Electrical Pulsing of a Laser Diode for Usage in Fluorescence Microscopy
Abstract: A relatively new application for the laser is in fluorescence microscopes. The fluo- rescence microscope needs a high power light source input. Using a laser source improves the precision of the microscope. A pulsed laser source enhances the performance of the fluorescence microscope and a laser diode can be overdriven without being damaged. The thesis investigates which properties of the laser pulses are needed regarding pulse width, pulse period and waveform. The thesis also investigates which properties are desired for the electrical pulses driving the laser, and how they can be generated using electrical components. The desired laser pulse should have a pulse width of 100 ps and a pulse period of 50 ns. The laser pulse should also have a well-defined wavelength, stable output power and it should be able to quickly turn on and off. To achieve this laser pulse, the desired input to the laser diode should have an input voltage of 5 V, an input current of 250 mA, a pulse width of 100 ps and a pulse period of 50 ns. For generating this pulse the chosen pulse generator, an SRD, should have low junction capacitance, low package capacitance and low package inductance. The chosen amplifier, a MESFET, desires low drain current and should have high transconductance and a large negative threshold voltage.
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