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T-Cube Current Controller

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T-Cube Laser Diode Driver




  • Compatible with All Laser Diode Pin Configurations
  • Reliable Protection of Laser Diode
  • Control Via Local Panel or USB PC Connection
  • Choice of Power Supplies Available
  • Full Software Control Suite Included

Features

  • Compatible with All Laser Diode Pin Configurations
  • Low Noise (<3.0 μA)
  • 5-Digit Display
  • Reliable Laser Diode Protection
  • Current Output Up To 200 mA
  • Safety Enable Key Switch and Laser Safety Interlock Facility
  • Compact Footprint
  • USB Plug-and-Play
  • Analog Control Input, Manual, or PC-Controlled Operation
  • Software Control Suite and Extensive ActiveX® Programming Interfaces Included all Compatible with Other apt™ Controllers

The TLD001 T-Cube is a versatile, high precision laser diode and LED controller, designed to drive a wide range of semiconductor laser diodes. It supports operating currents of up to 200 mA, a high compliance voltage of 8 Volts (suitable for driving blue laser diodes) and both constant current and constant power operating modes. As a member of the T-cube family of products, the TLD001 allows both standalone use or PC-based operation via USB interface.

This laser diode controller is a highly compact, yet fully functional, unit. It is provided with a USB interface for easy PC control and also a manual interface panel containing a 5-digit, 7-segment display, adjustment potentiometer, mode, display and laser on buttons, and safety key switch. The unit can be set to control either the injection current or the optical output power of the laser diode. The footprint of this unit has been kept to a minimum, measuring only 120 mm x 60 mm x 47 mm (4.8" x 2.4" x 1.8") and able to directly mount to the optical table. The manual controls for this unit are conveniently located on the upper surface. The mode and display buttons allow the various operating modes to be selected easily. There is also a key switch and interlock connector fitted to this compact unit for use in laser applications requiring such functionality.

The unit has been designed specifically for use with our TTC001 TEC controller and LDM21 mount for a complete temperature controller laser diode driver system. It is also compatible with our TCLDM9 and LM14S2 mounts when used to drive diodes up to 200 mA.

 

USB connectivity provides easy plug and play PC controlled operation.  The TLD001 also includes the very user friendly apt™ software which allows the user to interface with other units in the APT family. Advanced custom control applications and sequences are also possible using the extensive ActiveX® programming environment described in more detail on the Software and Video Tutorials tabs.

Furthermore, multiple units can be connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology or by using the new T-Cube Controller Hub (TCH002, pictured to the right) for multi-channel control applications.

Power Supply Options
For each member of the T-Cube family, Thorlabs offers a number of power supply options. The preferred power supply (i.e., single channel, multi-channel, or hub-based) depends on the end user's application and whether you already own compatible power supplies. To that end and in keeping with Thorlabs' green initiative, we do not ship these units bundled with a power supply. This avoids the cost and inconvenience of receiving an unwanted single channel supply if a multi-channel or hub-based system would be more appropriate. The power supply options compatible with the TLD001 Laser Diode Driver are listed in the table below.

Connection Cables

A CAB400 is required to connect the TLD001 laser diode controller to a Thorlabs' Laser Diode Mount.

Power Supply Options for T-Cube Laser Diode Controller

Operation of TLD001 (T-Cube Laser Diode Driver)Power Supply
Standalone / Single Channel Operation TPS002 ±15 V/ 5 V Power Supply for up to 2 T-Cubes
System / Multi-channel Operation TCH002 USB Controller Hub

 

Modes

With the TLD001 laser diode controller, laser diodes can be driven in constant current (CC) or constant power (CP) mode. All laser diode and photodiode configuration types are supported. The laser diode is always driven with respect to ground. In comparison to driver designs that require a floating ground, this grounded operation of the laser diode offers advantages regarding noise, transient suppression, and stability.

Constant Current
In CC mode, the current to the laser is held precisely at the prescribed level. This mode is used when the lowest noise and highest response speed is required. Most applications in this mode require stabilizing the temperature as well. We offer a T-Cube TEC controller (TTC001) for these type of applications.

Constant Power
In CP mode, the internal photodiode integrated into most laser diode packages is used to actively stabilize the laser's output power, which is adjusted by a feedback circuit. An adjustment of the full scale photodiode current in CP mode is provided in order to compensate for the differences in the photodiode currents between different laser diodes.

Controller Use

Intuitive User-Friendly Operation
Independent of the selected operating mode, the 5-digit LED display can show the laser current, the photodiode monitor current, or laser current limit. It can also display the optical power (in mW). The power readout can be calibrated to the responsivity of the monitor photodiode by adjusting a microswitch on the rear panel.

Benefits
In many applications, the aforementioned benefits eliminate the need for a separate optical power meter. A modulation input for laser current or power is available for use at the rear of the unit.

Protection Features

Current Limit
A precisely adjustable current limit ensures that the maximum laser current cannot be exceeded. Thorlabs has intentionally provided limited access to this feature to prevent accidental adjustment. Even when utilizing the external modulation feature, the current limit set-point cannot be exceeded.

Current Source
If the connection between the current source and laser diode is interrupted, the current source automatically switches off the current output. An OPEN LED indicates when the interlock is open, and a separate laser ON key switches the laser current on and off. When switched off, an electronic switch within the unit short circuits the laser diode for added protection. After being switched on, a soft start ensures a slow increase of the laser current without voltage peaks. Even in the case of line failure, the laser current remains transient-free. Voltage peaks on the AC line are effectively suppressed by electrical filters, shielding of the transformer, and careful grounding of the chassis.

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