Low-noise high-performance current controllers for quantum cascade lasers

Taubman, Matthew S.
June 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Jun2011, Vol. 82 Issue 6, p064704
Academic Journal
Quantum cascade lasers have ushered in a new era of enhanced capability for chemical sensing. The higher current and voltage demands of these devices over their laser diode counterparts have also ushered in the demand for more capable drive electronics. The current-sensitivity and high frequency response of these devices have continued the desire for low noise, stability, and agility enjoyed by the laser diode community for many years. This article addresses the issue of maintaining these characteristics at the currents and voltages required, and presents example performance of current controllers developed by the author at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, achieving output currents up to 2 A and compliance voltages of 15 V, with noise levels close to the Johnson noise of the internal resistors, typically a few [formula]. Rapid full-depth current modulation up to 100 kHz is also demonstrated.


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