Temperature Control and Mount Selection
As you operate your laser, only a portion of the electrical power sourced from your laser driver converts to light energy. The remainder turns to heat, and the build-up of that thermal energy presents a number of issues for the laser system as a whole, and for your laser, in particular.
Within your laser setup, the temperature control system is responsible for managing the heat generated by the operation of the laser. In addition to your temperature controller, careful selection of the application-appropriate laser mount will be critical to a robust laser system.
Ultimately, the most pressing issue regarding temperature control is that a change in temperature affects laser light quality, particularly wavelength. If left unchecked, excessive heat may also damage the laser’s light emitting facets, degrading the quality and quantity of the light produced.
The two basic strategies for dissipating the heat produced by a laser are known as passive cooling and active cooling. In addition, this article will cover unconventional thermal management approaches for high-power applications and for applications that require a heated laser mount.