Laser 2000

Picosecond pulsed diode laser driver

PDL 800-D

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Picosecond pulsed diode laser driver

  • Pulsed and CW operation
  • Easily selectable repetition rates from 31.25 kHz to 80 MHz
  • Externally triggerable from single shot up to 80 MHz / sync output
  • Laser pulse energy adjustable via driver unit
  • Laser heads from 266 to 1990 nm, LED heads from 255 to 600 nm
  • External trigger/sync output


The PDL 800-D is a single channel driver for the picosecond pulsed laser diode heads of the LDH Series and LDH-FA Series as well as for the sub-nanosecond pulsed LEDs of the PLS Series. Wavelength changes are simply performed by plugging in a different laser or LED head. The high quality and reliability of the PDL 800-D is expressed by a unique 5-year limited warranty.

Repetition rates up to 80 MHz
The PDL 800-D provides driving pulses for the laser / LED heads with repetition rates up to 80 MHz, which are derived from internal low-jitter crystal oscillators. The PDL 800-D features two internal crystal oscillators of 80 MHz and 1 MHz, which can be individually selected by the user. In order to match different application needs, the PDL 800-D allow to further reduce the repetition rate by factors of 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32. This is easily accomplished by a switch on the front panel and leads to repetition rates between 80 MHz and 31.25 kHz.

External trigger input / synchronization output
PDL 800-D with LDH SeriesThe PDL 800-D can also be operated by an external trigger signal at any repetition rate between single shot and 80 MHz. The trigger input accepts positive as well as negative signals and features a variable trigger level, so that many different pulse shapes can effectively be used.

All laser pulses generated by the PDL 800-D and the corresponding laser / LED head are accompanied by a synchronization output at the front panel. This signal is always synchronised to the trigger source, independent from the selection of triggering mode (i.e. external or internal triggering). The signal is ideally suited to e.g. synchronize other devices in the setup such as Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) electronics.

Manual control for laser power / CW operation
The PDL 800-D also provides the possibility to vary the output power of the connected laser/LED head by changing the corresponding driving current by means of a potentiometer on the front panel. As each laser diode and LED is unique, all light sources have individual current thresholds and individual dependencies of the output power from the driving current. As a consequence, the intensity control is a relative control and no common calibration is possible. The driver is additionally capable to operate the laser heads of the LDH-D Series in continuous wave (cw) mode. The change between pulsed and CW operation mode is simply accomplished by a switch on the front panel of the driver.

Gating options
For special applications using, e.g., scanning devices, the PDL 800-D provides two special gating options that allow to suppress the laser emission by an external signal: A slow gate, that reduces settling times of the laser heads to a minimum at slow on / off periods (seconds) and a fast gate, that can perform transitions within nanoseconds, i.e. in between two pulses. The fast gate also provides high pulse stability when the on / off signal is periodic and fast (milliseconds).

For multiple wavelengths applications, the computer controlled PDL 828 “Sepia II” is the best choice.

Internal Oscillator
Type Crystal locked
Operation mode Pulsed or continuous wave (CW)
Base frequencies 80 MHz, 1 MHz (selectable)
Repetition frequencies User selectable: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 of base frequency
80, 40, 20, 10, 5 or 2.5 MHz (80 MHz base)
1000, 500, 250, 125, 62.5 or 31.25 kHz (1 MHz base)
External Trigger Input
Amplitude -5 V to +5 V (maximum limits)
Trigger level (adjustable) -1 V to +1 V (negative slope)
Required pulse width > 5 ns
Delay 35 ± 5 ns (from trigger input to optical output), jitter < 20 ps
Frequency range Single shot to 80 MHz
Impedance 50 Ohms (dynamic)
50 Ohms (static)
Connector type BNC socket (female)
Synchronization Output
Amplitude < -800 mV into 50 Ohms (NIM)
Pulse width 6 ns
Delay 12 ns (from falling edge to laser output), jitter < 20 ps
Internal impedance 50 Ohms
Connector type SMA socket (female)
Gating Inputs
Slow gate Transition time < 100 ms (pulsed and CW operation)
Internal impendance > 500 Ohms
Connector type 4-pin LEMO Socket – 00.304 Series
Example of connector: FGG.00.304.CLA
Fast gate Transition time typ. 10 ns (pulsed only)
Internal impendance 50 Ohms
Connector type 1-pin LEMO Socket – 00.250 Series
Example of connector: FFA.00.250.NTA
Remote Interlock
Voltage < 7 VDC
Loop resistance 10 Ohms max.
Power Supply
Line voltage 220/240 or 110/120 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Power consumption 45 Watts max.
Base unit: 237 × 310 × 97 mm (w × d × h)
Operation environment  
Temperature Range 10 °C – 40 °C

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PDL 800-D

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