Design of High Peak Power Pulsed Laser Diode Driver

Ching-Yao Liu, Chih-Chiang Wu, Li-Chuan Tang, Wei-Hua Chieng, Edward-Yi Chang, Chun-Yen Peng & Hao-Chung Kuo

Photonics , 9(9), 652 (2022)— Published in September 2022


This paper attempts to describe a laser diode driver circuit using the depletion mode gallium nitride high electron mobility transistor (D-mode GaN HEMT) to generate nanosecond pulses at a repetition rate up to 10 MHz from the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). The feature of this driver circuit is a large instantaneous laser power output designed in the most efficient way. The design specifications include a pulse duration between 10 ns and 100 ns and a peak power up to above 100 W. The pulsed laser diode driver uses the D-mode GaN HEMT, which has very small Coss difference between turn-on and turn-off states. The analysis is according to a laser diode model that is adjusted to match the VCSEL, made in National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU). A design guide is summarized from the derivations and analysis of the proposed laser diode driver. According to the design guide, we selected the capacitor, resistor, and diode components to achieve 10 ns to 100 ns pulse duration for laser lighting. The experiment demonstrated that the maximum power-to-light efficiency can be as high as 86% and the maximum peak power can be 150 W, which matches the specifications of certain applications such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR).