Low-cost laser diode competes with LEDs for sensing

Sept. 21, 2004
Carrollton, TX, September 21, 2004--TT Electronics Optek Technology has introduced a low-drive-current vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) for long-distance sensing applications. The company states that VCSEL technology offers many advantages in sensing applications when compared to infrared LEDs.

Carrollton, TX, September 21, 2004--TT Electronics Optek Technology has introduced a low-drive-current vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) for long-distance sensing applications. The company states that VCSEL technology offers many advantages in sensing applications when compared to infrared LEDs.

Designated the OPV232, the 850-nm-emitting VCSEL is available in a low-cost plastic T-1 package and contains a dome lens that creates a narrow 3º beam angle. The OPV232 VCSEL requires substantially lower drive currents to obtain the same amount of output power as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), enabling the device to be used in low-power-consumption applications such as battery-operated equipment. The narrow beam angle of the device makes it suitable for use in long-distance sensing without the need for secondary optics, notes Gary Cawley, the company's technology business-development manager for optical components

The 3mm-high VCSEL is in a T-1 package and is suited for position-sensing applications such as photoelectric sensors, optical encoders, light curtains, office equipment, and industrial systems. It is optically and spectrally compatible with Optek's standard detector products such as phototransistors, photodarlingtons, and photodiodes. The OPV232 has a maximum forward peak current of 30 mA and reverse voltage of 5 V. Its maximum operating temperature range is -40ºC to +85ºC.

The laser fits right in Optek's line of work: the company develops sensing components and systems that rely on relatively low-cost infrared, magnetic, and fiberoptic technologies and that are used in office machines, industrial equipment, encoders, automotive electronics, military and high-reliability applications, and medical diagnostic equipment.

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