DLC pro: Digital Control
All-digital controller for tunable diode lasers
- Extremely low noise & precise control
- Convenient local and remote operation
- Intelligent locking features
The DLC pro is a platform driving all tunable diode lasers of TOPTICA: One controller for all wavelengths.
The performance of diode lasers is largely determined by its controller. The DLC pro is the first diode laser controller based on a digital foundation, which is essential to obtain the best performance on all key parameters: Low current noise for narrow laser linewidths, excellent temperature control for stable operation and precise piezo control for frequency tuning.
To unleash the full potential of this high-performance controller, intuitive user interfaces are available: With touch screen and knobs it is easy to adjust scans, zoom into observed features, activate frequency locks etc. The digital foundation also enables full remote control, including a GUI for Windows computer and a command interface. This interface is open to all programming languages; a Python SDK is provided.
Many applications require to reference the frequency of the laser. TOPTICA provides solutions for all needs: The convenient software solution DLC pro Lock is directly integrated into the DLC pro while high performance locking is provided by the FALC pro.
The DLC pro is the benchmark for diode laser controllers: hardware for best performance, operated at unprecedented convenience.
The latest tested software of the DLC pro including newly added features and bug fixes is made available to all customers. See Downloads section below for the latest software release, for download instructions and for an overview of the added features.
We provide the Python support of the DLC pro as part of TOPTICA’s Laser SDK, which is easily available through pip install. The package is provided through Python Package Index (PyPI).
The intuitive PC GUI of the DLC pro allows for full control from computers (requires Windows 8 or higher). Simply connect to any laser in a lab and start with its current settings.
This interactive tool guides you step-by-step towards a frequency lock with the DLC pro Lock.
Connection the DLC pro to the local network allows for remote control from computers, e.g. through the PC GUI and the command interface. Supports DHCP and manual IP configuration.
Integrating the control of a DLC pro into LabVIEW is demonstrated in an example program, see Downloads section below.
Air pressure compensation
This feature increases the stability and makes the wavelength more stable by correcting for measured air pressure changes.
The configuration manager allows for returning to previously saved settings of the lasers. Trying new settings e.g. for locking parameters is greatly simplified.
As part of every laser, a power stabilization feedback loop can be activated. The achievable bandwidth is listed in the Specifications of the current control modules CC-500 and CC-5000 below.
Saving screen shots of the touch screen interface to a USB drive by simply pressing a button.
Free trial of locking
If you decide against ordering the DLC pro Lock along with the laser, we provide a 30-day trial version of this feature. You may start this trial at any time.
Support of fast locking
For high performance frequency locks such as phase locks and PDH locks, we recommend the FALC pro.
The DLC pro is mounted into the T-RACK as a building block of the Laser Rack Systems.
Frequency locking with automatically optimized PID parameters of the DLC pro Lock based on an easily started measurement of the system at hand.
See more in our product video:
- General / Main Control MC
General / MC Operator Controls Touch Display, 10 push buttons, 4 knobs, 1 key switch Display 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixels, 262 k colors Touch panel Projective capacitive (PCT) with multi-touch capability Interfaces Ethernet and USB
- Current Control CC-500 & CC-5000
Current Control CC-500 Current Control CC-5000* Max. laser current 2x 245 mA or 1x 490 mA (selectable) 5000 mA Max. laser voltage 7 V @ 360 mA, 5 V @ 490 mA 3.5 V Smallest current step 0.015 μA 5 μA Current noise density 280 pA / sqrt(Hz) @ 1 kHz 120 nA / sqrt(Hz) Low frequency current noise (0.1 Hz ... 10 Hz) < 50 nA p-p 10 μA p-p Temperature coefficient of laser current <3 ppm / K typ. after > 1 h warm-up Long-term stability of laser current < 100 ppm / sqrt(khrs) after > 1 h warm-up Modulation bandwidth (-3dB, 45°) Between 15 kHz and 30 kHz
(depending on laser diode)
100 Hz Achievable power stabilization bandwidth DL pro: 10 kHz, CTL: 4 kHz TA pro: 4 kHz, SHG pro: 1 kHz * For TA pro systems two CC-5000 can be combined to drive one amplifier chip at a higher current.
- Temperature Control TC
Temperature Control TC Max. TEC current 3 A Max. TEC voltage 3 V @ 3 A / 12 V @ 3 A Smallest set temperature step 50 μK Act. temperature noise (100 μHz ... 1 Hz) < 300 μK p-p Repeatability of actual temperature < 0.001 K after > 1 h warm-up Temperature coeff. of actual temperature < 140 ppm K / K after > 1 h warm-up
- Piezo Control PC
Piezo Control PC Piezo voltage range -1 V ... +140 V Max. piezo current (charge / decharge) 25 mA Smallest piezo voltage step 0.01 mV Voltage noise density 140 nV / sqrt (Hz) @ 1 kHz Temperature coefficient of piezo voltage < 40 ppm / K Small signal bandwidth 3 kHz (0 load)
- Inputs / Outputs
Inputs / Outputs Analog inputs (BNC) 2x (24 bit, DC .. 300 kHz) 2x (16 /10 bits, DC .. 300 kHz / 1.7 MHz) Input range, impedance -4 V ... + 4V, 10 kOhm Analog outputs (BNC) 2x (16 bits, DC .. 300 kHz) Output range, impedance -4 V ... + 4V (no load), 50 Ohm Digital inputs** 4x TTL, 10 kOhm, Sub-HD 15-pin Digital outputs** 4x TTL, 50 kOhm, Sub-HD 15-pin ** Optional break-out cable with 8 SMB connectors available.
- Environmental, Power Supply PS
Environment / Supply Voltage requirements 100 - 240 V~, 50 / 60 Hz Power requirements 250 W max., typ. 35 W, no active cooling fans Size (H x W x D) 154 mm x 450 mm x 348 mm Weight 8.0 kg (with MC, CC-500, PC, TC) Operating temperature 5 °C ... 40 °C Transport temperature 0 °C ... 40 °C Relative humidity 80 % for up to 31 °C, decr. lin. to 50 % at 40 °C
- Pound-Drever-Hall PDH
Optional module to generate error signals for Pound-Drever-Hall locks or frequency modulation spectrocopy.
For specifications see the PDH/DLC pro product page.
- Fast analog linewidth control FALC pro
Optional external module for high performance locks.
For specifications see the FALC pro product page
- DLC ext
Please note that the FALC pro, recommended for all high performance locks, does not require the use of a DLC ext.
The DLC ext allows extending the DLC pro with TOPTICA’s well-established fast locking modules.
These modules provide high performance laser locking if a faster feedback than available with the DLC pro Lock option is needed.
Number of possible modules 2 Supported modules PDD 110, FALC 110, mFALC 110, DigiLock 110 Size (H x W x D) 131 mm (+67 mm) x 184 mm x 286 mm Power supply 90 - 264 VAC (47 - 63 Hz), external, automatic mains voltage detection
- General / Main Control MC
- Additional Information
- FALC pro: External high performance locking modul for frequency locking, e.g. in phase locks or locks frequency combs or to reference cavities if combined with PDH/DLC pro.
- PDH/DLC pro: Built-in module for the DLC pro to generate error signals for Pound-Drever-Hall locks.
- DLC pro Lock: Software license for DLC pro
- Atom Laser Cooling & Trapping
- Ion Laser Cooling & Trapping
- BEC / Degenerate Fermi Gases
- Optical Clocks
- Rydberg Excitation
- Optical Pumping & EIT
- Fundamental Constants
- Quantum Cryptography
- Quantum Information
- Quantum Dots & Microcavities
- Magnetic Field Measurement
DLC pro Software Update
TOPICA provides software updates for the DLC pro about twice a year. These updates provide new features and bug fixes but are not installed automatically. To update your system please follow the update instructions.
- DLC pro Update Instructions
- Software Update Version 3.0.1 (230 MB, 03/2023) PC GUI requires Windows 8 or newer
- New updates are announced by an email newsletter. You may subscribe by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "subscribe".
- This table summarizes the improvements TOPTICA introduced with the previous updates. The latest update includes all improvements.
Release Date New Systems New Features Notable Improvements and Bug Fixes 3.0 03/2023 Support DLC 3.0 hardware
Remote control of laser emission for Class 3B and 4 lasers
2.5 03/2022 2nd DL for TA, CTL 900 System Integration LockIN output available on out-A/B, improved diagnosis reports, support of the new display board 2.4 02/2021 autoPID Diagnosis report 2.3 10/2020 Service script without PC connection 2.2 07/2020 FALC pro 2.1 06/2020 TA pro AL
autoPDH Service report without PC connection 2.0 12/2018 TOPO Wide scan mode CTL motor scan improved 1.9 08/2018 DLC Holo-Litho 405 Lock wizard ARC (analog remote control) for TC added 1.8 04/2018 TopWave 266
Better protection in case of exchange of laser heads 1.7 01/2018 MDL pro
CTL scan-trigger problems fixed
User interface for power stabilization easier to use
1.6 04/2017 DFB pro
Air pressure compensation
TA chips up to 10 A
Routine for setting the lock-in phase automatically
Added display elements to ease finding in-loop signals
1.5 09/2016 DL-FHG pro
Service scripts Locking without selected lock-point enabled
SHG and FHG system display seed power correctly
1.4 03/2016 Power stabilization
FFT for all systems
CTL: microsteps enable
Limitations in signal routing lifted
Scan and lock screen combined to ease operation
Direct access of scaling mode
1.3 06/2015 DL-SHG pro
Problem of freezing touch UI fixed
Limits of FeedForward increased
Correct display of TA pro power
1.2 11/2014 CTL Improved handling of touch UI events 1.1 09/2014 TA pro Cross talk between ARC of CC and PC modules removed 1.0 02/2014 DL pro
Remote operation the DLC pro is supported by:
- TOPTICA Python Laser SDK (updated with every DLC pro software release) makes the command interface of the DLC pro (and other TOPTICA lasers) easily available in Python. The documentation of the command interface is provided by the DLC pro Command Reference, which is included in any DLC pro software package in the documentation folder. How to use the Python SDK is explained in the project homepage of the package
- LabVIEW VIs for integrating the control of a DLC pro (no technical support, also included in any DLC pro update)
Additional Product Information
- Product Brochure Scientific Lasers (please see website for latest specs!)
- Flyer: Solutions for Optical Clocks
- Flyer: Solutions for Rydberg Atoms
- Technical Drawings DLC pro
- Article: Digital Revolution in Laser Control (Physics Best, 4/2014)
- Article: Digitale Bedienkonzepte halten Einzug ins Laserlabor (LASER, 2/2014, German)
- Application Note: Trapping and quantum computing
- Application Note: Temperature measurements above the Arctic
- Application Note: Biomagnetic measurements benefit from laser know-how
- Article: Slow Light: Moving Out of the Lab (Photonics Spectra, July 2014)
- Article: Rauscharme Revolution (Best of, 2013, German)
- Article: C. Nölleke et al, Absolute Frequency Atlas from 915 nm to 985 nm based on Laser Absorption Spectroscopy of Iodine (2018)
- Application Note: Phase and Frequency Locking of Diode Lasers
- Related Products