Laser characterization and burn-in stations in laser manufacturing companies
Tuesday, January 07, 2020
Regardless of the application, reliability is one of the biggest concerns in every laser diode product. As a manufacturer, your commercial success depends heavily on your ability to produce consistent and reliable devices.
As such, laser characterization, lifetime testing, and burn-in testing have become a crucial part of laser diode development.
In comparison to other electronic devices, laser diode testing is considerably more complex. The number of parameters that need to be accounted for, as well as the diverse configurations of different laser diode products, make testing a painstaking process.
Life testing and burn-in testing are essential since your laser products are often required to operate under challenging environments. Both of these tests, which involve subjecting the laser and its components to aggressive conditions, can help characterize your laser’s performance as well as help in the early identification of defective parts.
The results of these tests, however, are sensitive to various factors. Measurement of your laser’s operating characteristics must be observed and recorded using highly precise measurement tools under carefully controlled conditions.
Identifying lasers with short life expectancies is one of your top priorities as a manufacturer. Your burn-in testing station must, therefore, be outfitted with power and energy sensors that are capable of detecting the slightest change in one or more operating parameters.
Some fundamental properties which can be measured before or after high-temperature burn-in include:
Depending on the characteristics of these measurements, you can determine which devices are likely to suffer from infant mortality. It is, therefore, essential that the measuring equipment is stable and reliable to ensure that any variations recorded during burn-in testing are the result of the laser’s output and not the measuring tool’s performance.
Burn-in test stations are also crucial for conducting laser life test studies. Accurate results are essential as they can directly affect your sales. Just as with burn-in tests, laser measuring tools must be capable of recoding various parameters, such as operating current, output power, threshold current, and forward voltage under accelerated aging conditions.
One of the biggest challenges with life cycle testing is its sensitivity to temperature and equipment instability. Heat sink temperature fluctuations as little as 0.1°C can manifest as noise during power measurement.
Additionally, care must be taken to ensure that the temperature of the photodetector is also controlled for maximum measurement stability. Since these tests are conducted over a long period of time, it is essential that you select robust power detectors that can withstand the rigors of prolonged testing periods.
Whether you are testing a simple laser pointer or a laser for a complex inertial confinement fusion systems, reliability speaks volumes about your product. Burn-in and life tests require measuring equipment that can deliver precise results while withstanding the rigors of prolonged testing. Do not risk your product and your company’s reputation on subpar equipment, ensure that the tools you use are right for the job!