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Driving Diode Lasers: A Straightforward Procedure

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Observing the basic principles and understanding the physical behavior of diode lasers helps users operate them correctly and safely.

Uwe Malzahn, iC-Haus GmbH

By observing a few simple rules that govern diode lasers’ properties, driving them loses much of its mystery. Below its threshold current, a diode laser emits LED light with spontaneous emission only. At the threshold current and above, it begins to generate laser light, and the optical output power rises steeply with increasing diode operating current. The correlation between the optical output power and the diode current is linear up to the maximum power, called differential efficiency (Figure 1). Figure 1. The output power of a diode laser is a function of the operating...Read full article

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