Accurately Characterizing High Power Laser Diodes

By Mike Martino BlackBox Technologies June 2010

Careful measurements are considered when testing the optical power, current, voltage, wavelength, and temperature of high output laser diodes. The test system energizes and measures the laser parameters as it will be used in the application. In some critical constant wave (CW) applications, the required output power from the laser is pushing the laser’s maximum specifications. Therefore, an accurate, stable, low drift laser power meter is required.

This paper shall describe the laser diode testing solution for Sheaumann Laser Inc. as used in real world applications. Often times, an application requires a specific wavelength at a specific power level. To achieve the specified wavelength, laser temperature is controlled. As the laser temperature changes, so does a small amount of the laser output power. This small power change along with the targeted wavelength could determine the laser’s feasibility in the application. It is now easy to see how critical the need is for a stable and accurate laser power meter.

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