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Pyroelectric Energy Sensors (C-Series)

  • Energy Ranges Covering 10 µJ to 15 J
  • Wavelength Ranges Covering 185 nm to 25 µm
  • Two Coating Options Available
  • Red C-Series Connector Design for Quick Exchange

Sensors with Ceramic Coating
for High Energy Densities

Shown with
Included Isolator



Sensors with
Standard Coating




Shown with Included Isolator

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Type Broadband Ceramic
Energy Range  10 µJ - 2 J 500 µJ - 15 J
Wavelength Range 0.185 - 25 µm 0.185 - 25 µm
Coating Black Broadband Coating Ceramic Coating with High Damage Thresholds
Typical Application Wavelength-Independent Energy Measurements High Energy Densities
Fiber Adapters No No


  • For Pulsed Applications Over a Wide Wavelength and Energy Range
  • Individually Calibrated with NIST- and PTB-Traceable Certificate of Calibration
  • BNC Connector for Direct Use with Oscilloscopes
  • Compatible with our C-Series Power Meters via BNC to C-Series Adapter
  • Electrically Isolating Post Adapters Included

Thorlabs' Pyroelectric Energy Meter Sensors are sensitive to wavelengths from 185 nm to 25 µm and together span the energy range from 10 µJ to 15 J. All of these sensors provide a flat response over a large wavelength range. The ES220C and ES245C feature a ceramic coating that is specifically designed for lasers with high energy densities requiring high damage thresholds.

All the sensors listed here are compatible with the PM400PM100D, PM320E, and PM100USB. Please note that they are not compatible with the PM100A. Alternatively, the sensors can be connected directly to an oscilloscope with a 1 MΩ input resistance via the BNC connector. To accommodate higher repetition rates when connected to oscilloscopes, the load resistance can be reduced. Calibration value for both 1 MΩ and 100 kΩ resistors are given with the sensor certificate of calibration.

The bottom of the sensor head has an 8-32 mounting hole. Since the heads are very sensitive to ground loops and electrical noise, we recommend attaching the heads to the included electrically isolating post adapters, which provide direct compatibility with either imperial or metric Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Posts. The ES120C and the ES220C can also be mounted to our 30 mm Cage System via the four 4-40 threaded holes on the front, although this mounting option does not provide electrical isolation.

Each sensor head is individually calibrated and is shipped with a NIST- and PTB-Traceable Calibration Certificate. The calibration and identification data is stored in the BNC to C-Series adapter and is downloaded automatically when connected to the console.

Recalibration Services
Recalibration services are available for our power sensors, energy sensors, and consoles. We recommend recalibrating your Thorlabs sensor and console as a pair; however, each may be recalibrated individually. To order this service for your sensor or combined sensor and console, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Item # CAL-S200. To order this service for only your console, please contact Tech Support.

Item # ES111C ES120C ES145C ES220C ES245C
Technical Specs
Detector Type Standard Pyroelectric Energy Sensor High Energy Pyroelectric Energy Sensor
Wavelength Range 185 nm - 25 µm 185 nm - 25 µm
Optical Energy Range 10 µJ - 150 mJ 100 µJ - 500 mJ 500 µJ - 2 J 500 µJ - 3 J 1 mJ - 15 J
Max Repetition Rate
(@ 1 MΩ Load)
40 Hz 30 Hz 30 Hz 30 Hz 30 Hz
Max Power Density
(Pulse Width)
8 MW/cm²
(10 ns Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
65 MW/cm²
(7 ns Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
65 MW/cm²
(7 ns Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
Max Pulse Energy Density
(Pulse Width)
0.15 J/cm²
(1 µs Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
0.45 J/cm²
(7 ns Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
0.45 J/cm²
(7 ns Pulse)
185 nm - 25 μm
Max Average Power 0.15 W 0.15 W 0.5 W 5 W 10 W
Resolutiona 100 nJ 1 µJ 1 µJ 25 µJ 50 µJ
Linearity ±1% ±1%
Measurement Uncertainty ±5% ±5%
Thermal Time Constant 20 ms 20 ms
  • Two-minute maximum exposure time for all sensors except the S401C, which has a twenty-minute maximum exposure time at this power.
ES100 Absorption Curve
ES200 Absorption Curve

Sensor Connector

D-type Male

DB9 Male

1+5 V (Drive Max: 50 mA)
2EEPROM Digital I/O
3Pyroelectric Sensor Ground
4Not Used
5Pyroelectric Sensor +
7PRESENT [Connect This Pin through a 1 kΩ - 10 kΩ Resistor to Pin 3 (AGND)]
8Not Used
9Not Used

Thorlabs offers a wide selection of power and energy meter consoles, ranging from the touch screen PM400 to the analog PM100A. Key specifications of all of our power meter consoles are presented below to help you decide which device is best for your application. We also offer self-contained wireless power meters.

When used with our C-series sensors, Thorlabs' power meter consoles recognize the type of connected sensor and measure the current or voltage as appropriate. Our C-series sensors have responsivity calibration data stored in their connectors. The console will read out the responsivity value for the user-entered wavelength and calculate a power or energy reading.

  • Photodiode sensors deliver a current that depends on the input optical power and the wavelength. The current is fed into a transimpedance amplifier, which outputs a voltage proportional to the input current. The photodiode's responsivity is wavelength dependent, so the correct wavelength must be entered into the console for an accurate power reading. The console reads out the responsivity for this wavelength from the connected sensor and calculates the optical power from the measured photocurrent.
  • Thermal sensors deliver a voltage proportional to the input optical power. Based on the measured sensor output voltage and the sensor's responsivity, the console will calculate the incident optical power.
  • Energy sensors are based on the pyroelectric effect. They deliver a voltage peak proportional to the pulse energy. If an energy sensor is recognized, the console will use a peak voltage detector and the pulse energy will be calculated from the sensor's responsivity.

The sensors are also capable of displaying the current or voltage delivered by the sensor. Alternatively, a current or voltage equivalent to the measured value is provided at the analog output.

Item # PM100A PM100D PM100USB PM400 PM320E
(Click Photo to Enlarge) PM100A PM100D PM100USB PM400 PM320E
Description Analog Power Meter Console Digital Power and Energy Meter Console USB Power and Energy Meter Interface Touchscreen Power and Energy Meter Console with Multi-Touch Dual-Channel Benchtop Power and Energy Meter Console
Compatible Sensors Photodiode and Thermal Photodiode, Thermal, and Pyroelectric
Housing Dimensions
(H x W x D)
7.24" x 4.29" x 1.61"
(184 mm x 109 mm x 41 mm)
7.09" x 4.13" x 1.50"
(180 mm x 105 mm x 38 mm)
3.67" x 2.38 " x 1.13"
(93.1 mm x 60.4 mm x 28.7 mm)
5.35" x 3.78" x 1.16"
(136.0 mm x 96.0 mm x 29.5 mm)
4.8" x 8.7" x 12.8"
(122 mm x 220 mm x 325 mm)
Channels 1 2
External Temperature Sensor Input
(Sensor not Included)
- - - Instantaneous Readout and Record Temperature Over Time -
External Humidity Sensor Input (Sensor not Included) - - - Instantaneous Readout and  Record Humidity Over Time -
GPIO Ports - 4, Programmable -
Source Spectral Correction - - - Yes! -
Attenuation Correction - - - Yes! -
External Trigger Input - - - -  yes
Type Mechanical Needle and LCD Display with Digital Readout 320 x 240 Pixel Backlit Graphical LCD Display No Built-In Display
Controlled via GUI for PC
Protected Capacitive Touchscreen with Color Display 240 x 128 Pixels
Graphical LCD Display
Dimensions Digital: 1.9" x 0.5"
(48.2 mm x 13.2 mm)
Analog: 3.54" x 1.65"
(90.0 mm x 42.0 mm)
3.17" x 2.36"
(81.4 mm x 61.0 mm)
- 3.7" x 2.1"
(95 mm x 54 mm)
3.7" x 2.4"
(94.0 mm x 61.0 mm)
Refresh Rate 20 Hz Dependent on PC and Settingsa 10 Hz (Numerical)
25 Hz (Analog Simulation)
20 Hz
Measurement Viewsb
Numerical yes yes Requires PCc yes
Mechanical Analog Needle yes - - - -
Simulated Analog Needle - yes Requires PCc Yes! yes
Bar Graph - yes Requires PCc Yes! yes
Trend Graph - yes Requires PCc Yes! Yes!
Histogram - yes Requires PCc - Yes!
Statistics Yes! yes Requires PCc Yes! yes
Type - SD Card - NAND Flash -
Size - 2 GB - 4 GB -
Battery LiPo 3.7 V 1300 mAh - LiPo 3.7 V 2600 mAh -
External 5 VDC via USB or Included AC Adapter 5 VDC via USB 5 VDC via USB Selectable Line Voltage: 100 V, 115 V, 230 V (±10%)
  • Up to 300 Hz. The refresh rate is limited by the PC used to operate the PM100USB power meter interface, as it does not have a built in display.
  • These are the measurement views built into the unit. All of our power meter consoles except the PM320E can be controlled using the Optical Power Monitor software package. The PM320E has its own software package.
  • The PM100USB power meter interface does not have a built-in monitor, so all data must be displayed through a PC running the Optical Power Meter Software.

Posted Comments:
j.t.m.dehaas  (posted 2016-08-04 08:53:32.52)
What is the input resistance of the BNC to DB9 mating adapter? In other words what is the max. repetition rates of the sensor + the adapter? Best regards Johan
swick  (posted 2016-08-04 06:00:28.0)
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. The input resistance of the BNC-DB9 adapter is quite low and has no measurable effect on the repetition rate. The load resistance of our power meter consoles is 1MOhm, so with our power meter consoles (PM200, PM100D, PM100USB and PM320) and ES111C the maximum achievable repetition rate is 40Hz. If the signal from ES111C is recorded with an other device than our power meter consoles, the maximum repetition rate (with 50kOhm) would be 100Hz.
yuansuochao  (posted 2014-04-29 15:25:49.493)
ES120C和145C能量计接到PM200表头上怎么使用?为什么用了几次没有读数? How to use the ES120C with PM200? Why there is no respondance during my measurements?
shallwig  (posted 2014-04-30 07:06:48.0)
This is a response from Stefan at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. I am really sorry that you are experiencing difficulty with our ES120C sensor in combination with the PM200 power meter. These two units work together, perhaps the settings of the trigger level are not correct. If it is set too high the pulses will not be recognized by the device. On page 31 in the manual we describe how to change this setting. In order to troubleshoot where your measurement problems come from and how to solve them I will contact you directly.
sergii.yakunin  (posted 2013-10-16 09:19:32.03)
Will ES111C head work with optically chopped CW light?
tschalk  (posted 2013-10-16 11:18:00.0)
This is a response from Thomas at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. An energy Sensor is not designed to work with a chopped light source. Therefore photo diodes or thermal sensors would be a better solution. I will contact you directly to discuss your application.
julien  (posted 2011-01-28 04:50:28.0)
A response from Julien at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The specification of the pulse length for the 150mJ/cm2 value is wrong and will be changed immediately. This max energy density corresponds to the maximum energy for long pulses (>1µs). Above this value the heat increase will bring the sensor above its Curie temperature and thus hamper its proper functioning. The curve in the spec sheet corresponds to the damage threshold of the adsorber surface. When damaged, the absorption of this surface will change and the responsivity of the sensor will be modified accordingly.
matthew.bergkoetter  (posted 2011-01-26 16:26:55.0)
The max pulse energy density for the ES111C is specified here on the webpage as 0.15J/cm2 for a 10ns pulse at 1064nm, however the PDF spec sheet seems to contradict this. Based on the plot titled "Pulse Energy Ratings and Damage Thresholds", the max energy density for a 10ns pulse would be more like 2mJ/cm2 - a discrepancy of two orders of magnitude. Which is correct?
user  (posted 2010-09-21 05:45:39.0)
Answer from Angelika at Thorlabs: The specification "max repetition rate" refers to the maximum data acquisition rate of the sensor. It is defined by the time constant of the sensor (time required to reach the initial sensor properties after a pulse).
user  (posted 2010-09-10 06:44:52.0)
Does the maximum repetition rate for the ES111C of 40Hz refer to the maximum data acquisition rate of the sensor or the maximum repetition rate of the laser to avoid damage to the sensor?
julien  (posted 2010-08-11 12:30:55.0)
A response from Julien at Thorlabs: the wavelength dependence of the damage threshold is related to absorption of the surface coating. As can be seen in the tab absorption graph, the absorption of the ES100 series is almost wavelength independent. The damage threshold specified can be thus used over the whole wavelength range of those sensors.
user  (posted 2010-08-10 23:32:52.0)
the Max Pulse Energy Density of ES111C is specified with 7ns pulse but at what wavelength?
Handheld Power Meter with iPad
Click to Enlarge

The PM160 wireless power meter, shown here with an iPad mini (not included), can be remotely operated using Apple mobile devices.

This tab outlines the full selection of Thorlabs' Power and Energy Sensors. Our photodiode and thermal sensors are compatible with all of Thorlabs' current line of power meter consoles, while our pyroelectric sensors are compatible with all of our current power meter consoles except for the PM100A Analog Power Meter Console. In addition to the power and energy sensors listed below, Thorlabs also offers all-in-one, wireless, handheld power meters and compact USB power meter interfaces that contain either a photodiode or a thermal sensor, as well as power meter bundles that include a console, sensor head, and post mounting accessories.

Thorlabs offers three types of sensors:

  • Photodiode Sensors: These sensors are designed for power measurements of monochromatic or near-monochromatic sources, as they have a wavelength dependent responsivity. These sensors deliver a current that depends on the input optical power and the wavelength. The current is fed into a transimpedance amplifier, which outputs a voltage proportional to the input current.
  • Thermal Sensors:  Constructed from material with a relatively flat response function across a wide range of wavelengths, these thermopile sensors are suitable for power measurements of broadband sources such as LEDs and SLDs. Thermal sensors deliver a voltage proportional to the input optical power.
  • Pyroelectric Energy Sensors: Our pyroelectric sensors produce an output voltage through the pyroelectric effect and are suitable for measuring pulsed sources, with a repetition rate limited by the time constant of the detector. These sensors will output a peak voltage proportional to the incident pulse energy.

Power and Energy Sensor Selection Guide

There are two options for comparing the specifications of our Power and Energy Sensors. The expandable table below sorts our sensors by type (e.g., photodiode, thermal, or pyroelectric) and provides key specifications.

Alternatively, the selection guide graphic further below arranges our entire selection of photodiode and thermal power sensors by wavelength (left) or optical power range (right). Each box contains the item # and specified range of the sensor. These graphs allow for easy identification of the sensor heads available for a specific wavelength or power range. 

Photodiode Power Sensors
Thermal Power Sensors
Pyroelectric Power Sensors (Not Compatible with PM100A)
  • The response time of the photodiode sensor. The actual response time of a power meter using these sensors will be limited by the update rate of your power meter console.
  • Typical natural response time (0 - 95%). Our power consoles can provide estimated measurements of optical power on an accelerated time scale (typically <1 s) when the natual response time is approximately 1 s or greater. As the natural response times of the S415C, S425C, and S425C-L are fast, these do not benefit from accelerated measurements and this function cannot be enabled. For more information, see the Operation tab here.
  • With intermittent use: maximum exposure time of 20 minutes for the S401C, otherwise maximum exposure time is 2 minutes.
  • All pyroelectric sensors have a 20 ms thermal time constant, τ. This value indicates how long it takes the sensor to recover from a single pulse. To detect the correct energy levels, pulses must be shorter than 0.1τ and the repetition rate of your source must be well below 1/τ.

Sensor Options
(Arranged by Wavelength Range)

Sensor Options
(Arranged by Power Range)

Pyroelectric Energy Sensors

ES220C with a 30 mm Cage System
Click to Enlarge

ES220C Sensor Mounted in a 30 mm Cage System
  • For General Purpose and High Energy Optical Pulse Measurements
  • Black Broadband Coating with Flat Response Over a Wide Wavelength Range
  • Ceramic Coating with High Damage Thresholds for High-Energy-Density Lasers
  • Sensor Areas from Ø11 mm to Ø45 mm Sensor Area
  • BNC Connector for Oscilloscope Use
  • Includes C-Series Connector Adapter for Use with Compatible Thorlabs Consoles (See Table Below)

The ESxxxC Standard and High Energy Pyroelectric Sensors are designed to measure pulsed coherent and incoherent sources. Pyroelectric sensors are not suited for CW measurements, as they convert energy from light pulses into voltage pulses. A black broadband or ceramic coating is used for low or high power measurements, respectively. Large sensor areas from Ø11 mm to Ø45 mm allow easy alignment. The energy sensors features BNC connectors for use with an oscilloscope, as well as standard power meter connectors which contain NIST and PTB-traceable calibration data.

Thorlabs offers a recalibration service for these energy sensors, which can be ordered below (see Item # CAL-S200).

Item #a ES111C ES120C ES145C ES220C ES245C
Sensor Image
(Click the Image to Enlarge)
ES111C ES120C ES145C ES220C ES245C
Input Aperture Size Ø11 mm Ø20 mm Ø45 mm Ø20 mm Ø45 mm
Wavelength Range 0.185 - 25 µm
Energy Range 10 µJ - 150 mJ 100 µJ - 500 mJ 500 µJ - 2 J 500 µJ - 3 J 1 mJ - 15 J
Detector Type Pyroelectric Energy Sensor with Black Broadband Coating Pyroelectric Energy Sensor with Ceramic Coating
Resolution 100 nJ 1 µJ 1 µJ 25 µJ 50 µJ
Linearity ±1%
Measurement Uncertainty ±5% @ 0.185 - 25 µm
Housing Dimensions Ø36 mm x 16 mm Ø50 mm x 18 mm Ø75 mm x 21 mm Ø50 mm x 18 mm Ø75 mm x 21 mm
Active Detector Area 95.0 mm2 314.2 mm2 1590.4 mm2 314.2 mm2 1590.4 mm2
Cable Length 1.5 m
Post Mounting 8-32 Mounting Thread, 8-32 and M4 Insulating Adapters Included
Cage Mounting N/A Four 4-40 Threadings for
30 mm Cage Systems
N/A Four 4-40 Threadings for
30 mm Cage Systems
Compatible Consoles PM400, PM200, PM100D, PM100USB, and PM320E
  • For complete specifications, please see the Specs tab.
  • Input aperture size is the same as the active sensor area.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
ES111C Support Documentation
ES111CPyroelectric Energy Sensor, Broadband Coating, 0.185 - 25 µm, 150 mJ
ES120C Support Documentation
ES120CPyroelectric Energy Sensor, Broadband Coating, 0.185 - 25 µm, 500 mJ
ES145C Support Documentation
ES145CPyroelectric Energy Sensor, Broadband Coating, 0.185 - 25 µm, 2 J
ES220C Support Documentation
ES220CPyroelectric Energy Sensor, Ceramic Coating, 0.185 - 25 µm, 3 J
ES245C Support Documentation
ES245CPyroelectric Energy Sensor, Ceramic Coating, 0.185 - 25 µm, 15 J

Recalibration Service for Thermal Power and Pyroelectric Energy Sensors

Sensor Type Sensor Item #s
Thermal Power S175C, S302Ca, S305Ca, S310Ca, S314Ca, S322C, S350C, S370C, S401C, S405C, S415C, S425C, S425C-L, S470C
Pyroelectric Energy ES111C, ES120C, ES145C, ES220C, ES245C
  • This former catalog item is now offered as a special.

Thorlabs offers recalibration services for our thermal power and pyroelectric energy sensors. To ensure accurate measurements, we recommend recalibrating the sensors annually. Recalibration of the console is included with the recalibration of a sensor at no additional cost. If you wish to recalibrate only your power meter console, please contact Tech Support for details.

The table to the right lists the sensors for which this calibration service is available. Please enter the Part # and Serial # of the sensor that requires recalibration prior to selecting Add to Cart.

Please Note: To ensure your item being returned for calibration is routed appropriately once it arrives at our facility, please do not ship it prior to being provided an RMA Number and return instructions by a member of our team.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
CAL-S200 Support Documentation
CAL-S200Recalibration Service for Thermal Power and Pyroelectric Energy Sensors
Part Number:  Serial Number:
Lead Time
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