T-Cube Laser Source (Power Supply Not Included)
TLS001 Laser Source - Front View
TCH002 USB Controller Hub (PSU not shown)
- Compact Footprint
- Single Mode Fiber Interface with FC/PC Plug
- 635 nm or 1550 nm Wavelengths Available
- USB Plug-and-Play
- Manual- or PC-Controlled Operation via USB
- Safety Enable Key Switch
- Laser Safety Interlock Jack
- Software Control Suite Included
- Extensive ActiveX® Programming Interfaces
- Software Compatible With Other apt™ Controllers
The TLS001 T-Cube Laser Source is a fully functional, highly compact laser source incorporating driver electronics and an FC/PC
(wide 2.1 mm key compatible) connected pigtailed laser diode in both 635 nm and 1550 nm variants.The internally-pigtailed Fabry-Perot laser diode is connected to the rear panel FC feedthrough via a single mode fiber. With this fiber-to-fiber connection at the output, these devices deliver more useful optical power than air-to-fiber systems that use a receptacle with embedded optics. It can be controlled manually or via a USB interface. The output laser power is monitored continuously and a feedback circuit adjusts the laser power to achieve a constant output power.
Multiple T-Cube units can be connected to a single PC via standard USB hub technology or by using the T-Cube Controller Hub (TCH002) for multi-function control applications.
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 TLS001 T-Cube Laser Source are listed in the table below.
Power Supply Options for T-Cube Laser Source
|Operation of TLS001 (T-Cube Laser Source)||Power Supply|
|Standalone / Single Channel Operation||TPS101 (5V Power Supply for a single T-Cube)|
|System / Multi-channel Operation||TCH002 USB Controller Hub|
|Wavelength||635 nm||1550 nm|
|Maximum Full Output Power||2.5 mW||1.5 mW|
|Set Point Resolution||0.01 mW|
|Operating Temperature||15 to 35 °C|
|Storage Temperature||0°C to 50 °C|
|Modulation Input||0-10 V = 0 to Full Power, DC or Sine Wave Input Only|
|Modulation Bandwidth||10 kHz 33% Depth of Mod|
|Power Input||5 V, 1.6 A|
|Housing Dimensions (W x D x H)||120 mm x 60 mm x 47 mm (4.8" x 2.4" x 1.8")|
|Weight||250 g (8.8 oz)|
|Output Fiber Connector||FC/PC (Wide 2.1 mm Key Compatible)|
Used to control the intensity of the laser output from an external source. This input can be driven from a 0 to 10 V voltage source. The input impedence is 13kΩ.
3.5 mm Stereo Phono Jack Plug
Interlock Jack must be shorted with included plug or external user gate before laser may be enabled.
*USB type A to type Mini-B cable included.
Typical APT User GUI
The APT (Advanced Positioning Technology) family covers a wide range of motion controller products ranging from small low powered single channel optomechanical motor drivers (the 'Cube' drivers) to high power multi-channel modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).
All controllers in the APT family share a common software platform, the APT System Software. The software CD supplied with all controllers contains an installation of this system software, together with a wealth of support information in the form of handbooks, help files, tutorial videos, FAQs and other relevant information on using and programming these Thorlabs products.
By providing this common software platform, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the APT controllers in a single application while only having to learn one single set of software tools. In this way it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from the low powered single axis to the high powered multi-axis systems and control all from a single PC based unified software interface.
The APT System Software allows two methods of usage - graphical user interface utilities (supplied) for direct interaction and control of the controllers out of the box, and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily progammed in the development language of choice.
Typical Configuration Screen
Detailed information on both usage modes is provided on the CD. Also of particular interest, is the inclusion on the software CD of a range of software video tutorials (see the Video Tutorials tab). These videos illustrate some of the basics of using the APT System Software from both a non-programming and a programming point of view. There are videos that illustrate usage of the supplied APT utilities that allow immediate control of the APT controllers out of the box. There are also a number of videos that explain the basics of programming custom software applications using Visual Basic, LabView and Visual C++.
Click here to go direct to the Thorlabs Download Area to access the full APT software CD. Experiment with the software using the simulator mode - refer to the Tutorial Videos for the APTConfig utility to learn how to select simulator mode.
These videos illustrate some of the basics of using the APT System Software from both a non-programming and a programming point of view. There are videos that illustrate usage of the supplied APT utilities that allow immediate control of the APT controllers out of the box. There are also a number of videos that explain the basics of programming custom software applications using Visual Basic, LabView and Visual C++. Watch the videos now to see what we mean.
To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabView is also available.
Laser Safety and Classification
Safe practices and proper usage of safety equipment should be taken into consideration when operating lasers. The eye is susceptible to injury, even from very low levels of laser light. Thorlabs offers a range of laser safety accessories that can be used to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries. Laser emission in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges has the greatest potential for retinal injury, as the cornea and lens are transparent to those wavelengths, and the lens can focus the laser energy onto the retina.
Safe Practices and Light Safety Accessories
- Thorlabs recommends the use of safety eyewear whenever working with laser beams with non-negligible powers (i.e., > Class 1) since metallic tools such as screwdrivers can accidentally redirect a beam.
- Laser goggles designed for specific wavelengths should be clearly available near laser setups to protect the wearer from unintentional laser reflections.
- Goggles are marked with the wavelength range over which protection is afforded and the minimum optical density within that range
- Laser Barriers and Blackout Materials can prevent direct or reflected light from leaving the experimental setup area.
- Thorlabs' Enclosure Systems can be used to contain optical setups to isolate or minimize laser hazards.
- All beams should be terminated at the edge of the table, and laboratory doors should be closed whenever a laser is in use.
- Do not place laser beams at eye level.
- Carry out experiments on an optical table such that all laser beams travel horizontally.
- Remove unnecessary reflective items such as reflective jewelry (e.g., rings, watches, etc.) while working near the beam path.
- Be aware that lenses and other optical devices may reflect a portion of the incident beam from the front or rear surface.
- Operate a laser at the minimum power necessary for any operation.
- If possible, reduce the output power of a laser during alignment procedures.
- Use beam shutters and filters to reduce the beam power.
- Post appropriate warning signs or labels near laser setups or rooms.
- Use laser sign lightboxes if operating Class 3R or 4 lasers (i.e., lasers requiring the use of a safety interlock).
- Do not use Laser Viewing Cards in place of a proper Laser Barrier or Beam Trap.
Lasers are categorized into different classes according to their ability to cause eye and other damage. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. The IEC document 60825-1 outlines the safety of laser products. A description of each class of laser is given below:
|1||This class of laser is safe under all conditions of normal use, including use with optical instruments for intrabeam viewing. Lasers in this class do not emit radiation at levels that may cause injury during normal operation, and therefore the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded. Class 1 lasers can also include enclosed, high-power lasers where exposure to the radiation is not possible without opening or shutting down the laser. |
|1M||Class 1M lasers are safe except when used in conjunction with optical components such as telescopes and microscopes. Lasers belonging to this class emit large-diameter or divergent beams, and the MPE cannot normally be exceeded unless focusing or imaging optics are used to narrow the beam. However, if the beam is refocused, the hazard may be increased and the class may be changed accordingly. |
|2||Class 2 lasers, which are limited to 1 mW of visible continuous-wave radiation, are safe because the blink reflex will limit the exposure in the eye to 0.25 seconds. This category only applies to visible radiation (400 - 700 nm).|
|2M||Because of the blink reflex, this class of laser is classified as safe as long as the beam is not viewed through optical instruments. This laser class also applies to larger-diameter or diverging laser beams. |
|3R||Lasers in this class are considered safe as long as they are handled with restricted beam viewing. The MPE can be exceeded with this class of laser, however, this presents a low risk level to injury. Visible, continuous-wave lasers are limited to 5 mW of output power in this class. |
|3B||Class 3B lasers are hazardous to the eye if exposed directly. However, diffuse reflections are not harmful. Safe handling of devices in this class includes wearing protective eyewear where direct viewing of the laser beam may occur. In addition, laser safety signs lightboxes should be used with lasers that require a safety interlock so that the laser cannot be used without the safety light turning on. Class-3B lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock.|
|4||This class of laser may cause damage to the skin, and also to the eye, even from the viewing of diffuse reflections. These hazards may also apply to indirect or non-specular reflections of the beam, even from apparently matte surfaces. Great care must be taken when handling these lasers. They also represent a fire risk, because they may ignite combustible material. Class 4 lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock. |
|All class 2 lasers (and higher) must display, in addition to the corresponding sign above, this triangular warning sign|