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Precision Constant Current Laser Drivers


  • Zener & Schottky Diode Protection
  • 250 mA and 2.5 A Versions
  • RoHS Compliant Drivers Available

LD3000R

LD1255R

Application Idea

LD1255R

Mounted on an LD1255P
(Power Supply Not Included)

Related Items


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Item # LD1255R LD3000R
Operating Current 0.2 to 250 mA 0.02 to 2.5 A
Operating Mode Constant Current
Internal Current Control 12 Turn Potentiometer (On Board)
External Current Control 0 to 5 Volt Analog Input Voltage
Operating Voltage ±8 to 12 Volts
Monitor Photodiode
Transimpedance Gain
1000 V/A

The LD1255R (250 mA) is a low-noise, highly-stable, constant-current laser diode driver. The LD3000R is a higher-power (2.5 A) version of the LD1255R. These laser drivers are also recommended for driving LEDs. Both laser current drivers fully support the A, D, and E pin configurations (shown below).

Pin Style A
Pin Style D
Pin Style E

Note: The photodiode monitor circuits of the LD1255R and LD3000R only support lasers that have an isolated photodiode anode (i.e. the photodiode cathode connected to the laser anode). They will not work with common cathode lasers. CONNECTING THE PHOTODIODE OF THESE LASERS TO THE LD1255R or LD3000R WILL DESTROY THE LASER. The LD1255R and LD3000R will operate the laser portion of all common cathode lasers without any problems as long as the photodiode anode is not connected to the driver.

Item # LD1255R
Operating Current 0.2 to 250 mA
Operating Mode Constant Current
Internal Current Control 12 Turn Potentiometer (On Board)
External Current Control 0 to 5 V Analog Input Voltage
Output Current Drift  4.4 μA/°C (Typical)
Current Noise <1 μARMS
Operating Voltage ±8 to 12 V
Dimensions 2.45" x 1.03" (62.2 mm x 25.4 mm)
LD ESD Protection Forward Voltage: 160 ms Slow-Start Circuit, 3.3 V Zener Diode,
Reverse Voltage: Schottky Diode, LD DISABLE Pin
Signal Bandwidth 1.2 kHz
Monitor Photodiode
Transimpedance Gain 1000 V/A
Max LD Forward Voltage 3.3 V
Operating Temperature 10 to 30 °C
Storage Temperature -20 to 50 °C
Warm-up Time 30 Minutes
Item # LD3000R
Operating Current 0.02 to 2.5 A
Operating Mode Constant Current
Internal Current Control 12 Turn Potentiometer (On Board)
External Current Control 0 to 5 V Analog Input Voltage
Operating Voltage ±8 to 12 V
Dimensions 3.6" x 1.3" (91.4 mm x 33.0 mm)
Monitor Photodiode
Transimpedance Gain 1000 V/A
Operating Temperature 10 to 30 °C
Storage Temperature -20 to 50 °C
Warm-up Time 30 Minutes

LD1255R Top View

LD1255 Top View

LD3000R Top View

LD3000 Top View

LD1255R Pin Designations

Pin Function
J1-1 +V (+8 to +12 VDC, 10 mA)
J1-2 Common
J1-3 -V (-8 to -12 VDC, 0.3A) Provides Power to Laser
J1-4 External Current Control (0 to +5 V)
J1-5 Disable
J1-6 Laser Diode Anode
J1-7 Laser Diode Cathode
J1-8 Monitor Photo Diode Anode (From Laser)a
J1-9 Photodiode Monitor Output (-1 V/mA)
J1-10 Laser Current Monitor Output (10 mV/mA)
  • The LD1255R photodiode monitor circuit only supports lasers that have a photodiode with an isolated anode. It will not support common cathode lasers such as the CQL7825/D and CQL7840/D.

LD3000R Pin Designations

Pin Function
J1-1 +V (+5 to +12 VDC, 50 mA)
J1-2 Ground
J1-3 -V (-8 to -12 VDC, 2.5A) Provides Power to Laser
J1-4 External Current Control (0 to +5 V)
J1-5 No Contact (Polarization Key)
J1-6 Laser Diode Anode (Internally Connected to Pin 2 Ground)
J1-7 Laser Diode Cathode
J1-8 Monitor Photo Diode Anode (From Laser)a
J1-9 Photodiode Monitor Output (-1 V/mA)
J1-10 Laser Current Monitor Output (1 V/A)
  • The photodiode monitor circuit of the LD3000R only supports lasers that have an isolated photodiode anode (i.e. the photodiode cathode connected to the laser anode). It will not work with common cathode lasers. CONNECTING THE PHOTODIODE OF THESE LASERS TO THE LD3000R WILL DESTROY THE LASER. The LD3000R will operate the laser portion of all common cathode lasers without any problems as long as the photodiode anode is not connected to the driver.
J2 Pins to Jumper Operating Mode
1 to 2 Mode 1. COMMON Referenced
External Current Control
2 to 3 Mode 2. Disable External Current Control
J2 Pins to Jumper Operating Mode
2 to 3 Mode 1. COMMON Referenced
External Current Control
4 to 5 Mode 2. Disable External Current Control

IMPORTANT! Do not operate the LD3000R without a jumper installed on J2. Your laser may be overdriven and permanently damaged.

Remaining J2 Pins Function
1 No Connection (Leave This Pin Floating)
5 -V (May Also Be Used for Monitoring Signals)
LD3000R SmartPack Packaging
Click to Enlarge

LD3000R Packaging

Smart Pack

Item #% Weight
Reduction
CO2-Equivalent
Reductiona
LD3000R 15.26% 1.32 kg

Smart Pack

  • Reduce Weight of Packaging Materials
  • Increase Usage of Recyclable Packing Materials
  • Improve Packing Integrity
  • Decrease Shipping Costs

Thorlabs' Smart Pack Initiative is aimed at waste minimization while still maintaining adequate protection for our products. By eliminating any unnecessary packaging, implementing packaging design changes, and utilizing eco-friendly packaging materials for our customers when possible, this initiative seeks to improve the environmental impact of our product packaging. Products listed above are now shipped in re-engineered packaging that minimizes the weight and the use of non-recyclable materials.b As we move through our product line, we will indicate re-engineered packages with our Smart Pack logo.

  • Travel-based emissions reduction calculations are estimated based on the total weight reduction of packaging materials used for all of 2013’s product sales, traveling 1,000 miles on an airplane, to provide general understanding of the impact of packaging material reduction. Calculations were made using the EPA’s shipping emissions values for different modes of transport.
  • Some Smart Pack products may show a negative weight reduction percentage as the substitution of greener packaging materials, such as the Greenwrap, at times slightly increases the weight of the product packaging.

Posted Comments:
lmarin  (posted 2015-09-28 14:20:47.867)
IS CONFUSING Laser Current Monitor: The laser drive current can be monitored from pin 10 of J1. This output is referenced to the negative supply (J1 Pin 3 or J2 Pin 4) and has the following transfer function: VPIN10 = -V + ILD * 10 Hint: Using a DVM, the laser current can be read without having to compensate for the -V offset by attaching the (-) lead to J2 Pin 4 and the (+) lead to J1 Pin 10.
jlow  (posted 2015-10-01 04:47:39.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The test point outputs are voltage outputs. Using a voltmeter, a simple to read the output current is to connect the (+) lead to J1 Pin 10 and the (-) lead to J2 Pin 4 and measure the voltage between those two pins. The conversion is 10mV/mA.
lmarin  (posted 2015-09-28 13:23:44.05)
I am measuring LED current via pin 10 and pin 4 with DVM, what formula I need to use. Is a direct reading volts to amperes??
user  (posted 2014-12-08 15:31:19.617)
There is a typo in the autocad drawing of the LD1255R. It says "all header posts 0.25" square" but that should probably be 0.025" instead.
myanakas  (posted 2014-12-08 05:12:32.0)
Response from Mike at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. You are correct, the dimension should be 0.025" square. We are currently working on updating the support drawing.
iain  (posted 2013-11-01 05:51:17.01)
Can the LD1255R be battery-operated? For example, with a pair of lead-acid batteries.
cdaly  (posted 2013-11-07 03:10:11.0)
Response from Chris at Thorlabs: As long as you hook up a voltage supply to the J1 connector such that pin 1 is 8-12 volts higher in potential than the pin 2 ground and pin 3 is 8-12 volts lower in potential than the pin 2 ground, it does not really matter what the voltage supply is. As long as it can provide a minmimum of 10mA at these voltages, batteries would be fine.
jlow  (posted 2012-10-10 16:51:00.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The LD3000 does not support the TTL feature you mentioned. For a similar OEM driver with at least 2.5A output, maybe the ITC133 (http://www.thorlabs.com/NewGroupPage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=984) might be of more interest to you. I will get in contact with you to discuss about your application.
ntrail  (posted 2012-10-06 10:33:47.0)
Hello- Following up on the last comment about TTL, I read the instrution manual but am after a bit more clarification. I would like to have the internal pentiometer to set the current output, and then use the external 0-5V source to turn that current "on" to "off", or pulse it. Will the LD3000 support that type of functionality? I ask this, as it mentions the current can be controlled by the external voltage, but I didn't want the exact voltage to set the current, just to turn it on / off. Thank you.
jlow  (posted 2012-10-04 09:12:00.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The current output can be externally controlled by a voltage source applied to J1 pin 4. For example, you could use a DAQ card output (0 to +5V) to do that. Please refer to page 3 of the manual (http://www.thorlabs.com/Thorcat/16500/LD3000R-SpecSheet.pdf) for full details on this feature. Your voltage source would have to be triggered by your camera.
sebastien.avila  (posted 2012-10-04 05:53:00.0)
Hello, How can we pulse the current of the LD3000R? We want to trigger the laser diode synchronous to a camera @ 100fps (100µs to 3ms pulse time). Is there a TTL "enable" input? Thank you very much.
tcohen  (posted 2012-05-10 13:03:00.0)
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback! The LD1255R can be used with common cathode diodes as long as the photodiode is not connected. This may work if you are interested in using constant current mode. We also offer the IP250-BV that accommodates common cathode pin-outs and is capable of utilizing the photodiode for both constant current and constant power mode. The IP250-BV also supports analog modulation.
amiller  (posted 2012-05-09 13:32:15.0)
Hi, It would be useful to have a version of the controllers, e.g. the LD1225 for grounded cathode laser diodes. Many antimonide diodes have the polarity reversed, making the use of the existing LD1255 challenging for these devices. A separate current modulation input would also be a nice feature. Thanks.
bdada  (posted 2012-02-24 18:37:00.0)
Response from Buki at Thorlabs to przeszla: LD1255 should have sufficiently low current noise to be considered suitable for a DFB laser diode. However, you have to to be very careful to use the instructions in the manual, as it is not difficult to damage the LD if something is overlooked. For expensive laser diodes we recommend using a more turnkey current controller like the LDC201CU. We have contacted you to provide more information.
przeszla  (posted 2011-10-28 08:27:47.0)
Can I use the LD1255 to drive a DFB-Laser (distributed feedback laser) with a specified linewidth < 2MHz? Another manufactor of diode drivers offers an expensive driver with a similar noise and ripple of 2µA, but you have to use another electrical low-noise filter in order to drive the diode.
leichner  (posted 2009-10-19 11:05:56.0)
A response from Lou at Thorlabs to tom.hawkins: There is nothing you can do to add additional voltage. The 3.3V is actually the compliance voltage that the driver is regulated to be able to handle. The actual forward voltage is developed by the device, your LED. If the LED develops a higher forward voltage then you need a different driver. A recommend driver would be the IP250-BV which has a compliance voltage to 8VDC. http://www.thorlabs.com/NewGroupPage9.cfm?ObjectGroup_ID=1363&pn=IP250-BV&CFID=6061011&CFTOKEN=5737989 The LED may work with the LD1255R but the output will be significantly lower. (LEDs are much more forgiving then laser diodes)
tom.hawkins  (posted 2009-10-19 08:17:49.0)
I understand that this product can be used to drive LEDs as well as laser diodes, but what if the forward voltage of the LED is more than 3.3 V? Is there something I could do with an external voltage reference or negative supply rail to extend the drive voltage range?

Laser Diode Controller Selection Guide

The tables below are designed to give a quick overview of the key specifications for our laser diode controllers and dual diode/temperature controllers. For more details and specifications, or to order a specific item, click on the appropriate item number below.

Current Controllers
Item # Drive Current Compliance Voltage Constant Current Constant Power Modulation Package
LDC200CV 20 mA 6 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
VLDC002 25 mA 5 V Yes! - Int/Ext OEM
LDC201CU 100 mA 5 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
LD2000R 100 mA 3.5 V - Yes! External OEM
EK2000 100 mA 3.5 V - Yes! External OEM
LDC202C 200 mA 10 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
KLD101 230 mA ≤10 V Yes! Yes! External K-Cube™
IP250-BV 250 mA 8 Va Yes! Yes! External OEM
LD1100 250 mA 6.5 Va - Yes! -- OEM
LD1101 250 mA 6.5 Va - Yes! -- OEM
EK1101 250 mA 6.5 Va - Yes! -- OEM
EK1102 250 mA 6.5 Va - Yes! -- OEM
LD1255R 250 mA 3.3 V Yes! - External OEM
LDC205C 500 mA 10 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
IP500 500 mA 3 V Yes! Yes! External OEM
LDC210C 1 A 10 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
LDC220C 2 A 4 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
LD3000R 2.5 A -- Yes! - External OEM
LDC240C 4 A 5 V Yes! Yes! External Benchtop
LDC4005 5 A 12 V Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
LDC4020 20 A 11 V Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
  • When using a 12 V power supply.
Dual Temperature and Current Controllers
Item # Drive Current Compliance Voltage TEC Power (Max) Constant Current Constant Power Modulation Package
VITC002 25 mA 5 V >2 W Yes! - Int/Ext OEM
ITC102 200 mA >4 V 12 W Yes! Yes! Ext OEM
ITC110 1 A >4 V 12 W Yes! Yes! Ext OEM
ITC4001 1 A 11 V >96 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
CLD1010LPa 1.0 A >8 V >14.1 W Yes! Yes! Ext Benchtop
CLD1011LPb 1.0 A >8 V >14.1 W Yes! Yes! Ext Benchtop
CLD1015c 1.5 A >4 V >14.1 W Yes! Yes! Ext Benchtop
ITC4002QCLd 2 A 17 V >225 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC133 3 A >4 V 18 W Yes! Yes! Ext OEM
ITC4005 5 A 12 V >225 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC4005QCLd 5 A 20 V >225 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC4020 20 A 11 V >225 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
  • Combined controller and mount for pigtailed laser diodes in TO can packages with A, D, E, or G pin codes only.
  • Combined controller and mount for pigtailed laser diodes in TO can packages with B, C, or H pin codes only.
  • Combined controller and mount for laser diodes in butterfly packages only.
  • Enhanced compliance voltage for QCL operation.

We also offer a variety of OEM and rack-mounted laser diode current & temperature controllers (OEM Modules, PRO8 Current Control Rack Modules, and PRO8 Current and Temperature Control Rack Modules).

OEM Precision Constant Current Driver: 250 mA, 3.3 V

  • Laser Disable Pin
  • Slow-Start Circuit for Laser Protection
  • LD1255P Allows Mounting to an Optical Table or Breadboard
  • Size: 2.45" x 1.03" (62.2 mm x 25.4 mm)
  • RoHS-Compliant
  • Low Current Noise (<1 μARMS)
  • Low Temperature Drift
  • On-Board 12-Turn Laser Current Control
  • External Input for Laser Current Control
  • Monitor Output for Laser Current and Photodiode Current

The LD1255R is a low-noise, ultra-stable, constant-current laser diode driver. It supplies up to 250 mA of drive current, supports laser pin configurations A, D, and E, and is ideally suited for demanding diode laser applications such as operating a laser diode in an external cavity tunable laser. This second-generation laser diode driver includes on-board Zener and Schottky diode protection as well as a disable pin. The op-amp and voltage reference design enables more precise laser current control. The LD1255P Mounting Plate, which features 8-32 and M4 taps for post mounting, allows the LD1255R to be secured to a breadboard or optical table.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
LD1255R Support Documentation
LD1255R250 mA Precision Constant Current Laser Driver, RoHS Compliant
$164.48
Today
LD1255P Support Documentation
LD1255PLD1255R Optical Table Mounting Plate
$26.73
Today

OEM Precision Constant Current Driver: 2.5 A, 7.7 V

  • Low Noise 2.5 A Drive Current
  • Slow-Start Circuit for Laser Protection
  • RoHS-Compliant
  • Low Noise 12 µARMS at 1.0 A
  • On-Board 12-Turn Potentiometer Current Control
  • External Input for Current Control
  • Monitor Outputs for Diode and Photodiode Current

The LD3000R driver is a higher-power version of Thorlabs' popular LD1255R ultra-stable, low-noise laser diode driver featured above. It utilizes high-current components, supplies 2.5 A, and supports pin configurations A, D, and E. The aluminum housing allows additional heat sinking, which results in a highly stable laser diode driver in a relatively small package. This device can operate both LEDs and laser diodes.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
LD3000R Support Documentation
LD3000RLaser Diode Driver, 2.5 A Constant Current
$177.47
Today

OEM Board Level Driver Power Supplies & Cables

  • 12 VDC, 110-120 VAC Power Supply
  • Cable Connects Driver (LD1255R) and Power Supply (PS-12DC-US)

The PS-12DC-US provides a stable ±12 VDC output with up to ~300 mA of current, making it an ideal power supply for the LD1255R current driver sold above. However, this power supply is not recommended for use with the LD3000R due to the current requirements of this driver.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
PS-12DC-US Support Documentation
PS-12DC-USPower Supply, ±12 VDC, 110-120 VAC
$74.40
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
LD1255-CAB Support Documentation
LD1255-CABLD1255R Power Supply Cable
$18.73
Today
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