated in CW
and pulsed modes. The wavelength increases (or the wavenumber decreases) by a
factor varying between 7 · 10−5 and 9 · 10−5 for a temperature increase of 1 degree.
For example, the total tuning for a 2000 cm−1 QCL operating over a range of -30 to
+30◦ C will vary between 8.4 and 10.8 cm−1 , depending on the laser.
FP QCL
The spectrum of a FP laser of figure 4.2 shows an interference structure caused by
the Fabry-Perot effect of the reflections at both ends of the laser chip, superimposed
on a wide gain envelope. A temperature change will modify both these structures:
the FP spectrum evolution is driven by the length of the laser cavity, which can vary,
and the gain envelope evolves in unpredictable ways due to mode competition. The
A LPES L ASERS datasheet provides spectra taken at regular temperature intervals;
additional requests on the spectral shape should be discussed with A LPES L ASERS.
Figure 4.3 shows the spectrum of broadgain lasers.
1
The temperature changes the apparent optical length of the grating, tuning the waveguide refraction
index.
44
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.3 QCL spectra
Figure 4.1.: Spectra of a DFB laser operated in CW mode (top) and pulsed mode
(bottom) with different currents and temperatures.
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Chapter 4: QCL Operation
Figure 4.2.: Spectra of a FP laser operated in CW mode at fixed temperature and
different currents.
Figure 4.3.: Spectra of four different broadgain lasers.
46
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.3 QCL spectra
4.3.2. Linewidth of pulsed single-mode DFB QCLs
The linewidth of DFB QCLs operated in pulsed mode depends on the pulse length,
and is affected by chirping, which occurs because of thermal variations of the laser.
• Fine linewidth is obtained with short pulses (25 to 50 ns). A LPES L ASERS QCLs
are tested using pulse length of 25 to 50 ns, showing a linewidth < 0.2 cm−1 .
• Very fine linewidth (< 0.1 cm−1 ) is obtained with pulses of 10 ns, which can be
produced by dedicated equipment only.
• Longer pulses (> 50 ns) induce chirping, producing a broader linewidth when
detected with a slow detector.
A LPES L ASERS standard tests verify that DFB QCLs are singlemode, i.e. have a
linewidth not exceeding 0.2 cm−1 with pulses of 50 ns.
Note: A LPES L ASERS QCLs are characterized with a pulse length of 50 ns, but
some QCLs may withstand pulse lengths up to 400 ns.
IMPORTANT:
The maximum pulse length an A LPES L ASERS DFB QCL operated in pulsed mode
can withstand is of typically 200 ns. Requirements for operation with pulses longer
than 50 ns must be specified before purchasing a laser.
IMPORTANT:
The operating parameters are specified in the datasheet provided with each laser
upon delivery; any operation outside the specified range must be agreed with A LPES
L ASERS or may result in the loss of warranty.
4.3.3. Linewidth of CW single-mode DFB QCLs
DFB QCLs operated in CW mode reach thermal equilibrium with pulse length of 10 ms
and longer. In this case, transient behavior affects only the beginning of the pulse, and
can be neglected. The linewidth is therefore limited by thermal noise and electronic
noise produced by the driver. Very long pulses (>100 ms) will behave in a CW manner,
and shorter pulses will exhibit chirping as pulsed lasers do, and may induce multimode behavior.
A LPES L ASERS
c 2012
IMPORTANT:
QCLs operated in CW mode are guaranteed to be single mode if
operated with long pulses (> 10 ms) only.
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47
Chapter 4: QCL Operation
4.3.4. Bandwidth of multi-mode FP QCLs
In the case of FP QCLs, the bandwidth is defined as the wavelength range in which
99% of the power is emitted. It depends on the driving current and is not affected by
the operating temperature. A LPES L ASERS QCLs operated in CW mode can withstand
any pulse length.
4.4. I-V curve and emitted power
Figures 4.4 show the IV curves of DFB and FP lasers operated in CW at different
temperatures. On the same graph the emitted power is plotted as a function of operation current, showing the current threshold for each temperature. For example,
the DFB laser operated in CW mode (figure 4.4 ) has a threshold of 0.6 A at 20◦ C. It
can be seen that cooling the QCL during operation enhances its performance as the
threshold current decreases and output power increases.
CAUTION:
Do not operate the laser with a temperature and current above the
values specified in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet. Permanent
damage may result.
Figure 4.5 can be used to illustrate the temperature and current tuning of a DFB
QCL operated in pulsed mode:
• the power increases from 3 to 6 mW using a peak current of 4 A and varying
the temperature from -30 to 30◦ C.
• for a temperature of 0◦ C, the power increases from 0 to 5.5 mW by increasing
the peak current from 2 to 5 A.
48
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.4 I-V curve and emitted power
Figure 4.4.: IV curves of DFB laser (top) and FP laser (bottom) operated in CW mode
at different temperatures.
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Chapter 4: QCL Operation
4.4.1. Maximum operating current
All QCLs have a maximum operating current above which a Negative Differential Resistance (NDR) appears and may destroy the laser. As an example, figure 4.5 shows
the IV curve and emitted power of a DFB QCL operated in pulsed mode: the green
squares indicate the maximum current for monomode operation, 4.7 A from -30 to
30◦ C in the present case.
CAUTION:
The maximum operating current of each A LPES L ASERS QCL is
indicated in the IV and emitted power plots caption of the datasheet.
Do not operate the laser with a current above those values;
permanent damage may result.
Figure 4.5.: IV curves of a DFB QCL operated in pulsed mode at different
temperatures.
50
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.4 I-V curve and emitted power
4.4.2. Maximum LDD voltage
Figure 4.6 shows the pulse peak current and emitted power as a function of the voltage fed to the LDD. In pulsed mode, the QCL operating current is controlled by the
LDD, which is itself controlled by changing its operating voltage. The maximum LDD
voltage is indicated by green squares on the emitted power curves; in this particular
case, the voltage must not exceed 15 VDC.
CAUTION:
The maximum operating LDD voltage is indicated in the A LPES
L ASERS datasheet. Do not operate the LDD with a voltage above
those values; permanent damage may result.
Figure 4.6.: Peak voltage and averaged emitted power as a function of LDD voltage
of a DFB QCL operated in pulsed mode at different temperatures.
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Chapter 4: QCL Operation
4.4.3. Other DFB QCL plots
The plots displayed in figure 4.7 show the emitted power and LDD voltage as a function of frequency, temperature and operating current. These curves help when setting
up the operation parameters of a DFB QCL.
Figure 4.7.: Emitted power (top) and LDD voltage (bottom) as a function of frequency
for a DFB laser operated in pulsed mode at different temperatures.
52
QCL user’s manual v3.0
4.5 Beam Properties
4.5. Beam Properties
Divergence
Figure 4.8 shows a typical A LPES L ASERS QCL beam profile. Unipolar lasers consist
in tightly confined waveguides; for this reason, the beam diffracts strongly at the output
facet and has a full divergence angle of about 60 degrees perpendicular to the layer
(vertical angle) and 40 degrees parallel to the layers (horizontal angle). A f/1 optics
will typically collect about 70% of the emitted output power. Note that the collected
output power will decrease with the square of the f-number of the collection optics.
Figure 4.8.: QCL beam profile.
Polarization
Because the intersubband transition exhibits a quantum mechanical selection rule,
the emission from a unipolar laser is always polarized linearly with the electric field
perpendicular to the layers (and the copper submount).
Mode
A LPES L ASERS QCLs are designed to have a single spatial mode, typically the Gaussian TEM00 mode. A mode measurement can be performed by A LPES L ASERS on
demand for a specific application.
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5. Starter Kit Operation
In this chapter are presented the operation instructions for the different components
of the Starter Kit and the procedures to be followed for starting up and operating an
A LPES L ASERS laser.
IMPORTANT:
The operating parameters are listed in the datasheet provided with
each laser; any operation outside the specified range must be
agreed with A LPES L ASERS or may result in the loss of warranty.
Contents
5.1. Temperature Controller Unit (TCU)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
56
5.1.1. TCU startup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
5.1.2. Internal/external mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
5.1.3. TCU interlock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
5.2. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
60
5.2.1. Internal and external modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
5.2.2. Setting the pulse parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
5.2.3. Maximum duty cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
5.3. General procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
65
5.3.1. QCL startup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
5.3.2. QCL shutdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
55
Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
5.1. Temperature Controller Unit (TCU)
The TCU front and rear panels are shown in figure 5.1 and described below.
1
9
2
3
MaUTP
x: 1 U
5V T
/6A
TC
Re
set
Tem U1
per 51
atu
re
Co
ntr
olle
r
Re
Se
al
ttin
C Rea
g
lI
C
Se
ttin
g+
I
Se
ttin
g−
I
Inte
rna
l
Zo
ut:
20
0o
hm
Ex
ter
10 nal
0 m Re
V/ f.
C
Zin
:1
Mo
hm
0
Ex
ter
nal
US
E
FU ON
SE LY
UN S W
DE IQUE/ EM ITH
S
PL 25
11 FUSI MENT OY 0V
0−12 BL
ER
0V ES AVEC
DE
25
0v
22
0−24
0V
Ala
rm
12
MO
N
10 ITOR
mV IN
/CG
1
Inte
rlo
ckin
g
+
4
−
5
8
6
7
10
11
Figure 5.1.: TCU front (left) and rear (right) panels.
56
QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.1 Temperature Controller Unit (TCU)
Command description
(1) Set Temperature 5 turns knob: Allows to set the internal temperature reference.
(2) LCD 3 digits display: Used to display either the actual sensor or reference
temperature/current.
(3) Switch to select which temperature or current signals to display.
(4) Alarm display LED.
(5) Alarm reset switch.
(6) Toggle switch to select a function:
Set ◦ C targeted temperature setting
Real ◦ C actual temperature measurement in ◦ C
Real I actual current in TEC given in A
Set +I highest current allowed
Set -I lowest current allowed
(7) Setting Current adjustment knobs. allow to modify the highest and lowest
allowed currents, which are set in factory to 5A for the LLH and 2A for the HHL.
(8) Power ON/OFF fuse combined main switch.
(9) To LLH: A MPHENOL connector for LLH or LLH temperature control.
(10) Interlock BNC connector (see section 5.1.3).
(11) External reference BNC connector.
(12) Monitoring: BNC connector, see section 5.1.2 for details.
Note: the temperature setting and reading may have an offset of typically 0.1◦ C.
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Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
5.1.1. TCU startup
1. make sure the laser power supply is disconnected (see section 3.3 for connections)
2. turn on the TCU
3. set the desired temperature:
a) select Setting oC using the switch (3) shown in figure 5.1 to display the
desired temperature
b) turn the knob (5) to set the temperature to the desired value
c) select Real oC using the switch (3) to display the actual temperature
4. allow the laser temperature to reach the temperature setting
CAUTION:
Do not operate the laser at a temperature above the values specified
in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet. Permanent damage may result.
5. connect back the laser power supply
5.1.2. Internal/external mode
In internal mode, the temperature setting is performed using the temperature knob
of the TCU front panel. In external mode, the temperature setting, monitoring and
interlock are performed by an external control system using the BNC connections of
the rear panel. In that case:
1. set the switch (5) to external
2. provide a ±6.5V power supply to the External Ref BNC connector, using 100
mV/◦ C
3. read out the temperature through the Monitoring BNC connector, providing 10
mV/◦ C.
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QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.1 Temperature Controller Unit (TCU)
5.1.3. TCU interlock
The built-in TCU interlock is activated when a fault occurs on the TCU controller, e.g.
prompt temperature rise. The interlock is by default an NC (Normally Close) relay
contact, and may be reset by pressing the reset button (3) shown in figure 5.2.
Note: it is also possible to set the Interlock as a NO (Normally Open) contact.
Ala
rm
Re
set
Ex
ter
nal
2
Inte
rna
l
3
Figure 5.2.: TCU interlock.
Recovery procedure
This procedure must be followed in order to recover the temperature controller from
an interlock event.
1. Turn off the QCL following procedure 5.3.2.
2. Identify the fault which activated the interlock and fix it.
3. Wait until the temperature is lower than the maximum allowed.
4. Press the RESET button (3) on the TCU rear panel (see figure 5.2).
The interlock is reset and the red LED alarm (2) should be off.
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Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
5.2. TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
The front and rear panels of the TPG are shown in figure 1.11; a detailed view of the
front panel is shown below in figure 5.3.
1
2
3
4
TP
G1
28
−T
TL
Pu
−−
ls
−−
0.2 e G
−−
ene
+12
0.5 to 2
−−
rato
0VV
−P
5 toto 1.2 µs
er i
r
1050.5 µ
od
OF
F
Po
we
r
ma
x6
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A
ON
−−
Ga
9
50
te
IN
Trig
−−
oh
m
OU
s
µs s
−−
−−
50
oh
m
s
T
Ou
8
0 to
−
t1
−D
ura
tio
50
oh
ms
Ou
7
200
ns
t2
6
5
Figure 5.3.: TPG front panel.
Command description
The pulse duration can be set from 0 to 200ns and the interval between pulses from
200ns to 105 µs in 3 ranges, using the (2), (3) and (4) knobs shown in figure 5.3.
Note: the parameters should be adjusted using a scope following procedure 5.2.2.
(1) Power ON/OFF switch
(2) Pulse period fine potentiometer (10 turns)
(3) Pulse period range switch (3 positions)
(4) Pulse duration potentiometer (10 turns)
(5) BNC 50Ω TTL Output
(6) BNC 50Ω TTL Trig OUT
(7) BNC 50Ω TTL Trig IN
(8) BNC 50Ω TTL Gate IN
(9) CPL cable Lemo 00 12VDC output connector
60
QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.2 TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
5.2.1. Internal and external modes
The TPG can be operated in internal or external mode; the mode is selected with a
switch on the rear panel of the TPG, as shown in figure 1.11. The input and output
signals are provided or generated through the four BNC connectors shown in figure
5.3:
• in internal mode, a periodic signal is generated through the Output BNC connector. The Trig OUT BNC connector provides a 200 ns pulse for monitoring
purpose or lock-in operation.
• in external mode, a signal is provided to the TPG through the Gate IN or
Trig IN BNC connectors; in both cases the trigger precedes the output pulse
by about 100ns.
– the output generated with the Gate IN is a train of pulses corresponding
to intANDext signals, as shown in figure 5.4.
– the output generated with the Trig IN is a single pulse for a rising signal,
as shown in figure 5.5.
73*LQWHUQDOVLJQDO
*DWH,QH[WHUQDOVLJQDO
2XWSXWVLJQDO
Figure 5.4.: TPG Gate IN external mode signal.
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Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
73*LQWHUQDOVLJQDO
7ULJ,QH[WHUQDOVLJQDO
2XWSXWVLJQDO
Figure 5.5.: TPG Trig IN external mode signal.
62
QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.2 TTL Pulse Generator (TPG)
5.2.2. Setting the pulse parameters
1. remove the TPG from the Starter Kit and connect it to the mains independently
2. set the TPG mode to internal
3. connect the TPG to a scope using the Output
should be displayed
BNC cable: a 5V TTL signal
4. set the pulse parameters as specified in the datasheet (see section 4.2):
a) set the pulse duration to 50 ns using the 0-200 ns knob (4)
b) set the pulse period to 2.5 µs using the period knob (2) and toggle switch
(3)
5. once the testing conditions are retrieved, set the pulse parameters as desired,
but within a reasonable range of the parameters specified in the datasheet.
Note: the pulse duration should be kept long enough to not distort the TTL
signal.
6. lock the knobs (2) and (4)
7. turn off the TPG and disconnect it from the mains
IMPORTANT:
The operating parameters are specified in the datasheet provided with each laser;
any operation outside the specified range must be agreed with A LPES L ASERS or
may result in the loss of warranty.
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Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
5.2.3. Maximum duty cycle
The TPG is capable of operating with pulses as long as 200 ns; however for short
periods (high duty cycle) the following limitations apply:
T=400ns: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t max = 200ns
T=300ns: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t max = 200ns
T=250ns: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t max = 150ns
T=200ns: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t max = 100ns
where T is the period and tmax is maximum pulse length.
CAUTION:
The laser shall only be operated under conditions as specified in
the datasheet or by A LPES L ASERS directly: all other operation may
result in the destruction of the laser and loss of warranty.
While the TPG alone is capable of exceeding a duty cycle of 50% in some conditions, the maximum duty cycle of the pulser system is of 50%; a fuse protects the
TPG from operating at larger cycles when under load. If larger cycles are needed,
the LDD must be powered by an external 12V power supply. To operate a laser with a
duty cycle higher than specified, it is mandatory to monitor its average output power
and comply to the following guidelines:
• do not increase the duty cycle further when the power saturates, but rather
reduce it.
• it is advisable to increase the duty cycle by reducing the pulse period, rather
than increasing the pulse length, since the latter is more likely to damage the
laser: increasing the pulse length increases the short time heat load on the
laser, as reducing the pulse period increases the average heat load.
• the exact percentage of maximum duty cycle depends on the laser
64
QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.3 General procedures
5.3. General procedures
CAUTION:
The laser shall only be operated under conditions as specified in
the datasheet or by A LPES L ASERS directly: all other operation may
result in the destruction of the laser and loss of warranty.
5.3.1. QCL startup
In order to insure the laser’s performance and enhance its lifetime, the following steps
must be followed thoroughly:
1. make sure all devices are turned off
2. start cooling for LLH or HHL housing (see section 3.1 for prerequisites)
CAUTION:
The laser must be used at the temperature specified in the datasheet.
Operating the laser below or above the given temperature is likely to
damage the laser and will result in the loss of warranty.
Contact A LPES L ASERS or a representant before using the laser at a temperature outside the range specified in the datasheet.
3. startup the TCU following procedure 5.1.1
4. if the laser is operated in CW mode, follow procedures included in the CW laser
driver OEM manual. Always keep the current 1mA above 0 to avoid reversing
the polarity.
5. if the laser is operated in pulsed mode:
a) startup the external power supply:
i. connect the external power supply to mains
ii. remove the red/black banana cables
iii. turn on the external power supply
iv. set the voltage and current to 0, but keep the voltage 100 mV above 0
to avoid accidental polarity reversal
v. turn off the external power supply
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Chapter 5: Starter Kit Operation
vi. connect the red/black banana cables
vii. switch on the external power supply
b) setup the TPG pulse parameters following the guidelines of section 5.2
c) connect the TPG back to the Starter Kit and turn it on
CAUTION:
Make sure the laser temperature is below specifications before
turning on the external power supply. Overheating the laser chip
may result in permanent damage.
6. increase the voltage slowly and monitor the current according to the QCL IV
curve included in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet (see section 4.4):
• the current should start increasing at the threshold voltage, at a value close
to the one indicated in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet
• for pulsed mode: at maximum voltage, the current supplied by the external power supply (eps) should correspond to the maximum peak current
(see section 4.4.1) of the datasheet multiplied by the duty cycle with some
overhead:
Ieps = Ipeak × duty cycle + overhead
CAUTION:
Do not exceed maximum voltage or current specified in A LPES
L ASERS datasheet. Permanent damage to the laser chip may occur.
• if no current is flowing, a misconnection might be the cause, repeat step 8
of the installation procedure described in section 3.2
• if a current above 100 mA is read, a ground loop might be the cause, review
all connections according to section 3.3
7. monitor the laser power using a powermeter:
a) make sure that the range suits the power range of the laser (see datasheet)
b) reset it to 0
c) align the laser beam with the powermeter
The power should start rising around the threshold of the A LPES L ASERS datasheet
IV curve (see section 4.4).
Note: exact power measurement of an IR beam is very difficult as it depends
on ambient temperature and powermeter characteristics. Therefore the exact
values shown in the datasheet might not be reproduced in a different setup as
the one used by A LPES L ASERS for routine tests.
66
QCL user’s manual v3.0
5.3 General procedures
5.3.2. QCL shutdown
1. reduce the external power supply voltage slowly, do not reach 0 as the polarity
might reverse
CAUTION:
Make sure the polarity of the laser is correct. Permanent
damage may occur.
2. if the QCL is operated in pulsed mode: turn off the TPG
3. set the TCU to a temperature close to ambient temperature
4. wait until the temperature setting is reached
5. turn off the TCU
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This page intentionally left blank.
6. Technical specifications
The technical specifications of A LPES L ASERS products are given in the following
tables:
• QCLs in table 6.1
• housings in table 6.2
• electronic equipment in table 6.3
• Broadgain Lasers bandwidth in table 6.4
Some technicals drawings are provided in figures 6.5, 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8.
!"#$
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Figure 6.1.: Technical specifications of A LPES L ASERS QCLs.
69
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Figure 6.2.: Technical specifications of A LPES L ASERS QCL housings.
Chapter 6: Technical specifications
70
'*
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c 2012
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4#
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Figure 6.3.: Technical specifications of A LPES L ASERS electronic equipment.
6.0
71
Chapter 6: Technical specifications
Figure 6.4.: Examples of broadgain laser parameters, , where FP min and max are
the limits of the multimode emission, PEC min and max are the observed
limits of single mode pulsed emission in an external cavity and CWEC min
and max the observed limits of continuous emission in an external cavity.
Parameters were measured without AR coatings. Note that performance
may vary depending on the external cavity.
Figure 6.5.: HHL housing.
72
QCL user’s manual v3.0
6.0
2
1
Figure 6.6.: NS (left) and ST (right) mounting support.
1.5
2.5
front view
2
1.5
19
13
3
3
5
3.5
top view
7
2.2
(values in mm)
emission
from front
facet
2
Figure 6.7.: NS mounting.
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Chapter 6: Technical specifications
0.6mm pad
front view
copper submount
2mm
20mm
top view
"down"
pad
laser chip
4mm
"up"
pad
7mm
4mm
emission
from front
facet
1
Figure 6.8.: ST mounting.
74
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7. Maintenance
In this chapter the maintenance procedures for the installation of a QCL in the HHL
housing and Starter Kit components calibration are presented.
IMPORTANT:
The maintenance procedures included in this chapter have to be
followed carefully by expert users only. Delicate operations may
result in permanent damage to the laser if not carried out properly.
Contents
7.1. Laser installation in LLH housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
76
7.1.1. Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
7.1.2. Contact set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
7.1.3. Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
7.1.4. UP and DN contact exchange
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
7.2. Calibration procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7.2.1. TCU interlock level setting procedure
82
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
7.2.2. TCU calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
7.2.3. TPG calibration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
75
Chapter 7: Maintenance
7.1. Laser installation in LLH housing
In this sections are presented guidelines for manipulating the laser safely and the
procedure for exchanging the laser in a LLH housing.
7.1.1. Handling
The laser should always lay flat, with its vertical axis upwards, on a flat and stable
surfaces, without touching anything around its circumference. When mounted in an
appropriate and stable holder, it can be operated in any orientation.
CAUTION:
Do not position the laser upside down. This may damage the
bonding wires and possibly the laser itself.
The most delicate parts of a QCL are the laser chip itself and the bonds connecting
it to the ceramic pads (see section 1.1.2 for details). Therefore the QCL should be
manipulated using tweezers touching the submount, as shown in figure 7.1. Whenever possible, carry the QCL laying flat on a stable surface. Avoid contact of the front
facet of the QCL with any object, like the walls of its storage box.
Figure 7.1.: Handling of QCL.
76
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.1 Laser installation in LLH housing
CAUTION:
Do not touch the bonds nor the laser chip itself, as the QCL may be
permanently damaged.
CAUTION:
Avoid any dust to deposit on the laser chip or any laser submount
item. Malfunctioning or permanent damage to the laser may occur.
7.1.2. Contact set
The contact set shown in figures 7.2 connects the laser active pad to the low impedance
line of the LLH through a copper contact, as shown in figure 7.3.
Figure 7.2.: LLH contact set, top (left) and bottom (right).
The laser submount is screwed onto the LLH base copper plate, on which the contact set is screwed to insure electrical contact between the selected pad and the low
impedance line, as shown in figure 7.4. The low impedance line (LBI) connects the
laser chip to the LDD in pulsed mode, or external power supply in CW mode, through
the LLH laser and base connectors.
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Chapter 7: Maintenance
3(7FRQWDFWVHW
ODVHUFKLS
SDG
VXEPRXQWFRSSHUSODWH
EDVHFRSSHUSODWH
3HOWLHUMXQFWLRQ
Figure 7.3.: Schematic side view of the laser submount, contact set and LLH.
Figure 7.4.: Inside view of the LLH, without (left) and with (right) contact set.
78
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.1 Laser installation in LLH housing
7.1.3. Procedure
This procedure allows the installation of a new laser into the LLH housing.
1. disconnect the LLH and open its cover (2), as shown in figure 7.7
1
2
3
4
Figure 7.5.: Exchanging the laser in the LLH housing.
2. remove the two screws (3) holding the contact set (4) using a 2mm hex key
3. remove the contact set using the central PET1 knob, as show in figure 7.6. Note:
this PET screw is used as a knob, do not remove it.
4. remove the two screws holding the laser submount using a 1.5 mm hex key, as
show in figure 7.6
5. remove the laser submount from its storage box using tweezers
IMPORTANT:
The guidelines presented in section 7.1.1 must be followed carefully.
1
PET refers to polyethylene teraphtalate, a common plastic.
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Chapter 7: Maintenance
Figure 7.6.: Laser exchange procedure: removing the contact set (left), securing the
laser submount (right).
CAUTION:
Do not drop the screws onto the submount. This may result in
permanent damage to the laser.
6. secure the laser submount into the LLH with the two dedicated screws; use
tweezers to hold the screw in place while screwing with an allen key
7. put the contact set on top of the laser submount into the LLH housing:
a) use the middle knob to hold the contact set
b) position the two rear holes above the pins for proper alignment
c) tighten the two dedicated screws through the front holes
d) press slightly for good electrical contact
8. use a multimeter to measure the resistance between the base and the laser
connectors. It should lie between 30 Ω and 300 kΩ; no resistance indicates
a shortcut, infinite resistance indicates a misconnection2 . In those two cases,
perform step 7 until a good contact is obtained.
9. close the LLH cover
2
The laser’s resistance is measured between the submount copper base and the ceramic pad. The
resistance between the base and the laser connectors on the LLH should be the same as the
laser’s resistance (±2Ω).
80
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.1 Laser installation in LLH housing
7.1.4. UP and DN contact exchange
Follow procedure 7.1.3, adding those additional steps to step 7:
1. remove the screw (5) located at the back of the contact set, as shown in figure
7.7
2. remove the copper contact (6)
3. replace it with the copper contact supplied by A LPES L ASERS with the new laser
4. tighten back the screw (5)
5
6
Figure 7.7.: Exchanging the laser submount UP and DN contact (right).
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Chapter 7: Maintenance
7.2. Calibration procedures
In this section the calibration procedures for the TPG and TCU are detailed. In both
cases a few preliminary steps must be followed:
1. Switch off the device.
2. remove the TPG or TCU cover (refer to figure 7.8):
a) Pull off the light gray plastic pieces of the side of the front and back plates.
b) Lift off the light gray plastic shades form the side of the box, which gives
access to the screws holding the top and bottom covers.
1
2
1
OF
F
ON
Po
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r
Alar
m
TC
Res
et
Ex
tern
al
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pera 51
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ting
C Rea
lI
C
ture
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ting
+I
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r
Set
ting
−I
+
−
max
60
mA
TP
G
12
8−
TT
LP
uls
−−
−−
eG
0.2
−−
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−−
0 V2V
−P
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eri
r
10 0.5
od
5 m ms
−−
0 to
s
−−
20
50
−
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oh
−−
Ga
ms
s
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te
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50
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oh
ms
−D
OU
ura
T
tion
50
oh
ms
−
Ou
t1
Ou
t2
Figure 7.8.: TPG (left) and TCU (right) cover removal.
3. Switch on the device.
DANGER
Contact with AC line potential can cause death or serious injury If
work on live electrical circuits is required, use all appropriate
precautions and hot work procedures required at your location.
82
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.2 Calibration procedures
7.2.1. TCU interlock level setting procedure
This procedure allows to set the TCU interlock level.
1. switch off the TCU
2. unplug the power cable
3. remove the cover to access the main board following step 2 of the previous
procedure.
4. locate the J9 Interlock connector
5. position the associated jumper according the desired type of interlock:
• NC (normally closed): pins (4) and (5)
• NO (normally open): pins (3) and (4)
3
4
5
Figure 7.9.: TCU board J9 Interlock connector.
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Chapter 7: Maintenance
7.2.2. TCU calibration
This procedure must be followed for a general calibration of the TCU command knobs
and selectors. Refer to section 5.1 for TCU front panel commands description.
IMPORTANT:
The TCU is calibrated in factory. This procedure is not a routine
procedure and must be performed by experts only.
Material needed
• Voltmeter HP3458A or equivalent.
• Voltage source Keithley SMU237 or equivalent.
• Precision resistor 100 Ohm 1% or better.
• Cable: LEMO 6 poles female 6 bananas female (LEMO connector: LFGG.1B.306.CLAD72Z,
LEMO handler GMA.1B.065.DG).
DANGER
Contact with AC line potential can cause death or serious injury If
work on live electrical circuits is required, use all appropriate
precautions and hot work procedures required at your location.
Procedure
1. Power off the instrument.
2. Open the TCU top cover to access the main board.
84
QCL user’s manual v3.0
7.2 Calibration procedures
3. +5V/-5V power supply check.
CAUTION:
Do not connect the signal IN-34 V DC (connector J1 (3)). This may
result in permanent damage to the Peltier junction.
a) Check that the input impedance between +5V/-5V and GND have the following values:
• TP1 (4) - GND (5): > 2.5 kΩ.
• TP2 (6) - GND (5): < 4 kΩ.
b) Power on the instrument.
c) Check that the +5V/-5V power supply voltage have the following values:
• TP1 (4) - GND (5): 4.95 to 5.2 V.
• TP2 (6) - GND (5): 4.95 to 5.2 V.
3
4
5
6
Figure 7.10.: TCU main board (zoom I).
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Chapter 7: Maintenance
4. Sensing level and range adjustement (refer to figure 7.11)
a) Replace the cable connected to J8 (4) with the 100±1 Ω resistor. Note:
the precision (gold band on the resistor) is important. Connect one side of
the resistor to pins 1 and 2, the other side to pins 3 and 4.
b) Measure the voltage on Zn3/R10 (3): the value should be - V = 1.22 to
1.25V.
c) Measure the voltage at the intersection of R19/R35 (5): the value should
be V=100mV, adjustable with the P1 (2)) knob.
Note: If the range is too small, replace the resistor R1 (1) = 1.3kΩ with
1.4kΩ.
d) Set the selector (9) to display Real ◦ C.
e) Adjust the trimmer P6 (6) in order to obtain the value of 000 ◦ C on the
screen (8).
f) Vary the Temperature Reference by using the Set Temperature 5 turns
knob (7) located on the front panel. The range displayed should be -074
to + 074.
1
2
3
4
5
6
Figure 7.11.: TCU main board (zoom II).
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7.2 Calibration procedures
5. Temperature Reference offset adjustment (refer to figure 7.12)
a) Adjust B13 (3) to 0.000 with P3 (4)
b) Set the temperature with the Set Temperature knob (Fig.40 (7)) to +5 ◦ C
,→ The temperature reference signal B13 should be ≥4.3V
c) Set the temperature with the Set Temperature knob (Fig.40 (7)) to -5 ◦ C
,→ The temperature reference signal B3 should be ≤4.3V
d) Check the switch range by setting the Temperature Reference at + 2 ◦ C
and -2 ◦ C:
B7 = -5V and +5V
B6 = +5V and -5V
e) Check the output voltage of the transistors
,→ The signals on R78 and R81 should toggle simultaneously with the
inversal signals on R79 and R80
CAUTION:
The signals B6 and B7 (2) must never be at 0V simultaneously. This
may result in a short-circuit
1
3
2
4
Figure 7.12.: TCU main board (view I).
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6. Oscillator check (refer to figure 7.13): measure the frequency on the pin 7 of
U13 (1); the value must be 28KHz + /- 3KHz.
7. Current/Voltage ratio adjustment (refer to figure 7.13)
a) Adjust the trimmer P4 (6) in order to read B4 = 0.6V (4).
b) Set the selector (5) to mode Setting +I: the LCD screen should display
1.00 A.
Note: If it is not the case, adjust it with P2 (2).
c) Adjust the trimmer P4 in order to read B4 = 3.0 V: the LCD screen should
display 5.00 A.
Note: If it is not the case, adjust it with P2 (2). Example : 0,6 V ⇒ 0,99 A
and 3V ⇒ 4,99 A.
d) Set the switch on the front panel to mode Setting -I.
e) Repeat steps [2] and [4] for P5 (7) and B5 (3).
1
2
3
4
Figure 7.13.: TCU main board, oscillator check (left), current/voltage ratio adjustment.
(right).
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7.2 Calibration procedures
IMPORTANT:
For the remainder of this procedure, limit the positive current to 1 A and the
negative current to 1.2 A using the 5 turns knob.
8. Temperature limit threshold
a) Measure the voltage on pin 2 of U10 (1): the value should be: 0.7V (= 70
◦
C) (If needed, adjust it with the trimmer P9(2)).
b) Power off the instrument.
9. Starting the power section of the instrument.
a) Remove the 100 E reference resistor from J8 (4) and plug the output cable
J8.
b) Plug the external cable into the LLH100, and verify that the Pt100 is proprely mounted in the latter.
c) Use an external power supply (0-30VDC/3A) to simulate the internal power
supply.
d) Limit the current to 200 mA and connect it to main board J1 connector (3).
e) Power on the instrument and the external power supply.
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3
4
1
2
Figure 7.14.: TCU main board (zoom III and IV).
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7.2 Calibration procedures
10. Current adjustment
a) Set the selector (3) to mode Setting ◦ C and adjust the temperature value
to 25 ◦ C by means of the Set Temperature 5 tuns potentiometer P8 (2).
b) On the external power supply, rise slowly the voltage to 30 V and the current to 1.5 A: the tension should stabilize at 30 V.
Note: If the current is too high, stop the test and verify the transistors Q1 to
Q4 (1) and their associated resistors. There might be a soldering problem.
In this case, fix it and repeat the procedure from step 5.
c) Set the selector (3) to mode Real I: the displayed value should be ≤ 1A.
d) Set the selector (3) to mode Real ◦ C: the value displayed should tend to
the defined value. If not, adjust P3.
e) Wait for a certain time and check the Peltier temperature with a thermometer
f) Set the selector (3) to mode Setting +I.
g) Increase the limit of positive current to 3.5A by means of the +I trimmer (4)
located on the front panel.
h) Increase the limit of negative current to 5A by means of the -I trimmer (5)
located on the front panel.
i) Change the temperature reference to -25 ◦ C and check the displayed current.
1
Figure 7.15.: TCU main board, current adjustment.
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11. Temperature limit testing
a) Decrease the temperature limit threshold from 0.7 V to 0.3 V.
For more details, see Temperature limit threshold on page 89.
b) Increase the temperature reference to 35 ◦ C.
,→ When the threshold is overpassed, the red LED (1) in front panel should
light up.
c) Wait the real temperature drops 10 ◦ C below the threshold.
d) Reset the instrument with the RESET button (2).
,→ The red LED (1) should turn off.
e) Reset the temperature limit threshold to 0.7 V. For more details, see Temperature limit threshold on page 89.
12. Monitoring: check the output voltage on the rear instrument BNC connector (5).
For 35 ◦ C, the voltage should be 350 mV.
13. External reference:
a) connect an external power supply to the External Reference BNC connector (6).
b) Set the voltage to 3.5 V.
Set the switch External/Internal (3) to External.
Set the selector (4) to mode Setting ◦ C.
,→ The temperature displayed (2) should be 35 ◦ C.
Set the selector (4) to mode Real ◦ C.
,→ The temperature displayed (2) should follow the reference temperature.
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7.2 Calibration procedures
7.2.3. TPG calibration
This procedure describes the steps to be followed to calibrate the TPG front panel
knobs settings. Refer to figure 5.2 for the TPG commands description.
IMPORTANT:
The TPG is calibrated in factory. This procedure is not a routine
procedure and must be performed by experts only.
DANGER
Contact with AC line potential can cause death or serious injury If
work on live electrical circuits is required, use all appropriate
precautions and hot work procedures required at your location.
[1] Verify the +5 V power supply.
[2] During the first test, set all knobs and adjustable capacitors to their medium
values.
[3] Adjust to the knob 50 ns adj (3) in order to obtain a 500 ns long pulse on
TP2 (2).
[4] Measure the pulse period through the boxTrigOut output connector using a
scope.
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2
3
Figure 7.16.: TPG main board (view I).
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7.2 Calibration procedures
[5] Select the range 5 µs to 105 µs on the period selection knob. Turn the 10
turns adjustment knob to its last position. Adjust the adjustable capacitor max
105 µs adj (4) in order to obtain a 105 µs long period.
[6] Turn the 10 turns adjustment knob to its first position. Ajust the pot Period
min adj (1) in order to have a period of 5 µs.
[7] Repeat steps 5) and 6) in order to obtain 105±1 µs and 5±0,1 µs for the two
settings of the Period knob.
[8] Choose the range 0.2 µs to 2.2 µs. Turn the 10 turns adjustment knob to its
last position.. Adjust the max 2,2 µs adj capacitor (2) in order to obtain a period
of 2.2 µs.
[9] Turn the 10 turns adjustment knob to its first position. Check that the period
is 200 ns. If this is not the case, re-adjust the pot 50 ns adj (5) in order to obtain
200 +/-20 ns. (In general, it is not possible to go below 210 ns).
[10] Choose the range 0.5 µs to 10.5 µs. Pot 10 turn Period on 10. Adjust
capacitor max 10,5 µs adj (3) in order to have a period of 10,5 µs.
[11] Turn the 10 turns adjustment knob to its first position. Check the that period
is of 0.6 +0/-0.1 µs.
2
1
3
4
5
Figure 7.17.: TPG main board (view II).
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[12] Connect oscilloscope on the Output connector. Load with a 50Ω . Choose
a repetition period of about 5 µs.
[13] Turn the boxduration adjustment knob to its last position. Adjust the Max
duration capacitor (2) to have an output pulse of 200 ns +/-5 ns.
[14] Turn the boxduration adjustment knob to its first position. Adjust the pot Out
0ns adj (1) in order that the output pulse is 0ns. The pulse is 0 ns long when its
shape is triangular with an amplitude of 1,1 V (half of the maximum value).
[15] Repeat points [13] and [14] until the values are OK.
[16] Check the operation of the boxGate in external mode. A signal is present
on the Output output connector if the input Gate in open (high TTL level) =
gate open; no signal is measured on the Output output connector indicates a
short circuit on on input Gate in (low TTL level) = gate closed.
[17] Check that the +12 V is present on the Lemo 00 connector (+12 V on the
centre connector).
2
1
Figure 7.18.: TPG main board
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A. QCL theory and application notes
A.1. QCL wavelength range
Unlike standard bipolar semiconductor lasers (e.g. 1.55µm telecom devices), for
which the emission wavelength is closely related to the band gap energy, the QCL
transition consists in the transition of an electron inside sub-bands, from one upper
quantum well level to a lower quantum well level.
A series of potential wells and barriers for the electrons are built by using two different semiconductor materials (InGaAs and AlInAs), These wells and barriers are so
thin that the electrons are allowed only a discrete set of energy levels, similar to the
orbitals of an atom. The positions of the allowed energy levels are determined by
the thicknesses of the wells and barriers, making it possible to define a wide range
of laser transitions by using only one material system (InGaAs/AlInAs grown on InP).
This range is limited by the intrinsic absorption of the material and the potential difference between the wells and barriers.
All QCLs are grown using the same materials, but with layers of specific thicknesses
and compositions to obtain a given emission wavelength, which is determined by the
geometry of the semiconductor layers that compose the laser crystal.
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Chapter A: QCL theory and application notes
A.2. QCL electrical response
The QCL can be modeled with a combination of one resistor and two capacitors. R1
increases from a higher resistance at low biases to 1-4 Ohms at the operating point.
The resistance at low bias varies from 10-20 Ω to 102 kΩ for 10 µm and 4 µm wavelength QCLs respectively. C1 is a 100 pF capacitor (essentially bias independent)
between the cathode and the anode coming from the bonding pads. C2 depends on
the laser mounting; typically, C1<100 pF in the LLH.
As an example, the values given below apply for a 10µm laser wavelength. Note:
Voltage and resistor values may vary according to the type of laser.
R1 : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 to 20Ω when a voltage of less than 4 to 6 Volts is applied
R1 : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 to 4Ω up to 10 - 12 Volts
R1 : . . . . . . . . . . 10 to 20Ω over 12 Volts, after which the laser no longer operates
C1 : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100pF, capacitor between the anode and the cathode
C2 : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . <100pF, depending on your mounting of the laser
R1
−
+
=
−
+
C2
C1
Figure A.1.: Electrical model for QCL.
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B. Operations for advanced users
In this section, tips for advanced users are provided for specific application. It is not
recommended to perform those procedures in normal operation conditions.
IMPORTANT:
The operation instructions contained in this section must be performed by expert
users only, as permanent damage to the laser may occur if not manipulated correctly.
B.1. Direct QCL voltage
These connections give direct access to the voltage of the laser.
IMPORTANT:
Direct voltage measurement of the QCL must be performed by experts only and
agreed upon with A LPES L ASERS.
The "L" connection is connected AC coupled to the cathode of the laser through a
divider by ten. The end of cable must be 50Ω terminated for accurate measurement.
The "B" is connected the same to the anode of the laser (Base Receptacle).
By using the math trace of an oscilloscope showing the "L" channel minus the "B",
one can get the voltage on the laser. This measurement is more accurate than the
information obtained from the LDD.
Note: the cables are not included in the Starter Kit but can be supplied by A LPES
L ASERS.
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Chapter B: Operations for advanced users
B.2. Soldering wire bonds from laser chip to
submount
IMPORTANT:
Soldering bonds to the carrier is a delicate operation. Contact
A LPES L ASERS before attempting this operation.
As the QCL chip itself is soldered, and the contact pads on the ceramics are made
out of gold, it is not possible to use a normal Lead-Tin solder: the temperature is too
high, the solder will destroy the gold contacts by forming an alloy. A LPES L ASERS
recommends the use of pure Indium for soldering, in the form of paste of microscopic
beads in flux.
Figure B.1.: Laser chip wire bonds.
It is of highest importance to never touch any part of the laser chip itself (especially
not the facets) nor the bonds, as this may result in fatal damage to the QCL. Solder
with a very fine tip solder iron at about 170◦ C, only at the corner of the contact pad
which is most distant from the bonds and the chip, using only very thin and flexible
wires.
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B.3 Bias-T circuit for pulsed lasers
B.3. Bias-T circuit for pulsed lasers
Since tuning of a QC laser is done by changing the temperature of the active zone,
the DC bias current can be used to control the emission wavelength of the laser via
its heating effect. The bias-T therefore allows for electrically controlled rapid scanning
of the emission wavelength.
B.3.1. Principle
Since tuning of a QC laser is done by changing the temperature of the active zone,
a DC bias current can be used to control the emission wavelength of the laser via
its heating effect. Tuning can also be achieved by changing the temperature of the
whole laser, but at a much lower speed, due to the high thermal capacity of the laser
submount and base. A bias-T circuit allows for a quick scan of the emission wavelength because the laser emission response is much faster, as only the active zone is
heated.
The DC current is drawn from the external power supply and applied to the laser in
addition to the pulsed current. It is recommended to apply currents of up to 0.1kHz,
but several customers have used the bias-T at frequencies of up to several kHz.
Laser lifetime
Heating of the active zone will increase thermal stress of the laser, therefore the expected lifetime will decrease more rapidly compared to increasing the temperature of
the laser submount and base. If operation at only a fixed wavelength is needed, this
should be adjusted with the overall temperature control.
B.3.2. Connection
The bias-T circuit can be integrated in the TPG. The circuit included in the LDD pulser
unit is controlled by the twisted black and yellow wires of the control cable with the
CPL cable.
B.3.3. Procedure
• Since the input stage of the bias-T is a bipolar transistor, applied voltage must
be higher than about 0.6V to start bias current. The input stage has a voltage
limit of 2.6V, but the laser itself may be destroyed at lower bias-T control voltage,
therefore the maximum rating has to be agreed with Alpes Lasers SA.
• the laser should be operated initially at lowest possible temperature Since a
bias-T only allows to heat the laser, the emission wavelength can only be increased (or emission wavenumber decreased), and output power will decrease
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Chapter B: Operations for advanced users
with increased bias current, due to the additional heating. This reduces the
number of lasers available for reaching a given emission wavelength.
CAUTION:
Applying a high bias current may destroy the laser due to thermal
roll-over. Bias-T setup must be performed by instructed personnel
and approved by A LPES L ASERS.
• The optical output power must be monitored when setting up the bias-T to make
sure the thermal roll-over is not reached. Temporary increase of the pulse current must always result in increased optical power output, otherwise the DC bias
current is already too high.
• As a rule of thumb, the overall dissipated power (sum of DC bias current dissipation and pulse current dissipation) must never be higher than the average
dissipated power given by the highest current / voltage / temperature combination specified in the datasheet.
• The average dissipated power for a given pulse current I, pulse voltage U, and
duty cycle d is given by d × I × U , whereas the dissipated power due to a bias
current IB is given by IB × U . (U is the voltage on the laser, but it is safe for
this calculation of bias current dissipation to use the voltage on the LDD pulser
input.)
B.3.4. Gas concentration measurement
The goal of this procedure is to calibrate and optimize the laser spectrum as a function
of temperature and current. A spectral scan of the laser is generated over a wavelength region defined by the scan rate of the laser versus current (cm-1/A, a basic
property of the laser). A 60 mA range might be equivalent to 1.2 cm-1 of wavelength
change in the laser. The A LPES L ASERS datasheets provide a few discrete settings
that were measured with a different equipment, which can be used as starting points,
but the curves obtained with the following procedure are to be used to acquire the real
gas data.
Prerequisites
• Using short pulses and "bias-T" to scan wavelengths
• User has appropriate short pulse generation electronics, cooler control/drive
electronics, gas cell(s) and photodetector
• User has and understands A LPES L ASERS datasheets for the device to be used
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B.3 Bias-T circuit for pulsed lasers
Procedure
1. set the temperature to 15o C so that any moisture inside the package does not
condense on the laser chip
2. Use current settings as indicated in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet
3. start the laser: the powermeter (if installed) should indicate some power dissipation
4. set the temperature to allow the highest frequency (shortest wavelength) of interest to be emitted
5. Reset the current to settings appropriate for that temperature and wavelength,
then reduce it a little bit further - but not below threshold (so you still see energy
on the detector)
6. put a gas cell between laser and detector and verify that you can still see the
laser energy on the detector; take note of the amplitude of the detector signal.
7. Turn on the bias T current to a low value (typically 0.001A) and record the detector signal
8. repeat at 0.001A increments of bias-T current recording values for each increment until 0.060 A is reached (or some other value that has been discussed/agreed
with A LPES L ASERS) If the temperature and pulse current starting points were
right, the line of interest should be visible in the data when plotted. If not, perform the same procedure with new temperature and pulse current settings.
9. Continue to optimize the temperature and drive parameters
a) Adjust the pulse length lower and higher and repeat the scan; thus learn
about the effect of these parameters on power and laser linewidth
b) If possible, repeat the measurement with a gas cell with the target gas at
low pressure (1 Torr). This will narrow the line greatly and allow to consider
the apparent spectral resolution of the laser itself under the drive conditions
and to learn whether the driver has any ringing or double pulsing (which
will make the line width seem higher).
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B.4. CW modulation
To operate a laser in CW mode, an AC signal is added to the DC current. It is recommended to modulate the external power supply directly, within the parameter range
specified in the A LPES L ASERS datasheet. If this is not possible, an additional modulated source must be used, like a waveform (ramp) generator for example.
Interface circuit
To reduce cross-talk with other system components and to improve mechanical stability, this interface circuit should be installed into a small metal box with only the
connectors accessible, as shown in figure B.2.
IAC
~
BNC
BNC
"box"
LLH
678
IDC
connector
BNC - low impedance line
Figure B.2.: Interface circuit for CW laser modulation.
Connectors for the LLH with a BNC plug are available for CW laser operation,
A LPES L ASERS provides the CIL cable pinout, the adaptor must be made by the user.
It is center positive, shield negative, and can directly be connected to a stabilized DC
supply; make sure the polarity is correct and limits as specified in the datasheet are
set.
B.4.1. External power supply protection
To prevent current modulation to go back to the external power supply, an RLC circuit
needs to be added (see figure B.3). The values of RAC , L, C depend on the modulation frequency, the AC source and (to some extent) on the QCL.
Rule of thumb for L
As the impedance XL = 2πf L of the inductivity should be much higher than the dynamic resistance XQ of the laser to block the AC component from the DC supply,
applying XL > 100XQ leads to roughly L > 16XQ /f .
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B.4 CW modulation
UAC
~
IAC
RAC
+
C
IDC
UQ
L
UDC
QCL
RQ (~ 1-2 Ohm)
Figure B.3.: RLC circuit for external power supply protection.
In general, XQ is of the order of 1..2 Ω. For a modulation frequency of 10kHz, L
should therefore be of the order of 3mH or larger.
rules of thumb for R and C
To prevent the AC source from dominating or reverse biasing the current through the
QCL, UAC < UQ must always be given (in absolute values). Furthermore, as the AC
voltage source together with RAC , C is forming a current source, to prevent variations
of QCL dynamic resistance XQ to influence the AC current, RA C + XC >> XQ must
be guaranteed. As the generator for UAC will have an impedance ZAC , impedance
matching demands for RAC + XC + XQ = ZAC . Putting these constraints together
leads to IAC < UQ /ZAC .
For the capacitor C to let pass the AC current, 2πRAC C > 1/f must be true, and
with XC = RAC /100 or smaller to make sure that the impedance of the AC current
source does not vary too much with frequency, it follows that roughly C > 8/ZAC /f .
For a 50 Ω generator at 10kHz, C should therefore be of the order of 16uF or larger.
Please keep in mind that such high capacity components may have a remarkably
high inductivity, so it may be useful to put a second capacitor of small value (some nF,
Tantalum or similar non-polarized type) in parallel to the one calculated before.
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