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Keithley 2520.

Pulsed Laser Diode Test System with Remote Test Head/IEEE-488 and RS-232 Interfaces

Brand: Keithley
Model No: 2520.
Our Model No: 2520
Condition: NEW
PDF Document Icon Data Sheet (323 KB)


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Product Features:

  • Simplifies laser diode LIV testing prior to packaging or active temperature control
  • Integrated solution for in-process LIV production testing of laser diodes at the chip or bar level
  • Sweep can be programmed to stop on optical power limit
  • Combines high accuracy source and measure capabilities for pulsed and DC testing
  • Synchronized DSP based measurement channels ensure highly accurate light intensity and voltage measurements
  • Programmable pulse on time from 500ns to 5ms up to 4% duty cycle
  • Pulse capability up to 5A, DC capability up to 1A
  • 14-bit measurement accuracy on three measurement channels (VF, front photodiode, back photodiode)
  • Measurement algorithm increases the pulse measurement's signal-tonoise ratio
  • Up to 1000-point sweep stored in buffer memory eliminates GPIB traffic during test, increasing throughput
  • Digital I/O binning and handling operations
  • IEEE-488 and RS -232 interfaces


  • Production testing of telecommunication laser diodes, optical storage read/write head laser diodes, Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs), thermal impedance, junction temperature response

The Keithley 2520 Pulsed Laser Diode Test System w/Remote Test Head is an integrated, synchronized system for testing laser diodes early in the manufacturing process, when proper temperature control cannot be easily achieved. The 2520 provides all sourcing and measurement capabilities needed for pulsed and continuous LIV (light-currentvoltage) testing of laser diodes in one compact, half-rack instrument. The tight synchronization of source and measure capabilities ensures high measurement accuracy, even when testing with pulse widths as short as 500ns.

LIV Test Capability

The 2520 can perform pulsed LIV testing up to 5A and continuous LIV testing up to 1A. Its pulsed testing capability makes it suitable for testing a broad range of laser diodes, including the pump laser designs for Raman amplifiers. The instrument's ability to perform both DC and pulsed LIV sweeps on the same device simplifies analyzing the impact of thermal transients on the LIV characteristics of the laser diode.

Maximize Throughput and Eliminate Production Bottlenecks

By working in cooperation with leading laser diode manufacturers, Keithley designed the 2520 specifically to enhance chip- and bar-level test stand yield and throughput. Its integrated design, ease of use, high speed, and high accuracy provides a complete solution to help laser diode manufacturers meet their production schedules. Producers of laser diodes face constant pressure to increase test throughput and optimize return on investment for their capital equipment used in production testing. Until recently, these producers were forced to use relatively slow and cumbersome test stands for testing laser diodes at the chip and bar level, which often led to production bottlenecks.

Higher Resolution for Higher Yields

To achieve the required signal-to-noise ratio, traditional chip- and bar-level LIV testing solutions have required the use of boxcar averagers or test system control software modifications to allow averaging several pulsed measurements. The resolution of these measurements is critical for the "kink" test and threshold current calculations. With earlier test system designs, particularly when performing the kink test, low resolution and poor linearity of the analog digitizer made it extremely difficult to discriminate between noise in the measurement and an actual device kink. The 2520's unique DSP-based measurement approach automatically identifies the settled region of the pulsed waveforms measured. This means the 2520 stores only that portion of the pulse that is "flat" and contains meaningful data. All measurements made in the flat portion of the pulse are averaged to improve the Signal-to-Noise ratio still further. If greater resolution is required, the 2520 can be programmed to perform several pulse and measure cycles at the same pulse amplitude. By making it possible to conduct more thorough testing at the bar or chip level, the 2520 also eliminates the wasted time and costs associated with assembling then scrapping modules with non-compliant diodes.

Simple, One-Box Test Solution

The 2520 offers three channels of source and measurement circuitry. All three channels are controlled by a single digital signal processor (DSP), which ensures tight synchronization of the sourcing and measuring functions. The laser diode drive channel provides a current source coupled with voltage measurement capability. Each of the two photodetector channels supplies an adjustable voltage bias and voltage compliance, in addition to current measurement capability. These three channels provide all the source and measure capabilities needed for full LIV characterization of laser diodes prior to integration into temperature controlled modules. By eliminating the need for GPIB commands to perform test sweeps with multiple separate instruments, the 2520's integrated sourcing and measurement allows a significant improvement in throughput.

Remote Test Head Maximizes Signal-to-Noise Ratio

The mainframe and remote test head architecture of the 2520 is designed to enhance pulsed measurement accuracy, even at the sub-microsecond level. The remote test head ensures the measurement circuitry is located near the DUT, mounted on the fixture, minimizing cable effects. As the schematic in Figure 1 shows, traditional semi-custom systems typically employed in the past require significant integration. The architecture of the 2520 (Figure 2) offers a far more compact and ready-to-use solution.

High Speed Pulse and Measure to Minimize Thermal Effects

The 2520 can accurately source and measure pulses as short as 500 nanoseconds to minimize unwanted thermal effects during LIV testing. Users can program the pulse width from 500ns to 5ms and pulse off time from 20μs to 500ms. There is a software duty cycle limit of 4% for currents higher than 1A. To ensure greater accuracy, the instrument provides pulse width programming resolution levels of 10μs (off time) and 100ns (on time).

Prior to the introduction of the 2520, test instrument limitations often placed barriers on test performance. However, with the 2520, the limiting factor is not the test instrument, but the physics of the connections to the device. Keithley's optoelectronics applications engineers have addressed these issues by studying and documenting the optimum cable configuration to enhance measurement accuracy with extremely fast pulses. Figure 3 illustrates the results of a typical pulse LIV sweep test with the 2520. In this test, a 100-point pulsed LIV sweep using a 1μs pulse width, at 1% duty cycle, was completed in just 110ms (including data transfer time), several orders of magnitude faster than existing, semi-custom test systems.

ESD Protection

A laser diode's material make-up, design, and small size make it extremely sensitive to temperature increases and electrostatic discharges (ESDs). To prevent damage, prior to the start of the test and after test completion, the 2520 shorts the DUT to prevent transients from destroying the device. The instrument's 500 nanosecond pulse and measure test cycle minimizes device heating during test, especially when a short duty cycle is used.

Test Sequencing and Optimization

Up to five user-definable test setups can be stored in the 2520 for easy recall. The 2520's built-in Buffer Memory and Trigger Link interface can reduce or even eliminate time-consuming GPIB traffic during a test sequence. The Buffer Memory can store up to 1000 points of measurement data during the test sweep. The Trigger Link combines six independent software selectable trigger lines on a single connector for simple, direct control over all instruments in a system. This interface allows the 2520 to operate autonomously following an input trigger. The 2520 can be programmed to output a trigger to a compatible OSA or wavelength meter several nanoseconds prior to outputting a programmed drive current value to initiate spectral measurements.

  • 1 - Pulsed Laser Diode Test System w/Remote Test Head
  • 1 - User Manual
  • 1 - Quick Reference Guide
  • 2 - Triax Cables
  • 4 - BNC 10W Coaxial Cables
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Gold Plans
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Datasheet: PDF Document Icon(323 KB)
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