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.
TCH002 USB Controller Hub (PSU not shown)
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.
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Laser Diode (LD) Output||9-Pin D-Type|
|Maximum LD Current||200 mA|
|Max LD Current Limit Range||20 to 200 mA|
|LD Compliance Voltage||>8 V|
|LD Current Setting Resolution||10 µA|
|LD Power Setting Resolution||1 µW|
|LD Current/Power Measurement Res.||10 µA (14-bit)|
|Temperature Drift||<70 ppm/°C Typical|
|LD Current Noise||<3 µA RMS Typical|
|Supported LD/PD Configurations||All|
|LD Protection||Relay - Open Circuit, Under/over Voltage|
|Operating Modes||Constant Current, Constant Power|
|Modulation Input||SMA 0 to10 V = 0 to Full Power, |
DC or Sine Wave Input Only
|Modulation Bandwidth||20 kHz Full Depth of Mod|
|Power Input||+15 V, -15 V, +5 V|
|Housing Dimensions (W x D x H)||120 mm x 60 mm x 47 mm |
(4.8" x 2.4" x 1.8")
|Weight||160 g (5.5 oz)|
The table below is designed to give a quick overview of the key specifications for our laser diode controllers. For more details and specifications, or to order a specific item, click on the appropriate item number below.
|Item #||Drive Current||Compliance Voltage||CCa||CPb||Modulation||Package|
|LDC200CV||20 mA||6 V||External||Benchtop|
|VLDC002||25 mA||5 V||Int/Ext||OEM|
|VITC002||25 mA||5 V||Int/Ext||OEM|
|LDC201CU||100 mA||5 V||External||Benchtop|
|LD2000||100 mA||3.5 V||External||OEM|
|LD2000R||100 mA||3.5 V||External||OEM|
|EK2000||100 mA||3.5 V||External||OEM|
|LDC202C||200 mA||10 V||External||Benchtop|
|TLD001||200 mA||8 V||External||T-Cube|
|IP250-BV||250 mA||8 Vc||External||OEM|
|LD1100||250 mA||6.5 Vc||--||OEM|
|LD1101||250 mA||6.5 Vc||--||OEM|
|EK1101||250 mA||6.5 Vc||--||OEM|
|EK1102||250 mA||6.5 Vc||--||OEM|
|LD1255R||250 mA||3.3 V||External||OEM|
|LDC205C||500 mA||10 V||External||Benchtop|
|IP500||500 mA||3 V||External||OEM|
|LDC210C||1 A||10 V||External||Benchtop|
|LDC220C||2 A||4 V||External||Benchtop|
|LDC240C||4 A||5 V||External||Benchtop|
|LDC4005||5 A||10 V||Int/Ext||Benchtop|
|LDC4020||5 A||10 V||Int/Ext||Benchtop|
|Dual Temperature and Current Controllers|
|LDC1300B||1 A||5 V||--||OEM|
|ITC4001||1 A||>10 V||Int/Ext||Benchtop|
|ITC4005||5 A||>10 V||Int/Ext||Benchtop|
|ITC4020||20 A||>10 V||Int/Ext||Benchtop|
|2||Photodiode Cathode||7||Laser Diode Cathode|
(Polarity Anode Grounded)
|3||Laser Diode Ground||8||Laser Diode Anode|
(Polarity Cathode Grounded)
|5||Ground for Pin 1*||9||Not Connected|
Modulation or analog control input, -10 V to +10 V
*USB type Mini-B to type A cable included.
Typical APT User GUI
The APT family covers a wide range of photonics controller products ranging from small low powered single channel optomechanical drivers (the 'T-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 channel to the high powered multi-channel 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 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.
|Click here to view the video tutorial|
To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabView is also available.
|Click here to view the LabView guide|
Power Supplies sold separately, please see options below.
T-Cube Laser Diode Controller
Cable; Current Controller with 9-Pin D-Sub Connector, 1.5 m
T-Cube Controller Hub and Power Supply Unit
±15 V/5 V Power Supply Unit for up to 2 T-Cubes