Protecting Diode Lasers from Electro-Static Discharge

Protecting Diode Lasers from Electro-Static Discharge
Protecting Diode Lasers
from Electro-Static
Discharge (ESD)
A Guide to Safe Handling to
Avoid Inadvertent Damage
Technical Note
Protecting Diode Lasers from Electro-Static Discharge (ESD)
Diode lasers are very reliable under normal operating conditions. However, like most
semiconductor devices, they can be damaged or destroyed by inadvertent electrical or static
discharges (ESD). Several precautionary guidelines to handling lasers are required to prevent
latent damage to the laser. ESD can easily damage diode lasers, decreasing performance
immediately or over time. These steps can prevent ESD damage:
• Create a static-free work environment
• Store the laser when not in use
Create a Static-free Work Environment
Use the laser only in a static-free work environment.
• Work on a grounded workbench or surface with anti-static
floors and a case ground.
• Use grounded tweezers and a wrist strap.
For greater protection, use a dedicated grounding device, an air
ionizer designed for static charge control, and identify the area
as “ESD Controlled.”
Store the Laser when Not in Use
When the laser is not in use, follow these procedures:
• Short the pins by inserting them into conductive foam or by
wrapping wire from pin to pin.
• Store the laser in a Lumentum-approved conductive bag in
a static-free environment such as the shipping container
or a Faraday cage.
• Label containers as “Static Sensitive” to ensure proper
Antistatic, foamed plastic provides cushioning protection but
does not protect un-shorted lasers from ESD. Use only approved
conductive foam for packaging.
Air ionizer — a source of charged air molecules (ions) that are
attracted to and neutralize static charges of the opposite polarity.
Ionizers for static-charge control produce large, approximately
equal numbers of air ions of both polarities. Ionizers for airborne
particle precipitation are not necessarily suitable for ESD control
Dissipative — a material’s physical property that allows charged
movement. Dissipative materials conduct charges less freely than
conductive materials.
ESD — a sudden redistribution of a static charge that can damage
sensitive components.
ESD sensitive — a device, assembly, or product that can be
degraded or damaged by ESD. Lumentum considers ESD-sensitive
parts degraded or damaged by a human body model (HBM) of less
than 1.5 kV.
HBM — a mathematical representation of the consequences for a
charged person accidentally touching a part. The representation is
usually an equivalent circuit with a charged 100 pF capacitor in
series with a 1500-ohm resistor.
Insulator — a material with a surface resistivity greater than
1 x 10-12 ohms/square, and volume resistivity greater than
1 x 10-12 ohm-cm.
Portable workstation — a static-safe work surface with a means to
connect it to ground, which can also be easily carried or moved
(such as a cart) from one location to another.
Static charge — a positive or negative electrical charge resting on
the surface of a material that generates an electric field and can
cause damaging ESD.
Static safe — complying with all appropriate ESD control measures.
Faraday cage — a closed, conductive container used for ESD
protection that can terminate all external electrical fields on its
outer surface forming a static shield so that no externally caused
field can be detected from within. A Faraday cage provides optimal
protection for ESD-sensitive items that must be transported
through or stored in unsafe, static areas.
Workbench — a table or similar structure that is the physical
support for one or more workstations. A fixed (permanent)
workbench is one that cannot be moved without using tools to
disconnect attached plumbing, wiring, or other physical restraints.
A movable workbench is one that does not require tools to
disconnect it.
Ground — a conductor connected to the earth and, hence, the
natural reference for all voltage measurements, or “hard” ground.
“Soft” ground refers to isolated grounding by a series resistor to
limit current to a non-hazardous level in case of accidental contact
with a power source. Power system safety ground conductors are
acceptable for ESD control. The terms “ground” and “earth ground”
are interchangeable.
Work surface — a flexible or rigid top of a workstation where parts
and equipment can be placed or used during normal operations,
such as counting assembly, testing, and so forth.
Wrist-strap device — an ESD control assembly that grounds the
human body that is strapped to the wrist and consists of a
wristband and a detachable cord.
North America
Toll Free: 844 810 LITE (5483)
Outside North America
Toll Free: 800 000 LITE (5483)
Toll Free: 400 120 LITE (5483)
© 2015 Lumentum Operations LLC
Product specifications and descriptions in this
document are subject to change without notice.
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