Picosecond Pulsed Drivers

PDL 800-D

Picosecond Diode Laser Driver

  • Well-known laser driver from PicoQuant
  • Pulsed and CW operation
  • Compact and robust
  • Easily controlled via local interface
  • Suited for LDH Series, LDH-FA Series, and PLS Series
  • 5-year warranty

PicoQuant's 5 year limited warranty on selected productsThe 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 laser driver with laser head from the 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 inputs

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 application that require multiple channels/wavelengths, computer control, more power and an ultimate control of the laser parameters,  the Sepia PDL 828 and the Taiko PDL M1 can be provided.

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
1000, 500, 250, 125, 62.5 or 31.25 kHz
Jitter typ. 3-5 ps
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 trigger input to optical output1: typ. 35 ± 5 ns
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)
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

1 The value of the delay between the trigger signal input and the optical pulse output can vary in the range of ± 5 ns depending on the PDL 800-D driver and on the laser diode head which is attached to it. For a given hardware combination, the delay is defined and constant, only the jitter applies.

All Information given here is reliable to our best knowledge. However, no responsibility is assumed for possible inaccuracies or omissions. Specifications and external appearances are subject to change without notice.

The PDL 800-D is compatible with the picosecond pulsed sources listed below. Check out the corresponding product pages for more details.

LDH Series

LDH Series - Picosecond Pulsed Diode Laser HeadsPicosecond Pulsed Diode Laser Heads

  • Wavelengths between 375 and 1990 nm
  • Pulse widths as short as 40 ps (FWHM)
  • Adjustable (average) power up to 50 mW
  • Repetition rate from single shot to 80 MHz
  • Optional dual mode: pulsed and CW operation
  • Collimating optics, optional fiber coupling and peltier cooling

LDH-FA Series

LDH-FA Series - Picosecond Pulsed Diode Laser HeadsAmplified Picosecond Pulsed Laser Diode Heads

  • Available wavelengths: 266, 355, 515, 531, 560, 766, 1064, and 1532 nm
  • Pulse width down to 70 ps (FWHM)
  • Average output power between 1 mW and 450 mW (depending on wavelength)
  • Repetition rates up to 80 MHz
  • Collimated beam or PM fiber output with FC/APC fiber connector

PLS Series

PLS Series - Sub Nanosecond Pulsed LEDsSub-nanosecond Pulsed LEDs

  • Center wavelengths between 255 nm and 600 nm
  • Pulse width down to 600 ps
  • Adjustable (average) power up to 80 µW
  • Repetition rate from single shot up to 40 MHz
  • Optional bandpass filter

The PDL 800-D along with the corresponding laser or LED sources can be used for various applications, where short pulses with high and variable repetition rates as well as stable pulse energies are important, such as:

The following documents are available for download:

Latest 10 publications referencing Pulsed Diode Lasers (PDL Series, LDH-Series, LDH-FA Series)

The following list is an extract of 10 recent publications from our bibliography that either bear reference or are releated to this product in some way. Do you miss your publication? If yes, we will be happy to include it in our bibliography. Please send an e-mail to info@picoquant.com containing the appropriate citation. Thank you very much in advance for your kind co-operation.