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Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) Controllers, Current and TEC


  • High Compliance Voltages Designed to Support QCL Lasers
  • Drive Currents up to 2 A or 5 A
  • Provides TEC Currents up to ±15 A
  • 0.002 °C Temperature Stability Over 24 hrs

ITC4005QCL

Designed for Driving QCLs

CAB4005

Connector Cable for Lasers

The main measurement display
shows readout values and device
status information.

Related Items


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TEC Features
Compatible Temperature Sensors
TEC Security Features
  • Adjustable TEC Current Limit
  • Adjustable Temperature Limits
  • Temperature Window Protection
  • Fault Connection and Sensor Alarm
Laser Controller Features
Compatible Optical Detectors
Laser Diode Protection Features
  • Adjustable Laser Current Limit
  • Adjustable Laser Power Limit
  • Laser Over Voltage Protection
  • Over Temperature Protection

Features

  • High Compliance Voltage Supports High-Power QCLs
    • 17 V for ITC4002QCL
    • 20 V for ITC4005QCL
  • Drive Lasers with Operating Currents ≤2 A (ITC4002QCL) or  ≤5 A (ITC4005QCL)
  • Continuous Wave (CW) or Quasi-Continuous Wave (QCW) Operation
  • Also Capable of Driving LEDs
  • Active Power Management for Efficient Operation
  • Excellent Temperature Stability: 0.002 °C (24 hrs)
  • Digital PID Control with Separate P, I, D Settings
  • Auto PID Tuning Function
  • Adjustable Temperature Sensor Offset
Item #aITC4002QCLITC4005QCL
Current Control Range 0 to 2 A 0 to 5 A
Compliance Voltage 17 V 20 V
Photocurrent Measurement Ranges 2 mA / 20 mA
QCWb Mode Pulse Width Range 100 µs to 1 s
QCWc Repetition Rate Range 1 ms to 5 s (0.2 to 1000 Hz)
TEC Current Range -15 to +15 Ad
TEC Compliance Voltage >15 V
TEC Output Power (Max) >225 W
Temperature Range (Max) -55 to +150 °Cc
Supported Temperature
Sensors
Thermistors (TH10K), Pt100 (TH100PT), Pt1000, AD590, AD592, LM335, LM235, LM135, LM35
  • For complete specifications, see the Specs tab. The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL have high compliance voltages designed to support our high-power QCLs. Information on the compatibility of this driver with our QCLs and ICLs can be found on the Drivers tab here.
  • Quasi-Continuous Wave
  • The applicable control range depends on the sensor parameters.
  • The TEC current limit is set to a low value before the unit is shipped, and needs to be increased by the user in order to enable thermal regulation.
Contact Thorlabs
Contact Thorlabs

Hungry for Your MIR Thoughts

Thorlabs is adding products to its portfolio that are specifically designed for the MIR spectral range. In addition, we have started several new R&D collaborations within the last year. If you have new product ideas, comments on our existing MIR portfolio, see Thorlabs as a potential partner for an MIR project, or just want to provide some feedback, we’d welcome the opportunity to hear from you.

Thorlabs' Combined Laser Current and TEC Controllers are designed with a high compliance voltages of 17 V (ITC4002QCL) or 20 V (ITC4005QCL), enabling support for our entire selection of Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs). These devices combine the functionality of an LDC4000 series current controller and a TED4015 temperature controller into a single controller. The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL supply precise, stable currents for lasers with a maximum operating current of 2 A or 5 A, respectively. Both devices provide excellent temperature stabilization to within 0.002 °C over a period of 24 hrs. For optimal noise performance, choose a controller that has maximum current and voltage ratings as close as possible to, but still higher than, the required voltage and current needed to operate your laser.

The controllers are compatible with all laser diode and monitor diode pin configurations, as well as our two-tab C-mount QCL and ICL packages. They feature a constant current (CC) or constant power (CP) mode. Most common temperature sensors can be used, and the contollers can be adapted to different thermal loads via a digital PID controller, which can operate through the built-in auto-tune PID function or separate control of the P, I, and D parameters. For more details about these features, please see the More Info tab.

The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL can be controlled via front panel keys and intuitive operation menus on a large and easy-to-read graphic LCD display (see the Display tab for sample screens). Alternatively, these controllers can be controlled by a SCPI-compatible USB Interface. Higher settings and measurement resolution are offered via USB operation, since the front panel resolution is limited by the resolution and refresh rate of the front panel display. Various outputs and a digital I/O port offer many control and connectivity options. The built-in function generator allows analog modulation of the laser output out of the box.

These controllers offer many advanced features such as Quasi-Continuous Wave (QCW) operation mode, easy auto-tune PID, and diverse laser and TEC element protection (see the More Info tab). The controller design also provides silent and power-efficient operation. These features make the ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL ideal choices for safe and secure operation of medium- to high-power QCLs, ICLs, and laser diodes either in the lab or in production environments.

We also offer combined laser current and TEC controllers which have a lower compliance voltage of 11 V or 12 V.

For driver software, as well as programming reference guides for the Programmable Instruments (SCPI) standard, LabVIEW™, Visual C++, Visual C#, and Visual Basic, please see the Software tab.

Laser Operation Modes

The lasers can be driven in either Constant Current (CC) mode, where the laser current is held precisely at the level adjusted by the user, or Constant Power (CP) mode, where an optical power sensor is used to monitor the output power of the laser for active power control. The CC mode is preferable when the lowest noise and highest response speed are required, but this mode generally requires temperature stabilizing as well. In CP mode, feedback from the internal photodiode integrated into most laser packages, an external photodiode, or other sensor is used to actively stabilize the laser's output power.

100 µs Pulses of 20 A

QCW Pulse Operation of the Laser Controller

Figure: Oscilloscope screenshot of a typical short 100 µs Pulse of 20.0 A generated by the ITC4020 in QCW mode

The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL each offer two independent monitor inputs: one for photodiodes and one for thermopiles, either of which can be chosen for controlling the laser. The analog modulation via external input or the internal function generator allows modulation of the laser in CC and CP modes. A control output voltage proportional to the laser current is provided for monitoring purposes.

Pulsed Operation

Depending on the application, the ITC4000 Series of laser drivers can be operated in Continuous Wave (CW) or Quasi-CW (QCW) mode. To demonstrate the performance of these controllers, a screenshot of an oscilloscope measuring the output current of an ITC4020 in QCW mode is shown to the right. The ITC4020 produces sharp and accurate 100 µs pulses with a peak current of 20 A without any unwanted overshoots. The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL will provide similar performance within their respective current ranges. The integrated pulse generator can be triggered internally with an adjustable repetition rate or externally via a BNC jack at the rear of the unit.

Enhanced Protection Features for the Laser

Current Limit: A precisely adjustable current limit ensures that the maximum laser current cannot be exceeded. Thorlabs has intentionally provided limited access to this feature to prevent accidental adjustment. An attempt to increase the laser drive current above the preset limit will result in a visible and short audible indicator. Even when utilizing the external modulation feature, the current limit setpoint cannot be exceeded.

Current Source: If the connection between the current source and laser is interrupted, the current source automatically switches off the current output. The open current circuit condition is indicated by the “OPEN” indicator on the controller and a short acoustic warning. The separate laser ON key switches the laser current on and off. When switched off, an electronic switch within the device short circuits the laser for added protection. After being switched on, a soft start ensures a slow increase of the laser current without voltage peaks. Even in the case of line failure, the laser current remains transient free. Voltage peaks on the AC line are effectively suppressed by electrical filters, shielding of the transformer, and careful grounding of the chassis.

TEC Controller

The ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL contain high-performance digital TEC controllers for currents up to ±15 A. They offer excellent temperature stability of 0.002 °C within 24 hrs together with the same enhanced safeguard and operation features of Thorlabs' TED4015. The digital PID controller can adapt to different thermal loads by individually adjustable parameters or by the auto PID function (for more details see the full presentation for the TED4015). The maximum control range of the temperature sensor input spans 100 Ω to 1 MΩ for thermistors and -55 to 150 °C for temperature sensing ICs or Platinum RTD sensors. The actual applicable temperature range is limited by the connected sensor and the thermal setup. For maximum TEC element protection, the ITC offers the same features as the TED4015. These protection features include an adjustable TEC output current limit and temperature sensor malfunction alerts.

These controllers provides a monitoring signal proportional to the difference between actual and set temperature. An oscilloscope or an analog data acquisition card can be connected to the rear panel BNC connector to monitor the settling behavior with different thermal loads.

Laser Current Controller

Item #ITC4002QCLITC4005QCL
  Front Panela Remote Controla Front Panela Remote Controla
Current Control (Constant Current Mode)
Laser Diode Current Range 0 to 2 A 0 to 5 A
Compliance Voltage 17 V 20 V
Setting / Measurement Resolution 100 µA 32 µA 1 mA 80 µA
Accuracy ±(0.1% + 800 µA) ±(0.1% + 2 mA)
Noise and Ripple (10 Hz to 10 MHz, rms,
Typical, w/o Noise Reduction Filter)
<20 µA <250 µA
Noise and Ripple (10 Hz to 10 MHz, rms,
Typical, w/ Noise Reduction Filter)
<5 µA <50 µA
Drift, 24 Hours (0-10 Hz, Typical,
at Constant Ambient Temperature)
<150 µA <300 µA
Temperature Coefficient ≤50 ppm/°C
Current Limit
Setting Range 2 mA to 2 A 5 mA to 5 A
Setting Resolution 100 µA 32 µA 1 mA 80 µA
Accuracy ±(0.12% + 1.6 mA) ±(0.12% + 3 mA)
Power Monitor Input - Photodiode
Photocurrent Measurement Ranges 0 to 2 mA / 0 to 20 mA
Photocurrent Measurement Resolution
(2 mA Range / 20 mA Range)
1 µA / 10 µA 32 nA / 320 nA 1 µA / 10 µA 32 nA / 320 nA
Photocurrent Accuracy
(2 mA Range / 20 mA Range)
±(0.08% + 0.5 µA) / ±(0.08% + 5 µA)
Photodiode Reverse Bias Voltage 0 to 10 V
Photodiode Input Impedance ~0 Ω (Virtual Ground)
Power Monitor Input - Thermopileb
Voltage Measurement Ranges 0 to 10 mV / 0 to 100 mV / 0 to 1 V / 0 to10 V
Voltage Measurement Resolution
(for 10 mV / 100 mV / 1 V / 10 V Range)
1 µV / 10 µV /
100 µV / 1 mV
0.16 µV / 1.6 µV /
16 µV / 160 µV
1 µV / 10 µV /
100 µV / 1 mV
0.16 µV / 1.6 µV /
16 µV / 160 µV
Voltage Measurement Accuracy
(for 10 mV / 100 mV / 1V / 10 V Range)
±(0.1% + 10 µV) / ±(0.1% + 100 µV) /
±(0.1% + 1 mV) / ±(0.1% + 5 mV)
Voltage Input Impedance 1 MΩ
Laser Power Control (Constant Power Mode)
Photocurrent Control Rangesc 0 to 2 mA / 0 to 20 mA
Photocurrent Setting Resolution 1 µA / 10 µA 32 nA / 320 nA 1 µA / 10 µA 32 nA / 320 nA
Thermopile Voltage Control Rangesc 1 µV to 10 mV / 10 µV to 100 mV /
100 µV to 1 V / 1 mV to 10 V
Thermopile Voltage Setting Resolution 1 µV / 10 µV /
100 µV / 1 mV
0.16 µV / 1.6 µV /
16 µV / 160 µV
1 µV / 10 µV
100 µV / 1 mV
0.16 µV / 1.6 µV /
16 µV / 160 µV
Power Limit (Constant Power Mode)
Photocurrent Limit Setting Rangesc 5 µA to 2 mA / 50 µA to 20 mA
Photocurrent Limit Resolution (2 mA Range/ 20 mA Range) 1 µA / 10 µA 128 nA / 1.28 µA 1 µA / 10 µA 128 nA / 1.28 µA
Photocurrent Limit Accuracy ±20 µA / ±200 µA
Thermopile Voltage Limit Setting Rangesc 1 µV to 10 mV / 10 µV to 100 mV / 100 µV to 1V / 1 mV to 10V
Thermopile Voltage Limit Resolution 1 µV / 10 µV /
100 µV / 1 mV
730 nV / 7.3 µV /
73 µV / 730 µV
1 µV / 10 µV
100 µV / 1 mV
730 nV / 7.3 µV
73 µV / 730 µV
Thermopile Voltage Limit Accuracy ±10 µV / ±100 µV / ±1 mV / ±10 mV
  Front Panela Remote Controla Front Panela Remote Controla
Laser Voltage Measurement
Measurement Principle 4-Wire
Measurement Resolution 1 mV 320 µV 1 mV 320 µV
Accuracy ±30 mV
Laser Overvoltage Protection
Setting Range 1 V to 17 V 1 V to 20 V
Resolution 1 mV
Accuracy ±70 mV
Laser Current Monitor Output
Load Resistance >10 kΩ
Transmission Coefficient 5 V/A ± 5% 2 V/A ± 5%
External Modulation Input
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Small Signal 3dB Bandwidth,
CC Mode w/o Noise Reduction Filter
DC to 130 kHz (2 Ω Load) DC to 100 kHz (1 Ω Load)
DC to 50 kHz (5 Ω Load)
Small Signal 3dB Bandwidth,
CC Mode w/ Noise Reduction Filter
DC to 10 kHz (2 Ω Load) DC to 6 kHz (1 Ω Load)
DC to 5 kHz (5 Ω Load)
Modulation Coefficient, CC Mode 200 mA/V ± 5% 500 mA/V ± 5%
Modulation Coefficient, CP Mode, Current Sensorc 200 µA/V / 2 mA/V ± 5%
Modulation Coefficient, CP Mode, Voltage Sensorc 1 mV/V / 10 mV/V / 100 mV/V / 1 V/V ± 5%
Internal Laser Modulation
Waveforms Sine, Square, Triangle
Frequency Range 20 Hz to 130 kHz 20 Hz to 100 kHz
Modulation Depth 0.1 to 100%
QCW Mode
Pulse Width Range 100 µs to 1 s
Pulse Width Resolution 1 µs
Repetition Rate Range 1 ms to 5 s (0.2 to 1000 Hz)
Repetition Rate Resolution 10 µs
Trigger
Input Rising Edge Triggered, Starts QCW Pulse with Internal Adjusted Width
Input Level TTL or 5 V CMOS
Output Active High, Tracks Pulse Width
Output Level TTL or 5 V CMOS
Death Time to Next Pulse >10 µs
  • Via front panel, the resolution is limited by the display. Via Remote Control, a higher resolution is offered.
  • The Thermopile Power Monitor Input can also be used for sensor amplifiers and power meters with voltage output.
  • Depending on the selected measurement range.

Temperature Control

Item #ITC4002QCLITC4005QCL
  Front Panela Remote Controla Front Panela Remote Controla
TEC Current Control
Control Range -15 to +15 A
Compliance Voltage >15 V
Maximum Output Power >225 W
Resolution, CC Mode 1 mA 0.1 mA 1 mA 0.1 mA
Accuracy ± (0.2% + 20 mA)
Noise and Ripple (Typical) <10 mA rms
TEC Current Limit
Setting Range 0.1 A to 15 Ab
Resolution 1 mA 0.1 mA 1 mA 0.1 mA
Accuracy ± (0.2% + 10 mA)
NTC Thermistor Sensors
Resistance Measurement Ranges 100 Ω to 100 kΩ / 1 kΩ to 1 MΩ
Control Range Maxc -55 to +150 °C
Temperature Resolution 0.001 °C
Resolution (Resistance, 100 kΩ/1 MΩ Range) 0.1 Ω / 1 Ω 0.03 Ω / 0.3 Ω 0.1 Ω / 1 Ω 0.03 Ω / 0.3 Ω
Accuracy (100 kΩ/1 MΩ Range) ± (0.06% + 1 Ω / 5 Ω)
Temperature Stability (24 hours typ.)c <0.002 °C
Temperture Coefficient <5 mK/°C
IC Sensors
Supported Current Temperature Sensors AD590, AD592
Supported Voltage Temperature Sensors LM335, LM235, LM135, LM35
    Control Range with AD590 -55 to +150 °C
    Control Range with AD592 -25 to +105 °C
    Control Range with LM335 -40 to +100 °C
    Control Range with LM235 -40 to +125 °C
    Control Range with LM135 -55 to +150 °C
    Control Range with LM35 -55 to +150 °C
Resolution 0.001 °C 0.0001 °C 0.001 °C 0.0001 °C
Accuracy AD590 Current ± (0.04% + 0.08 µA)
Accuracy LM335/LM35 Voltage ± (0.03% + 1.5 mV)
Temperature Stability (24 hours) <0.002 °C
Temperature Coefficient <5 mK/°C
  Front Panela Remote Controla Front Panela Remote Controla
Pt100/Pt1000 RTD Sensors
Temperature Control Range -55 to +150 °C
Resolution 0.001 °C 0.0003 °C 0.001 °C 0.0003 °C
Accuracy (4-Wire Measurement) ±0.3 °C
Temperature Stability (24 hours) <0.005 °C
Temperature Coefficient <20 mK/°C
Temperature Window Protection
Setting Range Twin 0.01 to 100.0 °C
Protection Reset Delay 0 to 600 s
Window Protection Output TTL or 5 V CMOS
Temperature Control Output
Load Resistance >10 k Ω
Transmission Coefficient ΔT * 5V / Twin ±0.2 % (Temperature Deviation, Scaled to Temperature Window)
TEC Voltage Measurement
Measurement Principle 4-Wire/2-Wire
Resolution 100 mV 40 mV 100 mV 40 mV
Accuracy (with 4-Wire Measurement) ±50 mV
  • Via front panel, the resolution is limited by the display. Via Remote Control a higher resolution is offered.
  • The TEC current limit is set to a low value before the unit is shipped, and needs to be increased by the user in order to enable thermal regulation.
  • Control range and thermal stability depend on thermistor parameters.

General Specifications

Item #ITC4002QCLITC4005QCL
Digital I/O Port
Number of I/O lines 4 (Separately Configurable)
Input Level TTL or CMOS, Voltage Tolerant up to 24 V
Output Level (Source Operation) TTL or 5 V CMOS, 2 mA Max
Output Level (Sink Operation) Open Collector, up to 24 V, 400 mA Max
Interface
USB 2.0 According to USBTMC/USBTMC-USB488 Specification Rev. 1.0
Protocol SCPI Compliant Command Set
Drivers VISA VXIpnp™, MS Visual Studio™, MS Visual Studio.net™, NI LabVIEW™,
NI LabWindows/CVI™
General Data
Safety Features Interlock, Inhibit, Keylock Switch, Laser Current Limit, Laser Power Limit,
Soft Start, Short Circuit when Laser off, Adjustable Laser Overvoltage Protection,
Over Temperature Protection Temperature Window Protection
Display LCD 320 x 240 Pixel
Connector for Laser, Photodiode,
Interlock, and Laser On Signal
13W3 Mixed D-Sub Jack (Female)
Connector for Sensor, TE Cooler, TEC On Signal 17W2 Mixed D-Sub Jack (Female)
Connectors for Control Input / Output BNC
Connector for Digital I/O Mini DIN 6
Connector for USB-Interface USB Type B
Chassis Ground Connector 4 mm Banana Jack
Line Voltage / Frequency 100 to 120 V and 200 to 240 V ±10%, 50 to 60 Hz
Maximum Power Consumption 600 VA 880 VA
Mains Supply Overvoltage Category II (Cat II)
Operating Temperature 0 to 40 °C
Storage Temperature - 40 to +70 °C
Relative Humidity Max 80% Up to 31 °C, Decreasing to 50% at 40 °C
Pollution Degree (Indoor Use Only) 2
Operation Altitude <2000 m
Warm-up Time for Rated Accuracy 30 min
Weight 6.4 kg
Dimensions without Operating Elements
(W x H x D)
263 mm x 122 mm x 307 mm
(10.4" x 4.8" x 12.1")
Dimensions with Operating Elements
(W x H x D)
263 mm x 122 mm x 345 mm
(10.4" x 4.8" x 13.6")

All technical data valid at 23 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 15% relative humidity. Subject to change without notice.

ITC4000 Controllers Front Panel

CalloutConnectionCalloutConnection
1 Key Switch 5 Escape Key
2 Supply Power Switch 6 TEC Status Indicator
3 LC Display 7 LD Status Indicator
4 Softkeys for Menu Navigation 8 Adjustment Knob

ITC4000 Controllers Back Panel

CalloutConnectionCalloutConnection
1 TTL Input "Laser Enable In" 5 V Max 9 LD Output and Optical Sensor Input "Laser Output"
2 TTL Input "QCW Pulse In" 5 V Max 10 Power Connector and Fuse Holder "Line In"
3 TTL Output "Trigger Out" 0 - 5 V 11 USB Connector
4 Optical Sensor Input "Opt Sensor In" 
0 to 10 V Max
12 4 mm Banana Jack for Chassis Ground
5 Modulation input "Modulation In"
-10 to 10 V
13 MiniDin-6 Jack "Digital I/O"
6 Laser Current Monitor "Analog CTL Out"
0 - 10 V
14 Actual Temperature Deviation Output "Deviation Out" -5 to 5 V
7 Serial Number of the Unit 15 TTL Temperature Monitor Output
"Temp OK Out" 5 V
8 Cooling Fan 16 TEC Element Output and Temperature Sensor Input "TEC Output"

LD Output

13W3 Mixed D-Sub Jack

Connector Drawing

Pin Connection Pin Connection
1 (Thermo) Voltage Sensor Input (+) 7 Photo Current Sensor Input (+)
2 (Thermo) Voltage Sensor Ground (-) 8 Photo Current Sensor Ground (-)
3 Not Connected 9 Not Connected
4 Laser Diode Anode (+) 10 Laser Diode Cathode (-)
5 Output for Interlock and Status Indicator "LASER ON/OFF" (+) A1 Laser Diode Ground
6 Ground Pin for Interlock and Status Indicator "LASER ON/OFF" (-) A2 Laser Diode Cathode (with Polarity AG) (-)
A3 Laser Diode Anode (with Polarity CG) (+)

TEC Output

17W2 Mixed D-Sub Jack

Pin Configuration

Pin Connection Pin Connection
1 Interlock, TEC ON LED (+) 10 PT100/1000 (-), AD590/592 (-), LM35 Out, LM135/235/335 (+)
2 Voltage Measurement TEC Element (+) 11 PT100/1000 (+), AD590/592 (+), LM35/135/235/335 (+)
3 Thermistor (-), PT100/1000 (-), Analog Ground 12 Analog Ground, LM35/135/235/335 (-)
4 Thermistor (+), PT100/1000 (+) 13 Not Connected
5 Analog Ground, LM35/135/235/335 (-) 14 I/O 1-wire (Currently Not Used)
6 Digital Ground for I/O 1-wire 15 Ground for 12 V Output and Interlock, TEC ON LED (-)
7 12 V Output (for External Fan, max. current = 500 mA) S1 TEC Element (+) (Peltier Element)
8 Not Connected S2 TEC Element (-) (Peltier Element)
9 Voltage Measurement TEC Element (-)

Digital I/O Ports

Digital I/O

Pin Connection
1 I/O 1
2 I/O 2
3 I/O 3
4 I/O 4
5 GND
6 I/O Supply Voltage (+12 V from internal or higher external voltage up to +24 V)

LD Enable In

BNC Female

BNC Female

Laser Enable Input (High to Enable Laser ON), TTL 5 V Max

QCW Pulse In

BNC Female

BNC Female

Input for External Trigger Signal, TTL 5 V Max

Trigger Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

QCW Pulse Tracking Output, TTL 5 V

OPT Sensor In

BNC Female

BNC Female

Input for Optical Sensor, 0 to +10 V Max

Modulation In

BNC Female

BNC Female

Input for External Modulation Signal, -10 to +10 V Max

Analog CTL Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

Output for Laser Current Monitoring, 0 to +10 V

Deviation Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

Actual Temperature Deviation Output, -5 to +5 V

Temp OK Out

BNC Female

BNC Female

Temperature OK Output (High if Inside Temperature Window), TTL 5 V

Computer Connection

USB Type B

USB Type B

USB Type B to Type A Cable Included

Ground

 

Banana Plug

 

4 mm Banana Jack for Chassis Ground

 

CAB4005 Laser Diode Cable

This cable contains a DB-9 male connector on one side and a 13W3 male connector on the other side. Both views shown below are looking into the connector.

Female DB-9 Pin Diagram
DB-9 Male Connector
Male 13W3 Pin Diagram
13W3 Male Connector
Pin Matching
DB-9 Pin 13W3 Pin
1 5
2 8
3 A1
4 7
5 6
6 10
7 A2
8 A3
9 4
Shield Shield
DB-9 Connector Colors
Pin Color
1 White
2 Gray and Pink
3 Gray / Black (2 Wires)
4 Red and Blue
5 Brown
6 Blue
7 Yellow / Purple (2 Wires)
8 Green / Pink (2 Wires)
9 Red
13W3 Connector Colors
Pin Color Pin Color
1 No Connection 9 No Connection
2 No Connection 10 Blue
3 No Connection A1 Gray / Black
(2 Wires)
4 Red
5 White A2 Yellow / Purple
(2 Wires)
6 Brown
7 Red and Blue A3 Yellow / Purple
(2 Wires)
8 Gray and Pink

CAB4000 TEC Element Cable

This cable contains a DB-9 female connector on one side and a 17W2 male connector on the other side. Both views shown below are looking into the connector.

Female DB-9 Pin Diagram
DB-9 Female Connector
Male 17W2 Pin Diagram
17W2 Male Connector
Pin Matching
DB-9 Pin 17W2 Pin(s)
1 1, 15
2 4
3 3
4 2, S1
5 9, S2
6 No Connection
7 10
8 5, 12
9 11
Shield Shield
DB-9 Connector Colors
Pin Color
1 White
2 Pink and Gray
3 Red and Blue
4 Pink / Red / Purple
(3 Wires)
5 Black / Gray / Blue
(3 Wires)
6 No Connection
7 Yellow
8 Brown
9 Green
17W2 Connector Colors
Pin Color Pin Color
1 White 11 Green
2 Red 12 Brown
3 Red and Blue 13 No Connection
4 Pink and Gray 14 No Connection
5 Brown 15 White
6 No Connection S1 Purple / Pink
(2 Wires)
7 No Connection
8 No Connection S2 Black / Gray
(2 Wires)
9 Blue
10 Yellow

Sample Screens

Measurement Screen 1Measurement Screen 2
 Measurement Screen 1 The measurement screen offers easy readout of measurement values and device status information. It also allows the major instrument setpoints to be adjusted. You can freely select two, four, or six values to be displayed with optimized character size.  Measurement Screen 2 Here the measurement screen is configured to 2 values. The character size is enlarged as much as possible for easier reading.
Menu ScreenQCW Settings Screen
 Menu Screen The menu screen allows various operation modes and options to be selected.  QCW Settings Screen This is the input screen for the Quasi-Continuous Wave (QCW) pulse mode settings, e.g. trigger source and pulse parameters.
Laser Diode Setup ScreenPhotodiode Input Screen
 Laser Diode Setup Screen The laser diode setup screen
allows the user to enter essential laser control parameters: constant current or constant power mode, limits for laser current and laser power, speed and source of the constant power feedback loop.
 Photodiode Input Screen All parameters concerning the photodiode sensor are entered via the Photodiode Input Screen.
Temperature Controller ScreenTemperature Mode Settings Screen
 Temperature Controller Screen All parameters for the temperature controller are entered via the Temperature Controller Screen: Operation Mode, Current Limit, Current Control Mode Settings, Temperature Sensor Settings.  Temperature Mode Settings Screen For manual optimization, the temperature PID control loop settings can be entered here. Temperature setpoint and actual reading are accessible for convenient testing.
PID Auto-Tune ScreenPreferences Screen
 PID Auto-Tune Screen The PID auto-tune function is started via this screen. The controller automatically selects the optimal PID parameters for the current thermal setup.  Preferences Screen The preferences screen offers access to the device preferences, e.g. display and signal settings.

Software for Laser Diode Controllers

The download button below links to VISA VXI pnp™, MS Visual Studio™, MS Visual Studio.net™, LabVIEW™, and LabWindows/CVI™ drivers, firmware, utilities, and support documentation for Thorlabs' ITC4000 Series laser controllers, LDC4000 Series laser controllers, CLD1000 Series compact laser diode controllers, and TED4000 Series TEC controllers.

The software download page also offers programming reference notes for interfacing with compatible controllers using SCPI, LabVIEW, Visual C++, Visual C#, and Visual Basic. Please see the Programming Reference tab on the software download page for more information and download links.

Driver Software

Version 3.1.0 (April 11, 2014)

Programming Reference

Version 3.3 (April 8, 2015) - SCPI Commands
Version 1.0 (June 16, 2015) - LabVIEW, Visual C++, Visual C#, Visual Basic

Software Download

The software packages support LabVIEW 8.5 and higher. If you are using an earlier version of LabVIEW, please contact Technical Support for assistance.

PID Basics

The PID circuit is often utilized as a control loop feedback controller and is very commonly used for many forms of servo circuits. The letters making up the acronym PID correspond to Proportional (P), Integral (I), and Derivative (D), which represents the three control settings of a PID circuit. The purpose of any servo circuit is to hold the system at a predetermined value (set point) for long periods of time. The PID circuit actively controls the system so as to hold it at the set point by generating an error signal that is essentially the difference between the set point and the current value. The three controls relate to the time-dependent error signal; at its simplest, this can be thought of as follows: Proportional is dependent upon the present error, Integral is dependent upon the accumulation of past error, and Derivative is the prediction of future error. The results of each of the controls are then fed into a weighted sum, which then adjusts the output of the circuit, u(t). This output is fed into a control device, its value is fed back into the circuit, and the process is allowed to actively stabilize the circuit’s output to reach and hold at the set point value. The block diagram below illustrates very simply the action of a PID circuit. One or more of the controls can be utilized in any servo circuit depending on system demand and requirement (i.e., P, I, PI, PD, or PID).

PID Diagram

Through proper setting of the controls in a PID circuit, relatively quick response with minimal overshoot (passing the set point value) and ringing (oscillation about the set point value) can be achieved. Let’s take as an example a temperature servo, such as that for temperature stabilization of a laser diode. The PID circuit will ultimately servo the current to a Thermo Electric Cooler (TEC) (often times through control of the gate voltage on an FET). Under this example, the current is referred to as the Manipulated Variable (MV). A thermistor is used to monitor the temperature of the laser diode, and the voltage over the thermistor is used as the Process Variable (PV). The Set Point (SP) voltage is set to correspond to the desired temperature. The error signal, e(t), is then just the difference between the SP and PV. A PID controller will generate the error signal and then change the MV to reach the desired result. If, for instance, e(t) states that the laser diode is too hot, the circuit will allow more current to flow through the TEC (proportional control). Since proportional control is proportional to e(t), it may not cool the laser diode quickly enough. In that event, the circuit will further increase the amount of current through the TEC (integral control) by looking at the previous errors and adjusting the output in order to reach the desired value. As the SP is reached [e(t) approaches zero], the circuit will decrease the current through the TEC in anticipation of reaching the SP (derivative control).

Please note that a PID circuit will not guarantee optimal control. Improper setting of the PID controls can cause the circuit to oscillate significantly and lead to instability in control. It is up to the user to properly adjust the PID gains to ensure proper performance.

PID Theory

The output of the PID control circuit, u(t), is given as

Equation 1

where
Kp= Proportional Gain
Ki = Integral Gain
Kd = Derivative Gain
e(t) = SP - PV(t)

From here we can define the control units through their mathematical definition and discuss each in a little more detail. Proportional control is proportional to the error signal; as such, it is a direct response to the error signal generated by the circuit:

Equation 2

Larger proportional gain results is larger changes in response to the error, and thus affects the speed at which the controller can respond to changes in the system. While a high proportional gain can cause a circuit to respond swiftly, too high a value can cause oscillations about the SP value. Too low a value and the circuit cannot efficiently respond to changes in the system.

Integral control goes a step further than proportional gain, as it is proportional to not just the magnitude of the error signal but also the duration of the error.

Equation 3

Integral control is highly effective at increasing the response time of a circuit along with eliminating the steady-state error associated with purely proportional control. In essence integral control sums over the previous error, which was not corrected, and then multiplies that error by Ki to produce the integral response. Thus, for even small sustained error, a large aggregated integral response can be realized. However, due to the fast response of integral control, high gain values can cause significant overshoot of the SP value and lead to oscillation and instability. Too low and the circuit will be significantly slower in responding to changes in the system.

Derivative control attempts to reduce the overshoot and ringing potential from proportional and integral control. It determines how quickly the circuit is changing over time (by looking at the derivative of the error signal) and multiplies it by Kd to produce the derivative response.

Equation 4

Unlike proportional and integral control, derivative control will slow the response of the circuit. In doing so, it is able to partially compensate for the overshoot as well as damp out any oscillations caused by integral and proportional control. High gain values cause the circuit to respond very slowly and can leave one susceptible to noise and high frequency oscillation (as the circuit becomes too slow to respond quickly). Too low and the circuit is prone to overshooting the SP value. However, in some cases overshooting the SP value by any significant amount must be avoided and thus a higher derivative gain (along with lower proportional gain) can be used. The chart below explains the effects of increasing the gain of any one of the parameters independently.

Parameter IncreasedRise TimeOvershootSettling TimeSteady-State ErrorStability
KpDecreaseIncreaseSmall ChangeDecreaseDegrade
KiDecreaseIncreaseIncreaseDecrease SignificantlyDegrade
KdMinor DecreaseMinor DecreaseMinor DecreaseNo EffectImprove (for small Kd)

Tuning

In general the gains of P, I, and D will need to be adjusted by the user in order to best servo the system. While there is not a static set of rules for what the values should be for any specific system, following the general procedures should help in tuning a circuit to match one’s system and environment. In general a PID circuit will typically overshoot the SP value slightly and then quickly damp out to reach the SP value.

Manual tuning of the gain settings is the simplest method for setting the PID controls. However, this procedure is done actively (the PID controller turned on and properly attached to the system) and requires some amount of experience to fully integrate. To tune your PID controller manually, first the integral and derivative gains are set to zero. Increase the proportional gain until you observe oscillation in the output. Your proportional gain should then be set to roughly half this value. After the proportional gain is set, increase the integral gain until any offset is corrected for on a time scale appropriate for your system. If you increase this gain too much, you will observe significant overshoot of the SP value and instability in the circuit. Once the integral gain is set, the derivative gain can then be increased. Derivative gain will reduce overshoot and damp the system quickly to the SP value. If you increase the derivative gain too much, you will see large overshoot (due to the circuit being too slow to respond). By playing with the gain settings, you can maximize the performance of your PID circuit, resulting in a circuit that quickly responds to changes in the system and effectively damps out oscillation about the SP value.

Control TypeKpKiKd
P0.50 Ku--
PI0.45 Ku1.2 Kp/Pu-
PID0.60 Ku2 Kp/PuKpPu/8

While manual tuning can be very effective at setting a PID circuit for your specific system, it does require some amount of experience and understanding of PID circuits and response. The Ziegler-Nichols method for PID tuning offers a bit more structured guide to setting PID values. Again, you’ll want to set the integral and derivative gain to zero. Increase the proportional gain until the circuit starts to oscillate. We will call this gain level Ku. The oscillation will have a period of Pu. Gains are for various control circuits are then given below in the chart.

ITC4002QCL Components
Benchtop Laser Diode/TEC Controller, 2 A / 225 W
with 17 V Compliance for QCLs and ICLs
Cable TED4000/ITC4000 to Laser Mount, 5 A, 17W2, 17W2 (CAB4000)
Cable LDC4000/ITC4000 to Laser Mount, 5 A, 13W3, D-Sub-9 (CAB4005)
Mixed D-Sub Connector, 17W2, Male & Female
Including 2 High-Current Contacts Each, 20 A (CON4001)
Mixed D-Sub Connector, 13W3, Male & Female
with 3 High-Current Contacts Each, 20 A (CON4005)
USB Cable A-B, 2 m
4000 Series Instrumentation CD
ITC4000 Series Printed Operation Manual
Certificate of Calibration
ITC4005QCL Components
Benchtop Laser Diode/TEC Controller, 5 A / 225 W
with 20 V Compliance for QCLs and ICLs
Cable TED4000/ITC4000 to Laser Mount, 5 A, 17W2, D-Sub-9 (CAB4000)
Cable LDC4000/ITC4000 to Laser Mount, 5 A, 13W3, D-Sub-9 (CAB4005)
Mixed D-Sub Connector, 17W2, Male & Female
Including 2 High-Current Contacts Each, 20 A (CON4001)
Mixed D-Sub Connector, 13W3, Male & Female
with 3 High-Current Contacts Each, 20 A (CON4005)
USB Cable A-B, 2 m
4000 Series Instrumentation CD
ITC4000 Series Printed Operation Manual
Certificate of Calibration

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Posted Comments:
Poster:info
Posted Date:2016-10-23 15:06:46.39
"A control output voltage proportional to the laser current is provided for monitoring purposes." please tell me the bandwidth of this analog output does it cover dc to 1 MHz?
Poster:wskopalik
Posted Date:2016-10-26 04:31:51.0
This is a response from Wolfgang at Thorlabs. Thank you for your inquiry. The amplifier which creates the signal at the monitor port for the laser current has a 3dB-bandwidth of 150kHz for small sine signals. So you can monitor the internal and external modulation of the driver itself which has a bandwidth of up to 130 kHz. Rectangular signals and pulses may however be shown with rounded edges. Modulations up to the MHz range could only be achieved by an external Bias-T modulation outside the ITC driver. This would usually take place in the laser diode mount and could not be seen on the monitor port of the driver. I have contacted you directly to provide further assistance with your application.

Laser Diode Controller Selection Guide

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

Current Controllers
Item # Drive Current Compliance Voltage CCa CPb Modulation Package
LDC200CV 20 mA 6 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
VLDC002 25 mA 5 V  Yes!  - Int/Ext OEM
LDC201CU 100 mA 5 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
LD2000R 100 mA 3.5 V  -  Yes! External OEM
EK2000 100 mA 3.5 V  -  Yes! External OEM
LDC202C 200 mA 10 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
TLD001 200 mA 8 V  Yes!  Yes! External T-Cube
IP250-BV 250 mA 8 Vc  Yes!  Yes! External OEM
LD1100 250 mA 6.5 Vc  -  Yes! -- OEM
LD1101 250 mA 6.5 Vc  -  Yes! -- OEM
EK1101 250 mA 6.5 Vc  -  Yes! -- OEM
EK1102 250 mA 6.5 Vc  -  Yes! -- OEM
LD1255R 250 mA 3.3 V  Yes!  - External OEM
LDC205C 500 mA 10 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
IP500 500 mA 3 V  Yes!  Yes! External OEM
LDC210C 1 A 10 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
LDC220C 2 A 4 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
LD3000R 2.5 A --  Yes! - External OEM
LDC240C 4 A 5 V  Yes!  Yes! External Benchtop
LDC4005 5 A 12 V  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
LDC4020 20 A 11 V  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
  • Constant current.
  • Constant power.
  • When using a 12 V power supply.
Dual Temperature and Current Controllers
Item # Drive Current Compliance Voltage TEC Power (Max) CCa CPb Modulation Package
VITC002 25 mA 5 V >2 W  Yes! - Int/Ext OEM
ITC102 200 mA >4 V 12 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext OEM
ITC110 1 A >4 V 12 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext OEM
ITC4001 1 A 11 V >96 W  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
CLD1010LPc 1.0 A >8 V >14.1 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext Benchtop
CLD1011LPd 1.0 A >8 V >14.1 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext Benchtop
CLD1015e 1.5 A >4 V >14.1 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext Benchtop
ITC4002QCLf 2 A 17 V >225 W Yes! Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC133 3 A >4 V 18 W  Yes!  Yes! Ext OEM
ITC4005 5 A 12 V >225 W  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC4005QCLf 5 A 20 V >225 W  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
ITC4020 20 A 11 V >225 W  Yes!  Yes! Int/Ext Benchtop
  • Constant current.
  • Constant power.
  • Combined controller and mount for pigtailed laser diodes in TO can packages with A, D, E, or G pin codes only.
  • Combined controller and mount for pigtailed laser diodes in TO can packages with B, C, or H pin codes only.
  • Combined controller and mount for laser diodes in butterfly packages only.
  • Enhanced compliance voltage for QCL operation.

We also offer a variety of OEM and rack-mounted laser diode current & temperature controllers (OEM Modules, TXP Rack Modules, PRO8 Current Control Rack Modules, and PRO8 Current and Temperature Control Rack Modules), as well as a complete laser diode operation starter set.

High Compliance Voltage QCL Driver and TEC Controller

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
ITC4002QCL Support Documentation
ITC4002QCLBenchtop Laser Diode/TEC Controller for QCLs, 2 A LD / 225 W TEC, 17 V
$4,039.00
Today
ITC4005QCL Support Documentation
ITC4005QCLBenchtop Laser Diode/TEC Controller for QCLs, 5 A LD / 225 W TEC, 20 V
$4,888.00
Today

Laser Diode Connector Cables

Item #CAB4005CON4005
Click Image to Enlarge CAB4005 CON4005
Description Standard Laser Diode Cable 13W3 Male and Female
Connector Kit (One Each)
Max Current 5 A 20 A
Connector Type 13W3 Male to DB-9 Male Loose 13W3 Connectors,
Male and Female

The CAB4005 cable connects our ITC4000 series dual current / temperature controllers to laser diode mounts. We also provide loose 13W3 connectors for customers who wish to make their own cables. For the pinout of the CAB4005 and CAB4006 cables, please see the Pin Diagrams tab.

Please note that one CAB4005 cable and one CON4005 connector kit are included with the purchase of the ITC4002QCL and ITC4005QCL benchtop controllers (see the Shipping List tab for details).

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
CAB4005 Support Documentation
CAB4005Connection Cable for LDC4000/ITC4000, 13W3 to D-Sub-9, 5 A
$129.00
Today
CON4005 Support Documentation
CON4005Connector Kit, 13W3 Male & Female, 20 A
$14.80
Today

TEC Element Connector Cables

Item #CAB4000CAB4001CON4001
Click Image to Enlarge CAB4000 CAB4001 CON4001
Description Standard TEC Element Cable High Current TEC Element Cable 17W2 Male and Female
Connector Kit (One Each)
Max Current 5 A 20 A 20 A
Connector Type 17W2 Male to DB-9 Female 17W2 Male to 17W2 Male Loose 17W2 Connectors,
Male and Female

These cables connect ITC4000 series dual current / temperature controllers to thermoelectric cooling elements. We also provide loose 17W2 connectors for customers who wish to make their own cables. For the pinout of the CAB4000 and CAB4001 cables, please see the Pin Diagrams tab.

Please note that one CAB4000 is included with the purchase of an ITC4002QCL or ITC4005QCL controller. The CON4001 connector kit is included with all of the controllers (see the Shipping List tab for specific details).

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
CAB4000 Support Documentation
CAB4000Connection Cable for TED4000/ITC4000, 17W2 to D-Sub-9, 5 A
$118.00
Today
CAB4001 Support Documentation
CAB4001Connection Cable for TED4000/ITC4000, 17W2 to 17W2, 20 A
$174.00
Today
CON4001 Support Documentation
CON4001Connector Kit, 17W2 Male & Female, 20 A
$22.50
Today

ITC4000 Series Calibration Service

Thorlabs offers Calibration Services for the ITC4000 LD Current/TEC Benchtop Controller Series. To ensure accurate measurements, we recommend recalibrating the devices every second year.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
CAL-ITC4000 Support Documentation
CAL-ITC4000Recalibration Service for ITC4000
$368.00
Lead Time
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