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High-Speed Photodetectors


  • Monitor CW or Fast Pulsed Lasers
  • Detectors for Wavelengths from 150 to 2600 nm
  • Integrate with Cage or Lens Tube Systems

DET36A

DET10C

Application Idea

Mounted Detectors are Cage System Compatible
(See the Mounting Options Tab for Details)

Related Items


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Operating Circuit Diagram

Operating Circuit Diagram
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Removable Internal SM1 Adapter
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Each detector has an internal SM05 and external SM1 thread and comes with an
attached SM1T1 Internal SM1 Adapter
and SM1RR Retaining Ring.

Features

Thorlabs' Biased Photodetectors are available in eleven models that cover the wavelength range from the UV to the mid-IR (150 nm to 2.6 µm) with improved bandwidth and NEP performance over previous models. The slim housing allows the optical detector to slip into tight setups. Each model comes complete with a fast PIN photodiode and an internal bias battery packaged in a rugged aluminum housing. Thorlabs also offers high-speed free-space detectors and high-speed fiber-coupled detectors for wavelengths between 400 - 1700 nm. Our biased photodetectors are compatible with our benchtop photodiode amplifier and PMT transimpedance amplifier.

With a wide bandwidth DC-coupled output, these detectors are ideal for monitoring fast pulsed lasers as well as DC optical sources. The direct photodiode anode current is provided on a side panel BNC. This output is easily converted to a positive voltage using a terminating resistor. When looking at high-speed signals, Thorlabs recommends using a 50 Ω load resistor. For lower bandwidth applications, our variable terminator or fixed stub-style terminators quickly adjusts the measured voltage. The detectors below do not have amplifiers or built-in gain, which generally allows them to operate at higher speeds than our PDA series of amplified photodetectors; for applications that require gain or switchable filters, a PDA amplified photodetector may be more suitable.

DET Battery Test Button
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Red Battery Test Button

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PDA200C Benchtop Photodiode Amplifier Connected to a DET10A Photodetector Using a BNC Cable

All connections and controls are located away from the light path, which simplifies integration of our detectors in enclosed spaces. The SM1 (1.035"-40), SM05 (0.535"-40), and 8-32 (M4 for items ending in /M) threadings on the DET detector housing allow it to be mounted in a cage system, lens tube system, or on a Ø1/2" optical post. Each DET housing includes a detachable Ø1" Optic Mount (SM1T1) that allows for Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) optical components, such as optical filters and lenses, to be mounted along the axis perpendicular to the center of the photosensitive region. See the Mounting Options tab for more details on how to incorporate a DET series photodetector into an optical setup.

Each detector is reverse-biased by an A23 12 VDC battery incorporated into the housing. The housing also includes a red button (pictured to the left) which, when held down, applies the battery's voltage across the external load. For a high Z load, this will output the battery's voltage over BNC, providing an easy way to determine if the battery should be replaced without removing it from the housing. An in-line current-limiting resistor (1.05 kΩ) prevents fast battery drainage if the battery is tested while connected to a 50 Ω load. Please note that due to slight physical variations of the positive terminal from manufacturer to manufacturer, Thorlabs only recommends using an Energizer battery in our DET series of photodetectors. A battery was chosen for the reverse bias because it provides an extremely low noise source of power. If the finite lifetime of a battery is not acceptable, the battery can be replaced by a DET1B Power Supply Kit. Extra batteries and the DET1B are available for purchase below.

Please note that inhomogeneities at the edges of the active area of the detector can generate unwanted capacitance and resistance effects that distort the time-domain response of the photodiode output. Thorlabs therefore recommends that the incident light on the photodiode is well centered on the active area. The SM1 (1.035"-40) threading on the housing is ideally suited for mounting a Ø1" focusing lens or pinhole in front of the detector element.

LPUV Transmission and Extinction Ratio
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LPVISA Transmission and Extinction Ratio
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LPVISC Transmission and Extinction Ratio
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LPVIS Transmission and Extinction Ratio
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Output Voltage Signal

BNC Female

BNC Female

0 - 10 V Output, 50 Ω Recommended Termination.

Battery Lifetime

When using a battery-operated photodetector, it is important to understand the battery’s lifetime and how this affects the operation of the detector. As a current output device, the output current of the photodetector is directly proportional to the amount of incident light on the detector. Most users will convert this current to a voltage by using a terminating load resistor. The resistance value is approximately equal to the circuit gain. For very high speed detectors, such as the DET08 series, it is very important to use a 50 Ω terminating resistor to match the impedance of standard coaxial cables to reduce cable reflections and improve overall signal performance and integrity. Most high-bandwidth scopes come equipped with this termination.

The battery usage lifetime directly correlates to the current used by the detector. Most battery manufacturers provide a battery lifetime in terms of mAh (milliamp hours). For example, if a battery is rated for 190 mA hrs, it will reliably operate for 190 hr at a current draw of 1.0 mA. This battery will be used in the following example on how to determine battery lifetime based on usage.

For this example we have a 780 nm light source with an average 1 mW power is applied to a detector. The responsivity of a biased photodetector based on the response curve at this wavelength is 0.5 A/W. The photocurrent can be calculated as:

eq1

Given the battery has a rated lifetime of 190 mA hr, the battery will last:

Eq2

or 16 days of continuous use. By reducing the average incident power of the light to 10 µW, the same battery would last for about 4 years when used continuously. When using the recommended 50 Ω terminating load, the 0.5 mA photocurrent will be converted into a voltage of:

Eq3

If the incident power level is reduced to 40 µW, the output voltage becomes 1 mV. For some measurement devices this signal level may be too low and a compromise between battery life and measurement accuracy will need to be made.

When using a battery-powered, biased photodetector, it is desirable to use as low a light intensity as is possible, keeping in mind the minimum voltage levels required. It is also important to remember that a battery will not immediately cease producing a current as it nears the end of its lifetime. Instead, the voltage of the battery will drop, and the electric potential being applied to the photodiode will decrease. This in turn will increase the response time of the detector and lower its bandwidth. As a result, it is important to make sure the battery has sufficient voltage (as given in the Troubleshooting chapter of the detector's manual) for the detector to operate within its specified parameters. The voltage can be checked with a multimeter.

Another suggestion to increase the battery lifetime is to remove, or power down the light source illuminating the sensor. Without the light source, the photodetector will continue to draw current proportional to the photodetector’s dark current, but this current will be significantly smaller.

For applications where a DET series photodetector is continuously illuminated with a relatively high-power light source, or if having to change the battery is not acceptable, we offer the DET1B adapter and power supply (sold below). The drawback to this option is the noise in the line voltage will add to the noise in the output signal and could cause more measurement uncertainty.

The DET series biased photodiode detector housing is compatible with our line of lens tubes, TR series Ø1/2" posts, and cage systems. Because of the flexibility, the best method for mounting the housing in a given optical setup is not always obvious. The pictures and text in this tab will discuss some of the common mounting solutions. As always, our technical support staff is available for individual consultation.

 photodiode detector assembled  photodiode unassembled  photodiode close up
Picture of a DET series biased photodiode detector as it will look when unpackaged. Picture of a DET series biased photodiode detector with the included SM1T1 and its retaining ring removed from the front of the housing. A close up picture of the front of a DET series biased photodiode detector with the SM1T1 removed. The external SM1and internal SM05 threading on the detector housing can be seen in this image.

Lens Tube System

Each DET housing includes a detachable Ø1" Optic Mount (SM1T1) that allows for Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) optical components, such as optical filters and lenses, to be mounted along the axis perpendicular to the center of the photosensitive region. The maximum thickness of an optic that can be mounted in the SM1T1 is 0.1" (2.8 mm). For thicker Ø1" (Ø25.4 mm) optics or for any thickness of Ø0.5" (Ø12.7 mm) optics, remove the SM1T1 from the front of the detector and place (must be purchased separately) an SM1 or SM05 series lens tube, respectively, on the front of the detector.

The SM1 and SM05 threading on the DET biased photodiode detector housing make it compatible with our SM lens tube system and accessories. Two particularly useful accessories include the SM threaded irises and the SM compatible IR and visible alignment tools. Also available are fiber optic adapters for use with connectorized fibers; please see the Accessories tab above.

Ø1/2" Post System

The DET housing can be mounted vertically or horizontally on a Ø1/2" Post using the 8-32 (M4) threaded holes.

 post mounted biased photodiode detector  vertical post mounted biased photodiode detector
DET series detector mounted horizontally on a TR series post. Notice how the on/off switch is easily accessible from the top and the electrical connection comes in perpendicular to the beam path. DET series detector mounted vertically on a TR series post. This image shows the VBIAS OUT button that can be pressed and held to check the battery's charge (this process is described in the manual).

Cage System

The simplest method for attaching the DET biased photodiode detector housing to a cage plate is to remove the SM1T1 that is attached to the front of the DET when it is shipped. This will expose external SM1 threading that is deep enough to thread the detector directly to a CP02 30 mm cage plate. When the CP02 cage plate is tightened down onto the DET biased photodiode detector housing the cage plate will not necessarily be square with the detector. To fix this, back off the cage plate until it is square with the detector and then use the retaining ring included with the SM1T1 to lock the DET detector into the desired location. This method for attaching the DET biased photodiode detector housing to a cage plate does not allow for much freedom in determining the orientation of the biased photodiode detector; however, it has the benefit of not needing an adapter piece and it allows the photodiode to be as close as possible to the cage plate, which can be important in setups where the light is divergent. On a side note, Thorlabs sells the SM05PD and SM1PD series of photodiodes that can be threaded into a cage plate so that the diode is flush with the front surface of the cage plate; however, the photodiode is unbiased.

For more freedom in choosing the orientation of the DET biased photodiode detector housing when attaching it, a SM1T2 lens tube coupler can be purchased. In this configuration the SM1T1 is left on the detector and the SM1T2 is threaded into it. The exposed external SM1 threading is now deep enough to secure the biased photodiode detector to a CP02 cage plate in any orientation and lock it into place using one of the two locking rings on the ST1T2.

 biased photodiode mounted in a 30 mm cage plate  biased photodiode in an optical cage construction
This picture shows a DET series detector attached to a CP02 cage plate after removing the SM1T1. The retaining ring from the SM1T1 was used to make the orientation of the detector square with the cage plate. This picture shows a DET series detector attached to a CP02 cage plate using an SM1T2 adapter in addition to the SM1T1 that comes with the DET series detector.

Although not pictured here, the DET detector housing can be connected to a 16 mm cage system by purchasing a SM05T2. It can be used to connect the DET detector housing to a SP02 cage plate.

Application

The image below shows a Michelson Interferometer built entirely from parts available from Thorlabs. This application demonstrates the ease with which an optical system can be constructed using our lens tube, TR series post, and cage systems.

Interferometer Application

The table contains a part list for the Michelson Interferometer with links to the pages that contain information about the individual parts. 

Item # Quantity Description Item # Quantity Description
KC1 1 Mirror Mount SM1V05 1 Ø1" Adjustable Length Lens Tube
BB1-E03 2 Broadband Dielectric Laser Mirrors SM1D12 1 SM1 Threaded Lens Tube Iris
ER4 8 Cage Rods, 4" Long CP08FP 1 30 mm Cage Plate for FiberPorts
ER6 4 Cage Rods, 6" Long SM1Z   Cage System Z-Axis Translation Mount
CCM1-BS014 1 Mounted Beamsplitting Cube SM1L30 1 Ø1" Lens Tube, 3" in Length
DET36A 1 Biased Photodiode Detector PAF-X-2-B 1 FiberPort
TR2 1 Ø1/2" Post, 2" in Length BA2 1 Post Base
PH2 1 Ø1/2" Post Holder P1-830A-FC-2 1 Single Mode Fiber Patch Cable

Photodiode Tutorial

Theory of Operation

A junction photodiode is an intrinsic device that behaves similarly to an ordinary signal diode, but it generates a photocurrent when light is absorbed in the depleted region of the junction semiconductor. A photodiode is a fast, highly linear device that exhibits high quantum efficiency based upon the application and may be used in a variety of different applications.

It is necessary to be able to correctly determine the level of the output current to expect and the responsivity based upon the incident light. Depicted in Figure 1 is a junction photodiode model with basic discrete components to help visualize the main characteristics and gain a better understanding of the operation of Thorlabs' photodiodes.

Equation 1
Photodiode Circuit Diagram
Figure 1: Photodiode Model

Photodiode Terminology

Responsivity
The responsivity of a photodiode can be defined as a ratio of generated photocurrent (IPD) to the incident light power (P) at a given wavelength:

Equation 2

Modes of Operation (Photoconductive vs. Photovoltaic)
A photodiode can be operated in one of two modes: photoconductive (reverse bias) or photovoltaic (zero-bias). Mode selection depends upon the application's speed requirements and the amount of tolerable dark current (leakage current).

Photoconductive
In photoconductive mode, an external reverse bias is applied, which is the basis for our DET series detectors. The current measured through the circuit indicates illumination of the device; the measured output current is linearly proportional to the input optical power. Applying a reverse bias increases the width of the depletion junction producing an increased responsivity with a decrease in junction capacitance and produces a very linear response. Operating under these conditions does tend to produce a larger dark current, but this can be limited based upon the photodiode material. (Note: Our DET detectors are reverse biased and cannot be operated under a forward bias.)

Photovoltaic
In photovoltaic mode the photodiode is zero biased. The flow of current out of the device is restricted and a voltage builds up. This mode of operation exploits the photovoltaic effect, which is the basis for solar cells. The amount of dark current is kept at a minimum when operating in photovoltaic mode.

Dark Current
Dark current is leakage current that flows when a bias voltage is applied to a photodiode. When operating in a photoconductive mode, there tends to be a higher dark current that varies directly with temperature. Dark current approximately doubles for every 10 °C increase in temperature, and shunt resistance tends to double for every 6 °C rise. Of course, applying a higher bias will decrease the junction capacitance but will increase the amount of dark current present.

The dark current present is also affected by the photodiode material and the size of the active area. Silicon devices generally produce low dark current compared to germanium devices which have high dark currents. The table below lists several photodiode materials and their relative dark currents, speeds, sensitivity, and costs.

MaterialDark CurrentSpeedSpectral RangeCost
Silicon (Si) Low High Speed Visible to NIR Low
Germanium (Ge) High Low Speed NIR Low
Gallium Phosphide (GaP) Low High Speed UV to Visible Moderate
Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) Low High Speed NIR Moderate
Indium Arsenide Antimonide (InAsSb) High Low Speed NIR to MIR High
Extended Range Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) High High Speed NIR High
Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT, HgCdTe) High Low Speed NIR to MIR High

Junction Capacitance
Junction capacitance (Cj) is an important property of a photodiode as this can have a profound impact on the photodiode's bandwidth and response. It should be noted that larger diode areas encompass a greater junction volume with increased charge capacity. In a reverse bias application, the depletion width of the junction is increased, thus effectively reducing the junction capacitance and increasing the response speed.

Bandwidth and Response
A load resistor will react with the photodetector junction capacitance to limit the bandwidth. For best frequency response, a 50 Ω terminator should be used in conjunction with a 50 Ω coaxial cable. The bandwidth (fBW) and the rise time response (tr) can be approximated using the junction capacitance (Cj) and the load resistance (RLOAD):

Equation 3

Noise Equivalent Power
The noise equivalent power (NEP) is the generated RMS signal voltage generated when the signal to noise ratio is equal to one. This is useful, as the NEP determines the ability of the detector to detect low level light. In general, the NEP increases with the active area of the detector and is given by the following equation:

Photoconductor NEP

Here, S/N is the Signal to Noise Ratio, Δf is the Noise Bandwidth, and Incident Energy has units of W/cm2. For more information on NEP, please see Thorlabs' Noise Equivalent Power White Paper.

Terminating Resistance
A load resistance is used to convert the generated photocurrent into a voltage (VOUT) for viewing on an oscilloscope:

Equation 4

Depending on the type of the photodiode, load resistance can affect the response speed. For maximum bandwidth, we recommend using a 50 Ω coaxial cable with a 50 Ω terminating resistor at the opposite end of the cable. This will minimize ringing by matching the cable with its characteristic impedance. If bandwidth is not important, you may increase the amount of voltage for a given light level by increasing RLOAD. In an unmatched termination, the length of the coaxial cable can have a profound impact on the response, so it is recommended to keep the cable as short as possible.

Shunt Resistance
Shunt resistance represents the resistance of the zero-biased photodiode junction. An ideal photodiode will have an infinite shunt resistance, but actual values may range from the order of ten Ω to thousands of MΩ and is dependent on the photodiode material. For example, and InGaAs detector has a shunt resistance on the order of 10 MΩ while a Ge detector is in the kΩ range. This can significantly impact the noise current on the photodiode. For most applications, however, the high resistance produces little effect and can be ignored.

Series Resistance
Series resistance is the resistance of the semiconductor material, and this low resistance can generally be ignored. The series resistance arises from the contacts and the wire bonds of the photodiode and is used to mainly determine the linearity of the photodiode under zero bias conditions.

Common Operating Circuits

Reverse Biased DET Circuit
Figure 2: Reverse-Biased Circuit (DET Series Detectors)

The DET series detectors are modeled with the circuit depicted above. The detector is reverse biased to produce a linear response to the applied input light. The amount of photocurrent generated is based upon the incident light and wavelength and can be viewed on an oscilloscope by attaching a load resistance on the output. The function of the RC filter is to filter any high-frequency noise from the input supply that may contribute to a noisy output.

Reverse Biased DET Circuit
Figure 3: Amplified Detector Circuit

One can also use a photodetector with an amplifier for the purpose of achieving high gain. The user can choose whether to operate in Photovoltaic of Photoconductive modes. There are a few benefits of choosing this active circuit:

  • Photovoltaic mode: The circuit is held at zero volts across the photodiode, since point A is held at the same potential as point B by the operational amplifier. This eliminates the possibility of dark current.
  • Photoconductive mode: The photodiode is reversed biased, thus improving the bandwidth while lowering the junction capacitance. The gain of the detector is dependent on the feedback element (Rf). The bandwidth of the detector can be calculated using the following:

Equation 5

where GBP is the amplifier gain bandwidth product and CD is the sum of the junction capacitance and amplifier capacitance.

Effects of Chopping Frequency

The photoconductor signal will remain constant up to the time constant response limit. Many detectors, including PbS, PbSe, HgCdTe (MCT), and InAsSb, have a typical 1/f noise spectrum (i.e., the noise decreases as chopping frequency increases), which has a profound impact on the time constant at lower frequencies.

The detector will exhibit lower responsivity at lower chopping frequencies. Frequency response and detectivity are maximized for

Photoconductor Chopper Equation

Dark Current as a Function of Temperature or Reverse-Bias Votage

Measurements of dark current as a function of temperature and dark current as a function of reverse-bias voltage were acquired for several packaged detectors. As is described in the following section, dark current is a relatively small electrical current that flows in p-n junction photodetectors when no light is incident on the detector. For certain applications, it may be necessary to account for the change in dark current as temperature fluctuates and/or as the reverse-bias voltage changes. As a consequence of a battery's supplied voltage decreasing as it drains, the relationship between the reverse-bias voltage and the dark current level may be of particular interest if a battery is used to reverse-bias voltage the photodiode.

One set of measurements were taken for silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) reverse-biased photodiodes over temperatures from 10 °C to 50 °C, and another set of measurements were taken for the same detectors while they were held at 24 °C and the reverse-bias voltage varied from 0 to 10 V. Please click the "More [+]" labels in the following expandable tables to read about the experiments and our measurements.

Current-Voltage Characteristics of p-n Junction Photodiodes

The characteristic current-voltage relationship of p-n junction photodiodes includes a forward-biased and a reverse-biased voltage regime. Operation of p-n juction photodiodes occurs in the reverse-biased voltage regime, in which a potential difference is applied across the diode to resist the flow of current. A convenient feature of some packaged photodiodes is that a battery inserted into the package can supply the reverse-bias voltage. Ideally, if no light is incident on a reverse-biased photodiode, no current flows.

Under real-world conditions, random processes in the semiconductor material of the photodiode always generate current carriers (electrons and holes) that produce current. These current generation processes are not driven by the photogeneration of electrons and holes. Instead, they are largely driven by the thermal energy contained in the semiconductor material.[1] This dark current is generally small, but it is present when the photodiode is reverse biased and not illuminated. Dark current magnitudes vary for photodiodes of different material compositions; the efficiencies of the thermal generation processes depend on the type and crystal quality of the semiconductor used in the detector's sensing head. The magnitude of the dark current can be expected to increase as the temperature of the photodiode increases and as the reverse-bias voltage applied to the photodiode increases.

It is important to note that if the reverse bias voltage is increased beyond a certain threshold, the photodiode will suffer reverse breakdown, in which the magnitude of the current increases exponentially and permanent damage to the diode is likely. For this reason, many of the Thorlabs DET packages include a voltage regulator to prevent the bias voltage from reaching breakdown.

When a photodiode is illuminated, the current generated by the incident light adds to the dark current. The carriers in the photocurrent are generated by the energy contained in the photons of the incident light. Above a certain illumination threshold intensity, the magnitude of the photocurrent exceeds the magnitude of the dark current. When the photocurrent is larger than the dark current, the magnitude of the photocurrent can be calculated by measuring the total current and then subtracting the contribution of the dark current. When the photocurrent is smaller than the noise on the dark current, the photocurrent is undetectable. Because of this, it is desirable to minimize the levels of dark current in photodiodes.

 [1] J. Liu, Photonic Devices. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2005

Dark Current as a Function of Temperature

Dark currents were measured over temperatures of 10 °C to 50 °C for three representative packaged detectors: the Si-based DET100A, the Ge-based DET50B, and the InGaAs-based DET10C.

DET in Nested-Box Test Fixture, Both Covers Open, Key Parts Labeled
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Figure 1: The Nested Metal Box Test Fixture with Covers Removed and DET10C Installed
Black insulating foam lines the interiors of both boxes. 
A: Outer Aluminum Box; B: Inner Aluminum Box; C: Thermistor; D: DET10C; E: BNC-to-Triax Feedthrough; F: BNC-to-BNC Feedthrough 

Experimental Setup
The experimental setup was designed to ensure a constant reverse-bias voltage across the photodiode, control the temperature of the detector, block light from reaching the detector, and establish an electrical path between the detector and the Keithley 6487 ammeter that isolated the measured current from extraneous electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise sources. Dark currents for these detectors can be on the order of nA, which made it important to control these conditions to ensure accurate measurements.

As the dark current depends to some degree on the magnitude of the reverse-bias voltage, care was taken to ensure the reverse-bias voltage remained constant over the duration of each measurement set. For these detectors, the source of the reverse-bias voltage was a battery. Before each data set was acquired, the detector's A23 battery was replaced with a fresh one. The battery's voltage was also measured before and after each test to ensure the bias voltage remained constant over the course of the measurement.

Thermistors were used to monitor the temperatures of each photodiode continuously during the experiment. A thermistor was held in contact with the outer surface of the TO can housing using a piece of thermal tape. With the thermistor in place it was not possible to use the detector cap to block light from reaching the photodiode.   

The detector enclosure consisted of a pair of nested aluminum metal boxes, which are shown with their covers off in Figure 1. Only one box would be required to create a light-tight environment for the photodiode, but an outer box was included in the setup to shield the inner box from EMI related noise. The detector was placed inside the inner box, which was equipped with a BNC-to-triax adapter feedthrough; the BNC end was accessible from inside of the box, and the triax end was accessible from outside of the box. The BNC connector on the detector was attached directly to the BNC end of the adapter, which advantageously eliminated the need to use a BNC cable. BNC cables are poorly shielded, and using one could introduce noise from EMI sources to the signal read from the detector. This inner metal box was placed inside of an outer metal box, which possessed a triax-to-triax feedthrough. A triax cable was used to route the detector signal between the feedthroughs on the inner and outer boxes. A triax cable was also used to connect the Keithley 6487 ammeter to the end of the Triax-to-Triax feedthrough accessible on the outside of the outer box. The outer metal box served to isolate the inner metal box from EMI, and the triax cables shielded the detector signal from EMI. After covering two boxes with their respective lids, the nested box set was placed inside an ESPEC ESX-3CW temperature chamber. The ammeter was located outside of the chamber.

The electrical connection between the thermistor and TSP01 temperature logger was performed using BNC cables, BNC-to-BNC bulkhead feedthroughs to route the signal out of the nested boxes, and a custom BNC-to-phono jack cable to connect to the temperature logger.

Experimental Results
The data curves plotted in Figure 2 are the dark currents measured for the Si-based DET100A, the Ge-based DET50B, and the InGaAs-based DET10C. Data were acquired continuously while the temperature was within the specified operating range of the photodiodes: between 10 °C and 50 °C (shaded region of Figure 3). Figure 3 is representative of the temperature of the photodiode's TO can measured by the thermistor during the experiment. The temperature profile of the chamber intentionally included higher and lower temperatures to ensure that the measurements could be taken over the full temperature operating range of the photodiodes. The data plotted in Figure 2 include dark current measurements acquired as the temperature was both increasing and decreasing; the two data sets overlay one another for each diode. 

The data curves plotted in Figure 2 show the Si-based detector exhibited the least amount of dark current and the Ge-based detector exhibited the most, with the levels of the latter being approximately 5 orders of magnitude higher. In all cases, the dark current increased with the temperature of the photodiode, as expected. The individual points on this graph, plotted as diamonds, are the values of the dark current specified for each detector at 25 °C. These points specify a maximum value of dark current at 25 °C; each diode's dark current must be equal to or less than this value at 25 °C, but the dark current may exceed this specification at higher temperatures, as is the case for the measured DET50B detector.

Dark Current Measurement Data
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Figure 2: Dark Current Data Measured for Three Packaged Photodiodes
The discrete data points, plotted as diamonds, are values of the dark current specified for each detector at 25 °C.
Temperature Profile for the Dark Current Measurement Data
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Figure 3: Temperature of a Representative Photodiode Controlled by the Conditions in the Environmental Chamber
Dark current measurements were acquired between 10 °C and 50 °C (indicated by the shaded region) and are plotted in Figure 2 .

Experimental Limitations
Measurements were performed using a single representative of each detector type, as these data were intended to illustrate general trends. These data should not be taken as specific for a particular diode. The measured dark current is a function of voltage bias, temperature dependence of resistive loads, and other effects. Efforts were made to suppress their influence on these measurements, including replacing each detector's battery with a fresh one prior to each measurement and using an ammeter to measure the dark current. Using the ammeter removed the need to use a load resisitor, which may exhibit its own temperature dependence. The thermistor was placed as close to the semiconductor sensor as was possible, but it was not placed in direct contact with the sensor. Because of this, there may have been a difference between the measured temperature and the temperature of the semiconductor material. The dark current was measured while the temperature of the environmental chamber was continuously varied. Measurements were not made during steady-state temperature conditions, but rather during a slow temperature ramp. Temperatures below 10 °C and above 50 °C were not measured, and the effects of quickly-varying changes in temperature were not investigated. Humidity was not controlled during this experiment.


Dark Current as a Function of Reverse-Bias Voltage

Dark currents were measured while three representative packaged detectors, the Si-based DET100A, the Ge-based DET50B, and the InGaAs-based DET10C, were held at 24 °C and their reverse-bias voltages were varied between 0 and 10 V. Either a battery or an external power supply, such as the DET1B Power Adapter, can be used to provide the required reverse-bias voltage. The measurements described below were made to demonstrate how the dark current changes as the voltage supplied by the battery decreases as the battery drains.

DET in Nested-Box Test Fixture, Both Covers Open, Key Parts Labeled
Click to Enlarge

Figure 1: The Nested Metal Box Test Fixture with Covers Removed and DET10C Installed
Black insulating foam lines the interiors of both boxes. 
A: Outer Aluminum Box; B: Inner Aluminum Box; C: Thermistor; D: DET10C; E: Power Adapter of the DET1B Power Supply; F: BNC-to-BNC Feedthrough for the DET1B, G: BNC-to-Triax Feedthrough for the Detector Signal; H: BNC-to-BNC Feedthrough for the Thermistor

Experimental Setup
The experimental setup was designed to measure the dark current of the photodiodes as a function of the reverse bias voltage, while mitigating the contributions from noise sources. The setup controlled the temperature of the detector, blocked light from reaching the detector, and established an electrical path between the detector and the Keithley 6487 ammeter, which isolated the measured current from extraneous electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise sources. Dark currents for these detectors can be on the order of nA, which made it important to control these conditions to ensure accurate measurements.

The detector enclosure consisted of a pair of nested aluminum metal boxes, which are shown with their covers off in Figure 1. Only one box would be required to create a light-tight environment for the photodiode, but an outer box was included in the setup to shield the inner box from EMI related noise. The detector was placed inside the inner box, and electrical connections were made through it using BNC and a BNC-to-triax adapter feedthroughs. 

The measurement signal from the detector was routed through the BNC-to-triax adapter feedthrough. The BNC connector on the detector was attached directly to the BNC end of the adapter, which advantageously eliminated the need to use a BNC cable. BNC cables are poorly shielded, and using one could introduce noise from EMI sources to the signal read from the detector. This inner metal box was placed inside of an outer metal box, which possessed a triax-to-triax feedthrough. A triax cable was used to route the detector signal between the feedthroughs on the inner and outer boxes. A triax cable was also used to connect the Keithley 6487 ammeter to the end of the Triax-to-Triax feedthrough accessible on the outside of the outer box. The outer metal box served to isolate the inner metal box from EMI, and the triax cables shielded the detector signal from EMI. After covering the two boxes with their respective lids, the nested box set was placed inside an ESPEC ESX-3CW temperature chamber. The ammeter was located outside of the chamber.

A DET1B, which includes a power supply and a power adapter designed to be inserted into the battery port of the DET series detectors, was used to supply the reverse-bias voltage, which was routed through BNC feedthroughs. The power adapter was inserted into the detector, and the opposite end of the adapter was connected to a BNC feedthough fitted into the wall of the inner box. A BNC cable and another feedthrough was used extend the electrical connection to the outside of the outer box, and the voltage output of the Keithley 6487 was connected to that. A computer was interfaced with the Keithley, which allowed the computer to simultaneously control the reverse-bias voltage while measuring the dark current. 

As the dark current depends strongly on temperature, thermistors were used to monitor the temperatures of each photodiode continuously during the experiment. A thermistor was held in contact with the outer surface of the TO can housing using a piece of thermal tape. With the thermistor in place, it was not possible to use the detector cap to block light from reaching the photodiode. The electrical connection between the thermistor and TSP01 temperature logger was performed using BNC cables, BNC-to-BNC bulkhead feedthroughs to route the signal out of the nested boxes, and a custom BNC-to-phono jack cable to connect to the temperature logger.

Experimental Results
The data curves plotted in Figures 2 through 4 are the dark currents measured for the Si-based DET100A, the Ge-based DET50B, and the InGaAs-based DET10C, respectively.

The Si-based DET100A does not contain an integrated voltage regulator, while both the Ge-based DET50B and the InGaAs-based DET10C do. Voltage regulators integrated into photodiodes are used to maintain a stable reverse bias voltage across the photodiode.

In general, voltage regulators are applied in a range of applications to automatically maintain a stable voltage level: the regulator ensures that the output voltage level is approximately constant as long as the voltage input falls within a specified range. When the input voltage decreases below the voltage regulator's dropout voltage, which marks the lower end of the range, the regulator is no longer able to regulate the output voltage. As the input voltage continues to decrease from the dropout voltage, the output voltage decreases until a threshold is reached and the regulator becomes non-functional. While in this off state, the output voltage is negligible. In the case of the Ge-based DET50B and the InGaAs-based DET10C, the output voltage provided by the voltage regulator is used to reverse bias the photodiode.

The absence of a voltage regulator in the Si-based DET100A results in its measured dark current, plotted in Figure 2, continuing to increase as the voltage supplied by the Keithley 6487 increases. The dark current measured for the DET100A increases exponentially up to a reverse-bias voltage of 0.5 V, and then it increases linearly for reverse-bias voltages between approximately 0.5 V and 10 V. A fresh battery supplies ≥10 V.

Both the Ge-based DET50B, shown in Figure 3, and the InGaAs-based DET10C, shown in Figure 4, exhibit no dark current until the reverse-bias voltage reaches a threshold (approximately 1 V for the DET50B and 1.5 V for the DET10C). The voltage range up to this threshold value corresponds to the off state of the voltage regulator. After this threshold is exceeded, the dark currents measured for these detectors increase, approximately exponentially, until the voltage supplied by the Keithley 6487 reaches the dropout regulator voltage of 5.5 V. For supplied voltages between 5.5 V and 10 V, the voltage regulator maintains a constant 5.5 V reverse-bias across the photodiodes, which results in an approximately constant values of dark current for supplied voltages over this range. As a fresh battery supplies ≥10 V, the voltage regulator has the effect of ensuring the dark current level remains approximately constant over much of the battery's lifetime, as well as protecting the photodiode from exposure to excessive reverse-bias voltages in general.

Dark Current Measurement Data for the Si-Based DET100A
Click to Enlarge

Figure 2: Dark current data measured for the Si-based DET100A packaged photodiode, which does not include an integrated voltage regulator, is plotted as a function of the voltage supplied by the Keithley 6487.
Dark Current Measurement Data for the Ge-Based DET50B
Click to Enlarge

Figure 3: Dark current data measured for the Ge-based DET50B packaged photodiode, which includes an integrated voltage regulator, is plotted as a function of the voltage supplied by the Keithley 6487.
Dark Current Measurement Data for the InGaAs-Based DET50B
Click to Enlarge

Figure 4: Dark current data measured for the InGaAs-Based DET10C packaged photodiode, which includes an integrated voltage regulator, is plotted as a function of the voltage supplied by the Keithley 6487.

Experimental Limitations
Measurements were performed using a single representative of each detector type, as these data were intended to illustrate general trends. These data should not be taken as specific for a particular diode. The measured dark current is a function of voltage bias, temperature dependence of resistive loads, and other effects. Efforts were made to suppress their influence on these measurements, including performing the measurement in a temperature controlled chamber and using an ammeter to measure the dark current. Using the ammeter removed the need to use a load resistor, which may exhibit its own temperature dependence. Humidity was not controlled during this experiment.

About Our Lab Facts
Our application engineers live the experience of our customers by conducting experiments in Alex’s personal lab. Here, they gain a greater understanding of our products’ performance across a range of application spaces. Their results can be found throughout our website on associated product pages in Lab Facts tabs. Experiments are used to compare performance with theory and look at the benefits and drawbacks of using similar products in unique setups, in an attempt to understand the intricacies and practical limitations of our products. In all cases, the theory, procedure, and results are provided to assist with your buying decisions.


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Posted Comments:
Poster:sxogus123
Posted Date:2017-08-07 16:25:17.857
I am a student studying in Korea. There is no voltage in the resistor when a resistor is connected in series to the output of DET100A / M. I do not know why this is. I would like to ask if there is any way to use the circuit using the output of the DET100A / M. What I want to do is to connect the output of the DET100A / M to the circuit to get an output of 0 to 5V. I did not think it would be possible to use the voltage distribution law. Voltage distribution law was used to reduce 0 ~ 10V output proportionally from 0 ~ 5V. However, when I connected the output of the DET100A / M to the resistor, I found that the voltage was not transmitted. In my opinion, when connecting two of the same resistors at 10V output, I think 5V should be applied to one resistor, but the desired value does not actually come out. I would like to ask if there is any way to use the voltage of the DET100A / M output.
Poster:
Posted Date:2017-05-15 10:39:10.12
What is the threshold of destruction of the photodiode? (DET10A)
Poster:tfrisch
Posted Date:2017-05-18 08:23:58.0
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The damage threshold is not specified because the detector will have a non-linear or saturated response before it is damaged. Please contact TechSupport@Thorlabs.com to discuss further.
Poster:lars.heinen
Posted Date:2017-02-23 04:11:42.91
Our DET10N/M PD only has an output voltage of a few mV in saturation with a 50 Ohm RLoad, which is correct according to the responstivity diagram. But the data sheet says it should have an output voltage level of 0-5V with a 50 Ohm RLoad. How is this discrepancy possible? Also using an amplifier with a factor of 20 the rise time of the photodiode is about 10µs with a 50 Ohm RLoad.
Poster:tfrisch
Posted Date:2017-03-03 08:02:27.0
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The 0-5V note comes from on older CE standard and corresponds not to the photodiode signal, but the bias battery test mode. Newer versions of the housing are expected to clarify this engraving. As for the rise time, I will reach out to you directly about the specs of your amplifier and your measurement method.
Poster:ati5770gd5
Posted Date:2016-12-28 17:13:27.683
This wide range PD works pretty nice in my optical system, especially for us~ns measurement within NIR region, both the sensitivity and response time are so good! However, i would like to know if i can modulate the Bias voltage (ex: Sine wave input Bias or DC+Sine wave) to achieve the modulation of gain so that i could perform some frequency domain lifetime measurements.
Poster:tfrisch
Posted Date:2016-12-30 02:16:37.0
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The DET50B/M has a built in bias battery which cannot be varied, but the photodiode is available as a bare diode under the part number FDG50. You can build that into your own setup with a variable bias if needed. I will reach out to you directly as well.
Poster:kurzn
Posted Date:2016-12-08 16:04:53.733
Hello, What is the damage threshold for the PD DET10N/M? Regards,
Poster:tfrisch
Posted Date:2016-12-14 01:49:34.0
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. While we don't have any damage testing on DET10N/M, the detector we have a non linear, and then saturated response before it is damaged. I will reach out to you directly to discuss this further.
Poster:cesnike10
Posted Date:2016-07-22 04:13:16.827
greetings, I am using a photodetector det36a, I record the variations of a tungsteno lamp in a arduino card could suggest a suitable configuration of connections on a port analogous to avoid saturation?
Poster:
Posted Date:2016-06-05 19:24:42.95
Can you tell me how is the resolution of DET36A? I have a 1mW HeNe laser source and want to observe power variation under 0.01mW.
Poster:besembeson
Posted Date:2016-06-08 12:35:46.0
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: 0.01mW is well within the resolution capability of the detector. You can estimate this from the detector NEP and your measurement bandwidth.
Poster:chanjael
Posted Date:2016-02-16 10:30:43.48
Dear I have used your photo detector DET10A/M to analyze time resolved electroluminance of OLED(organic light emitting diode). DET10A/M is connected to oscilloscope with BNC cable and detected the light from OLED applied voltage pulse, 8msec, duty 50%. Generally, rising and falling time of OLED is known to ~10 usec order. But in my system, rising and falling time is detected in the range of 80~300 usec. I want to know this reason. if you send e-mail address,I will send e-mail about my system and results. Please replay to this reason and I will happy to recommend system. Thank you
Poster:besembeson
Posted Date:2016-03-03 01:14:46.0
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: I will contact you to further discuss this.
Poster:acook
Posted Date:2015-12-17 10:17:50.847
Do you have data showing the response of the DET10C and DET10N detectors to a fast step (not pulse) rise or decay? This is needed to evaluate these detectors for secondary response (can be from defects or device architecture), that is how much of the response occurs in the quoted rise time, and how much occurs with a slower response time? If we purchase one or both of these detectors to do our own test, can we return them if we don't like the secondary response?
Poster:besembeson
Posted Date:2015-12-21 05:05:40.0
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: We typically use fast rise times in our tests to validate the bandwidth of the detector but that data is not something we keep for each detector once it meets our specifications. I will contact you regarding details of your application and such tests.
Poster:adrimshaw
Posted Date:2015-11-11 10:30:35.257
Is the Det 36A a p-n or p-i-n photodiode?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2015-11-12 05:00:46.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: It's PIN type.
Poster:rbjaculbia
Posted Date:2015-05-20 03:46:44.56
I believe this is a very elementary question but I just want to clarify something. We want to connect the DET10A to an SR510 lock-in amplifier. Do we still need to add a terminating resistor? Thanks!
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2015-05-21 09:09:23.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: Reading through the manual for the SR510, you can use the input on the SR510 labeled "I" for current signal without a terminating resistance.
Poster:aklossek
Posted Date:2014-12-04 09:14:20.603
Dear ladies and gentlemen, I have your DET10A detector. In the delivered manual it is written that the NEP is 1.9E-14. That is also written in the catalog. But on your website it is written 1.9E-13. Please Tell me what is correct? Best regards André Klossek
Poster:myanakas
Posted Date:2014-12-05 02:36:01.0
Response from Mike at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The correct value is 1.2 x10^-13. This value is given on the website and in the linked manual. The NEP specification for the DET10A detector was updated in July 2013, so the manual you currently have may be outdated. To download the updated manual click on the red docs icon next to the item number on the webpage.
Poster:tianzhushang
Posted Date:2014-10-13 10:55:38.26
Can you tell me the gain of the DET10A/M?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-10-13 08:59:57.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The DET series detector do not have an amplifier in the package. The amplified version of the DET10A/M is the PDA10A-EC (http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=3257).
Poster:jmiles02
Posted Date:2014-10-07 18:11:05.6
I'm using a 100fs, 267nm 1kHz laser and need to monitor the output. I've directed the beam at the DET10A and I am getting an average signal of a few 10's of mV's per second. Looking further I've acquired the signal per laser pulse but it seems to oscillate quite significantly. This leads me to believe it could be something to do with the response time? Is this device suitable for such an application?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-10-08 04:06:30.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The detector has a rise time of around 1ns with 50Ohm load so it is definitely not fast enough to characterize your pulse fully. Typically the peak power of a femtosecond laser is also quite high so there could be non-linear response from the DET10A. I will contact you directly to discuss about your application and suggest something suitable.
Poster:jp
Posted Date:2014-09-14 15:32:05.983
Hi, this is Junsong Peng from Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.Could you give me some details about "DET 300"? such as the rise time and wavelength window. I can not find the datasheet elsewhere. Thank you very much. PS:I found that it can detect wavelength around 1900 nm.
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-09-18 10:43:40.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The DET300 is an old product we used to sell. I will find the datasheet and send it to you.
Poster:harishkn23
Posted Date:2014-08-06 03:20:55.467
I need one clarification, what is the p-i-n material used in this photodetector and thickness of those materials?. what is the thickness of SiO2 layer in DET10A photodetector?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-08-06 08:31:42.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: We are not able to provide these since they are proprietary information.
Poster:thomas.weber
Posted Date:2014-05-26 04:33:46.653
We connected the DET36A/M via 50 Ohm terminated BNC cable to an oscilloscope (1 MOhm load) and it works how it should. By changing the osci with an AD converter (100 MOhm load) signal logging is not possible, i.e.: low amount of incident light rises signal up to ~10V until we bypass SGN/GND with 1 MOhm resistor. Is there an easy way of changing our setup to get the DET working an ADC?
Poster:cdaly
Posted Date:2014-05-29 03:52:56.0
Response from Chris at Thorlabs: We'll need to know a bit more about the converter you are using. It'll depend on the voltage range it can accept, assuming of course it accepts a voltage. I'd say you either need to choose an appropriate terminating resistance to limit the voltage or use a transformer. We'll contact you directly to discuss this further.
Poster:sunil.walia1
Posted Date:2014-05-06 15:59:14.04
We have some thorlab made silicon photodectors. I want to know the noise level while connected to the oscilloscope. Our photodector is giving the noise of 5-6%. Is this noise is in expected range or the photodector is gone bad.
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-05-08 04:20:49.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The noise level should typically be very small and it is dependent on your measurement bandwidth. You can estimate the noise level to expect using the NEP, the peak responsivity of the specific sensor you have, and your measurement bandwidth. I will contact you directly to provide more details and discuss about your setup/results.
Poster:gkatsop
Posted Date:2014-03-13 10:42:45.42
Hi. Been trying to understand what to expect. I seem to saturate my DET20C photodiode at the 100 mV level on a 50 Ohm resistor and for a laser wavelength of 1315 nm, where responsivity is about 0.9 A/W. These numbers give me a photocurrent of ~2 mA or an incident light power of ~2.2 mW, which I find to be very small. Bias voltage for the DET20C is 1.8 V. This would enable it to go up to 40 mW of light power, if of course it could supply the corresponding output current. I would at least expect to be able to go up to ~5mW if the max output current was a normal 5mA or so, but this number (max output current) is omitted from the specs. So, what gives? is the max output current 2 mA or what? Best regards.
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2014-03-13 02:54:17.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: Typically these detectors start to saturate around a few mW of power at the peak wavelength and they are generally used with low power level (typically 2mW or less) to be in the linear regime. To increase the upper power limit, you can put an ND filter in front to cut down on your incident light to a more appropriate level. I will contact you directly to discuss about this further.
Poster:
Posted Date:2013-12-03 14:11:52.3
How do I connect DET10A/DET100A to an external amplifier? Tutorial (Manual p.10-11) Figs 2 & 3 are unclear, because the bias mode (anode/cathode) is different. (1) Photovoltaic: Should I just connect DET signal to Amp GND, and DET GND to Amp Signal? (2) Photoconductive: Should I just connect as above, with the DET bias switch turned on? Or do I need an external V- supply? How do I connect them (DET, Amp, V-) in that case? Thanks.
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2013-12-06 04:57:01.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The DET10A already has an internal battery to reverse bias this so you will be operating in the photoconductive mode. Since you did not leave your contact info, can you contact your local office (sales@thorlabs.jp) about this please? We also have the PDA10A (http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=3257&pn=PDA10A) which already has a transimpedance amplifier in the package.
Poster:mchen
Posted Date:2013-11-19 10:47:46.437
Does the maximal output signal of this biased Si detector really 10V as shown in the datasheet? Does the signal preamplified? What is the measurement range of the light power?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2013-11-21 10:48:56.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: If you connect the Si DET detectors to a high impedance load (e.g. 1MOhm), the maximum voltage that you will get is around 10V. However, this signal is not useful. Typically this is used with a 50Ohm or 100Ohm load resistor, in which case the voltage you would measure across the load would be on the order of tens of mV. There's no amplifier in the DET package. If you require the output to be amplified to a few volts, we offer the PDA packages which include a transimpedance amplifier in the package. You can find these at http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=3257
Poster:d.albach
Posted Date:2013-08-20 09:16:35.527
We are interested in the product DET1A, but we would need a different connector (SMB male installed inside the battery replacement)instead of the phono jack. Would this be possible and what would be the pricing?
Poster:cdaly
Posted Date:2013-08-22 16:00:00.0
Response from Chris at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. To mount the SMB on the housing would require a change in the mount itself as well as possibly other unforeseen mechanical interference. This is likely something we cannot offer as a custom, unless possibly for large quantities. I will contact you directly to discuss this further.
Poster:
Posted Date:2013-08-06 12:17:09.567
Using DET36A/M applyed to it a DC in the BMC output accidentaly. Is it fatal for the detector?
Poster:pbui
Posted Date:2013-08-07 17:43:00.0
Response from Phong at Thorlabs: The DET36A/M may or may not have been damaged. This would depend on the voltage that you provided to the detector as well as the duration. If you are unsure if your device is still functional, please contact techsupport@thorlabs.com to troubleshoot your device.
Poster:koreancarsg
Posted Date:2013-03-27 03:11:36.933
Hi, May i know what is the photo diode sensor used in the photodetector DET36A? As we would like to know it's p/n and its specifications of it. Thank you
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2013-03-27 09:39:00.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs:The photodiode used in the DET36A is the FDS100. You can find it at http://www.thorlabs.com/NewGroupPage9.cfm?ObjectGroup_ID=285&pn=FDS100.
Poster:cdaly
Posted Date:2012-12-12 23:47:00.0
Response from Chris at Thorlabs to kudayakumar85: This will depend on the wavelength used, but you can find this by dividing the max current output of the photodiode (5mA) by the responsivity at your given wavelength. For example, at the peek wavelength(~725nm) this value is around 0.44 A/W, so 5mA/(0.44 A/W)=11mW.
Poster:cdaly
Posted Date:2012-12-12 23:37:00.0
Response from Chris at Thorlabs to koreancarsg: The output is going to be a current corresponding to the incident power on the active area of the detector at a given wavelength. This output current can be used to calculate the power of the signal by using the responsivity curve provided on this webpage for the photodetector.
Poster:kudayakumar85
Posted Date:2012-12-12 00:11:55.973
hi i would like to know the maximum power or saturation limit (in Watt) of DET10A detector. whether it is suitable to measure pulsed laser?. Thank you Regards udayakumar
Poster:koreancarsg
Posted Date:2012-12-11 22:53:38.957
is output of DET36A/M TTL signal?
Poster:millere
Posted Date:2012-11-27 18:54:59.907
I've plugged the DET10A directly into an oscilloscope set at 50 Ohm coupling. Is it neccessary to install a separate 50 Ohm termination T4119 between detector and scope?
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2012-10-24 13:32:00.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The GaP material should be totally transparent at 800nm.
Poster:marco.cammarata
Posted Date:2012-10-19 05:38:29.7
Hi, I'm looking for a photodetector with minimal sensitivity at 800nm to use for cross-correlation of two fs laser pulses as described here: Optics Express 22, pag 1344, 1997. Since I want to measure only the two photon absorption, there should be minimal (if not zero) absorption for the fundamental. Do you have any value ? thanks marco
Poster:jlow
Posted Date:2012-08-02 15:02:00.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The data sheet (REV D 7/12/2012) should have the correct title now.
Poster:
Posted Date:2012-07-30 12:01:49.0
Data sheet, REV C 11/8/2011, I received with DET10A Si Photodiode, and same on the web at http://www.thorlabs.com/thorcat/13000/DET10A-SpecSheet.pdf have a wrong (I think) title: DET10A Operating Manual – High Speed GaP Detector In the old version, REV A 1/11/2006, it was really Silicon.
Poster:tcohen
Posted Date:2012-03-30 12:19:00.0
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback! The operating wavelength and power level incident on the surface of the detector will both be parameters to consider when looking at the lifetime. I have contacted you to get more information on your intended working conditions for this product.
Poster:tcohen
Posted Date:2012-03-22 14:10:00.0
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The DET10C does in fact use the FGA10 photodiode.
Poster:frank
Posted Date:2012-03-22 13:35:03.0
Is the photodiode in the DET10C the same as the unmounted photodiode model FGA10?
Poster:max.schiller
Posted Date:2012-03-22 09:16:54.0
Dear sirs, I'm interesting in Det36A and DET10C for use in an automated laser system for a feed-back. The planned usage of the system is around 5000 hours regullary withing 15 years. How do sensitivity and linearity of these detektors change with time? Regards, Max
Poster:tcohen
Posted Date:2012-03-07 12:05:00.0
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback on the DET1A. We are able to provide the power adapter separately. I have contacted you directly with more information.
Poster:benjamin.deissler
Posted Date:2012-03-07 09:00:35.0
Is it possible to still order the DET1A power adapter separately from the power supply? This would be very useful for us since we have our own power source which connects to the photodiodes.
Poster:bdada
Posted Date:2011-12-29 11:44:00.0
Response from Buki at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. We have some alignment discs that may be suitable for your application. Some of them are SM1 threaded and can be threded right onto the detector to aid in alignment. We also have fluorescent alignment discs. Please use the link below to view these discs and contact TechSupport@thorlabs.com if you have any questions. http://www.thorlabs.de/NewGroupPage9.cfm?ObjectGroup_ID=3201
Poster:
Posted Date:2011-12-29 15:56:01.0
Having crosshairs on the outer surface of the detector that mark the center of the sensor would also aid in the alignment. When using an IR Card these crosshairs would be even more useful as it would allow the me get the detector centered faster.
Poster:
Posted Date:2011-12-22 17:44:52.0
The sensor is set back from the outer face of the DET50B, it would be easier to align an IR beam to the detector if the sensor surface was closer to the surface of the housing.
Poster:Adam
Posted Date:2010-04-26 15:01:09.0
A response from Adam at Thorlabs to Alon: I would like to get more information about the Xenon Source you are using. The detectors can handle powers up to 100mW, but would be saturated at typical power values of ~10mW. I would also like more information about the pulse length of your Xenon Lamp. The DET36A/M can measure pulses down to 14ns. Once I have more information about your light source and application I can determine whether this product is suitable.
Poster:alon_sh2
Posted Date:2010-04-24 10:51:03.0
Dear sir, I use the DET36A/M to measure Puls Xenon light, With these detector I plan to measuere and control the light of pulse Xenon lamp, at 600nm to 800nm, Is this detector is suitable for it? or another? Like the DET10A, What is the stability in % of the output signal? At my project I have to control the light at less then 2%, and I plan to use this detector to sense the pulse Xenon light for the controller, Thank you for your advise, Best Regards M. Shterzer,
Poster:apalmentieri
Posted Date:2010-03-01 18:35:27.0
A response from Adam at Thorlabs to zwp511: The DET10A/M doesnt have a built in amplifier, but we do sell detector packages with integrated amplifiers. If you would like an amplified output, I would suggest using our amplified photodetects. Either the PDA10A or the PDA36A should work fine. The PDA10A is a fixed gain amplified photodetector, while the PDA36A is a switchable gain amplified photodector. Please note that as you increase the gain, you limit the speed of the detector.
Poster:zwp511
Posted Date:2010-02-26 20:16:58.0
Excuse me. Is it possible the sighal which DET10A/M output can be amplified? Do you have these products? which model?Thank you.
Poster:Laurie
Posted Date:2009-01-20 13:25:35.0
Response from Laurie at Thorlabs to lee: Thank you for your interest in our products. The LDS2 has a switchable line voltage so it will work with either 115 V or 230 V, 50/60 Hz voltage supplies.
Poster:lee
Posted Date:2009-01-20 04:19:32.0
LDS2 is missing information on the AC input voltage rating.
Poster:acable
Posted Date:2007-12-28 10:18:32.0
Please add the 50 Ohm terminator to this page. It would be great to have the table that appears on the Specs tab added to the New vs Old tab with each of the Old designs being linked to the corresponding old pages.
Poster:srubin
Posted Date:2007-10-01 21:24:12.0
One of the links in the related items leads to the search engine

The following table lists Thorlabs' selection of photodiodes and photoconductive detectors. Item numbers in the same row contain the same detector element.

Photodetector Cross Reference
Wavelength Material Unmounted Photodiode Unmounted Photoconductor Mounted Photodiode Biased Detector Amplified Detector
150 - 550 nm GaP FGAP71 - SM05PD7A DET25K(/M) PDA25K(-EC)
200 - 1100 nm Si FDS010 - SM05PD2A
SM05PD2B
DET10A(/M) PDA10A(-EC)
Si - - SM1PD2A - -
320 - 1100 nm Si - - - - PDA8A(/M)
Si FD11A - SM05PD3A - PDF10A(/M)
340 - 1100 nm Si - - - - PDA100A(-EC)
Si FDS10X10 - - - -
350 - 1100 nm Si FDS100
FDS100-CAL a
- SM05PD1A
SM05PD1B
DET36A(/M) PDA36A(-EC)
Si FDS1010
FDS1010-CAL a
- SM1PD1A
SM1PD1B
DET100A(/M)
400 - 1000 nm Si - - - - PDA015A(/M)
400 - 1100 nm Si FDS015 b - - - -
Si FDS025 b
FDS02 c
- - DET02AFC(/M)
DET025AFC(/M)
DET025A(/M)
DET025AL(/M)
-
400 - 1700 nm Si & InGaAs DSD2 - - - -
500 - 1700 nm InGaAs - - - DET10N(/M) -
800 - 1700 nm InGaAs FGA015 - - - PDA015C(/M)
InGaAs FGA21
FGA21-CAL a
- SM05PD5A DET20C(/M) PDA20C(/M)
PDA20CS(-EC)
InGaAs FGA01 b
FGA01FC c
- - DET01CFC(/M) -
InGaAs FDGA05 b - - - PDA10CF(-EC)
InGaAs - - - DET08CFC(/M)
DET08C(/M)
DET08CL(/M)
PDF10C(/M)
800 - 1800 nm Ge FDG03
FDG03-CAL a
- SM05PD6A DET30B(/M) PDA30B(-EC)
Ge FDG50 - - DET50B(/M) PDA50B(-EC)
Ge FDG05 - - - -
800 - 2600 nm InGaAs FD05D - - DET05D(/M) -
FD10D - - DET10D(/M) -
900 - 1700 nm InGaAs FGA10 - SM05PD4A DET10C(/M) PDA10CS(-EC)
1.0 - 2.9 µm PbS - FDPS3X3 - - PDA30G(-EC)
1.0 - 5.8 µm InAsSb - - - - PDA10PT(-EC)
1.2 - 2.6 µm InGaAs - - - - PDA10D(-EC)
1.5 - 4.8 µm PbSe - FDPSE2X2 - - PDA20H(-EC)
2.0 - 5.4 µm HgCdTe (MCT) - - - - PDA10JT(-EC)
  • Calibrated Unmounted Photodiode
  • Unmounted TO-46 Can Photodiode
  • Unmounted TO-46 Can Photodiode with FC/PC Bulkhead

Biased GaP Detector: 150 - 550 nm

Item # Active Area Wavelength
Range
Rise / Fall
Timea,b,c
Bandwidthd Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)
Dark
Currente
Junction
Capacitance
Bias
Voltage
Responsivity Data
(Click Here for
Raw Data)
DET25K 4.8 mm2
(2.2 x 2.2 mm)
150 - 550 nm 55 ns / 55 ns (Typ.) 6.4 MHz 1.3 x 10-14 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
40 pA (Max) 500 pF (Typ.) 5.0 V
  • Measured with specified bias voltage of 5 V.
  • Low battery voltage will result in slower rise times and decreased bandwidth.
  • For a 50 Ω Load
  • Calculated value; based on the typical rise time and a 50 Ω load.
  • Measured with a 1 MΩ Load
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available / Ships
DET25K Support Documentation
DET25KGaP Detector, 150-550 nm, 55 ns Rise Time, 4.8 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$257.00
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
DET25K/M Support Documentation
DET25K/MGaP Detector, 150-550 nm, 55 ns Rise Time, 4.8 mm2, M4 Taps
$257.00
Today

Biased Si Detectors: 200 - 1100 nm

Item # Active
Area
Wavelength
Range
Rise
Timea,b,c
Bandwidth Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)
Dark
Currentd
Junction
Capacitance
Bias
Voltage
Responsivity Datae
(Click Here for
Raw Data)
DET10A 0.8 mm2
(Ø1.0 mm)
200 - 1100 nmf 1 ns (Typ.) 350 MHzg 5.0 x 10-14 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
0.3 nA (Typ.)
2.5 nA (Max)
6 pF (Typ.) 10 V
DET36A 13 mm2
(3.6 x 3.6 mm)
350 - 1100 nm 14 nsh (Typ.) 25 MHzi 1.6 x 10-14 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
0.35 nA (Typ.)
6.0 nA (Max)
40 pF (Typ.) 10 V
DET100A 75.4 mm2
(Ø9.8 mm)
350 - 1100 nm 43 nsh (Typ.) 8 MHzi 2.07 x 10-13 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
100 nA (Typ.)
600 nA (Max)
300 pF (Typ.) 10 V
  • Measured with a specified bias voltage of 10.0 V.
  • Low battery voltage will result in slower rise times and decreased bandwidth.
  • For a 50 Ω Load
  • Measured with a 1 MΩ Load
  • If a flattened wavelength-dependent responsivity curve is desired, please see our response-flattening filters for Si photodiodes and detectors.
  • When long-term UV light is applied, the product specifications may degrade. For example, the product’s UV response may decrease and the dark current may increase. The degree to which the specifications may degrade is based upon factors such as the irradiation level, intensity, and usage time.
  • Calculated based on the typical rise time and with a 50 Ω load.
  • Specified at 632 nm. The photodiode will be slower at NIR wavelengths.
  • Calculated value; based on the typical rise time at 632 nm and with a 50 Ω load. Bandwidth will decrease at NIR wavelengths.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available / Ships
DET10A Support Documentation
DET10ASi Detector, 200-1100 nm, 1 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$156.00
Today
DET36A Support Documentation
DET36ASi Detector, 350-1100 nm, 14 ns Rise Time, 13 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$121.00
Today
DET100A Support Documentation
DET100ASi Detector, 350-1100 nm, 43 ns Rise Time, 75.4 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$161.00
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
DET10A/M Support Documentation
DET10A/MSi Detector, 200-1100 nm, 1 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, M4 Taps
$156.00
Today
DET36A/M Support Documentation
DET36A/MSi Detector, 350-1100 nm, 14 ns Rise Time, 13 mm2, M4 Taps
$121.00
Today
DET100A/M Support Documentation
DET100A/MSi Detector, 350-1100 nm, 43 ns Rise Time, 75.4 mm2, M4 Taps
$161.00
Today

Biased InGaAs Detectors: 500 - 2600 nm

Item # Active
Area
Wavelength
Range
Rise
Timea,b,c
Bandwidthd Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)
Dark
Currente
Junction
Capacitance
Bias
Voltage
Responsivity Data
(Click Here for
Raw Data)
DET10N 0.8 mm2
(Ø1.0 mm)
500 - 1700 nm 5 ns (Typ.)
6 ns (Max)
70 MHz 2.0 x 10-14 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
1.5 nA (Typ.)
10 nA (Max)
50 pF (Typ.) 5.0 V
DET20C 3.14 mm2
(Ø2.0 mm)
800 - 1700 nm 25 ns (Typ.) 14 MHz 1.3 x 10-13 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
55 nA (Typ.)
200 nA (Max)
100 pF (Typ.) 1.8 V
DET05D 0.2 mm2
(Ø0.5 mm)
800 - 2600 nm 17 ns (Typ.) 20.6 MHz 1.0 x 10-12 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
2 µA (Typ.)
20 µA (Max)
140 pF (Typ.) 1.8 V
DET10D 0.8 mm2
(Ø1.0 mm)
800 - 2600 nm 25 ns (Typ.) 14 MHz 1.5 x 10-12 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
5 µA (Typ.)
40 µA (Max)
500 pF (Typ.) 1.8 V
DET10C 0.8 mm2
(Ø1.0 mm)
900 - 1700 nm 10 ns (Typ.) 35 MHz 2.5 x 10-14 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
1 nA (Typ.)
25 nA (Max)
80 pF (Typ.) 5.0 V
  • Measured with a specified bias voltage of 5.0 V.
  • Low battery voltage will result in slower rise times and decreased bandwidth.
  • For a 50 Ω Load
  • Calculated value; based on the typical rise time and a 50 Ω load.
  • Measured with a 1 MΩ Load
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available / Ships
DET10N Support Documentation
DET10NInGaAs Detector, 500-1700 nm, 5 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$503.00
Today
DET20C Support Documentation
DET20CInGaAs Detector, 800-1700 nm, 25 ns Rise Time, 3.14 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$406.00
Today
DET05D Support Documentation
DET05DInGaAs Detector, 800-2600 nm, 17 ns Rise Time, 0.2 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$368.00
Today
DET10D Support Documentation
DET10DInGaAs Detector, 800-2600 nm, 25 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$431.00
Today
DET10C Support Documentation
DET10CInGaAs Detector, 900-1700 nm, 10 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$297.00
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
DET10N/M Support Documentation
DET10N/MInGaAs Detector, 500-1700 nm, 5 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, M4 Taps
$503.00
Today
DET20C/M Support Documentation
DET20C/MInGaAs Detector, 800-1700 nm, 25 ns Rise Time, 3.14 mm2, M4 Taps
$406.00
Today
DET05D/M Support Documentation
DET05D/MInGaAs Detector, 800-2600 nm, 17 ns Rise Time, 0.2 mm2, M4 Taps
$368.00
Today
DET10D/M Support Documentation
DET10D/MInGaAs Detector, 800-2600 nm, 25 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, M4 Taps
$431.00
Today
DET10C/M Support Documentation
DET10C/MInGaAs Detector, 900-1700 nm, 10 ns Rise Time, 0.8 mm2, M4 Taps
$297.00
Today

Biased Ge Detectors: 800 - 1800 nm

Item # Active
Area
Wavelength
Range
Rise Timea,b Bandwidthc Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)
Dark
Currentd
Junction
Capacitance
Bias
Voltage
Responsivity Data
(Click Here for
Raw Data)
DET50B 19.6 mm2
(Ø5.0 mm)
800 - 1800 nm 455 nse
(Typ.)
770 kHz 4 x 10-12 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
40 µA (Typ.)
80 µA (Max)
4000 pF (Max) 5.0 V
DET30B 7.07 mm2
(Ø3.0 mm)
800 - 1800 nm 650 nsf
(Typ.)
540 kHz 2.6 x 10-12 W/Hz1/2
(Typ.)
4.0 µA (Max) 4000 pF (Max) 1.8 V
  • For a 50 Ω Load
  • Low battery voltage will result in slower rise times and decreased bandwidth.
  • Calculated value; based on the typical rise time and a 50 Ω load.
  • Measured with a 1 MΩ Load
  • Measured with specified bias voltage of 5.0 V.
  • Measured with specified bias voltage of 1.8 V
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available / Ships
DET50B Support Documentation
DET50BGe Detector, 800-1800 nm, 455 ns Rise Time, 19.6 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$418.00
Today
DET30B Support Documentation
DET30BGe Detector, 800-1800 nm, 650 ns Rise Time, 7.1 mm2, 8-32 Taps
$304.00
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
DET50B/M Support Documentation
DET50B/MGe Detector, 800-1800 nm, 455 ns Rise Time, 19.6 mm2, M4 Taps
$418.00
Today
DET30B/M Support Documentation
DET30B/MGe Detector, 800-1800 nm, 650 ns Rise Time, 7.1 mm2, M4 Taps
$304.00
Today

Replacement Batteries for Photodetectors

Exploded View of SBP12 Battery Pack
Click to Enlarge

Exploded View of SBP12 Battery Pack
  • A23: For Currently Shipping DET Photodetectors
  • SBP12: For Discontinued SV2-FC and SIR5-FC Fiber-Coupled Photodetectors
  • T505: For Discontinued DET1-SI and DET2-SI Detectors

A23 and T505 Alkaline Batteries
The A23 and T505 are replacement alkaline batteries for Thorlabs' currently shipping and discontinued DET photodetectors. For cases where the finite lifetime of a battery is not acceptable, we also offer an AC power adapter; please see below for more information. Information on expected battery lifetime is in the Battery Lifetime tab above.

SBP12 Battery Pack
The SBP12 is a 12 V replacement alkaline battery pack for our SV2-FC and SIR5-FC fiber-coupled photodetectors. It completely replaces the 20 V battery that was originally used (Item # SBP20), which we can no longer offer due to shipping regulations. Our testing shows that a 12 V bias provides performance similar to a 20 V bias, and the performance is within the detectors' stated specifications.

As shown by the photo to the right, the SBP12 consists of an A23 battery in a newly designed housing. You may already own this housing if you purchased your SV2-FC or SIR5-FC in or after October 2013, or if you have already purchased an SBP12. If you do own this housing, then it is necessary to purchase only the A23 battery.

Customers who own an SV2-FC or SIR5-FC detector purchased before October 2013 will need to bend two pins to ensure that the SBP12 battery pack makes electrical contact. The procedure is illustrated in the spec sheet of the battery, which can be downloaded here.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
A23 Support Documentation
A23Replacement 12 V Alkaline Battery for DET Series (Except DET1-SI and DET2-SI)
$4.93
Today
SBP12 Support Documentation
SBP12Replacement 12 V Alkaline Battery Pack for SV2-FC or SIR5-FC
$84.25
Today
T505 Support Documentation
T505Replacement 22.5 V Alkaline Battery for DET1-SI and DET2-SI
$16.80
Today

DET Power Adapter


DET1B Power Adapter Installation
SMA Output on SIR5-FC
Click to Enlarge
DET1B Adapter Kit and DET100A Detector

The DET1B AC Power Adapter Kit can be used to replace the battery in our DET series of detectors. The adapter kit is ideal for applications where the finite lifetime of a battery is not acceptable and a small increase in the signal noise due to noise in the line voltage is permissible.

The kit consists of an LDS9 external AC power supply and a DET1A battery adapter that together provide a 9 V bias voltage. To use, simply replace the battery cap and battery with the included adapter, and connect the adapter to the 2.5 mm plug. This procedure is depicted in the animation to the right. The LDS9 power supply and the DET1A battery adapter are also sold separately.

Please note that the LDS9 power supply offers a lower bias voltage than the 12 V provided by the standard A23 battery. To minimize noise, our photodetectors contain voltage regulators that expect a higher input voltage than the bias that is eventually applied to the detector. For best performance, we therefore recommend this power supply only when it can supply a higher bias than the detector requires. The tables above list the required bias voltage of each detector. Using a lower voltage will reduce the detector's bandwidth.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available / Ships
DET1B Support Documentation
DET1BDET Power Adapter & Power Supply Kit, 120 VAC
$123.00
Today
LDS9 Support Documentation
LDS99 VDC Regulated Power Supply, 2.5 mm Phono Plug, 120 VAC
$84.25
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
DET1A Support Documentation
DET1ACustomer Inspired!DET Power Adapter
$42.00
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
DET1B-EC Support Documentation
DET1B-ECDET Power Adapter & Power Supply Kit, 230 VAC
$128.00
Today
LDS9-EC Support Documentation
LDS9-EC9 VDC Regulated Power Supply, 2.5 mm Phono Plug, 230 VAC
$84.25
Today
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