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.

Python support

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.

Lock Wizard

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.

4-Laser Operation

Simultaneously control up to 4 (M)DL pro or DFB pro. 37% volume saved for DLC MDL PRO systems.

Air pressure compensation

This feature increases the stability and makes the wavelength more stable by correcting for measured air pressure changes.

Configuration manager

The configuration manager allows for returning to previously saved settings of the lasers. Trying new settings e.g. for locking parameters is greatly simplified.

Power stabilization

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.

Wide scan mode

The wide scan allows to record and display high-resolution spectral scans. This is of particular interest for CTL and DFB pro systems, which can be scanned across the full wavelength coverage of the laser diode.

Screen shots

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.

T-RACK ready

The DLC pro is mounted into the T-RACK as a building block of the Laser Rack Systems.

Auto PID

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:

  • Specifications
    • General / Main Control MC

      General / MC 
      Operator ControlsTouch Display, 10 push buttons, 4 knobs, 1 key switch
      Display7 inch, 800 x 480 pixels, 262 k colors
      Touch panelProjective capacitive (PCT) with multi-touch capability
      InterfacesEthernet and USB
    • Current Control CC-500 & CC-5000

       Current Control CC-500Current Control CC-5000*
      Max. laser current2x 245 mA or 1x 490 mA (selectable)5000 mA
      Max. laser voltage7 V @ 360 mA, 5 V @ 490 mA3.5 V
      Smallest current step0.015 μA5 μA
      Current noise density280 pA / sqrt(Hz) @ 1 kHz120 nA / sqrt(Hz)
      Low frequency current noise (0.1 Hz ... 10 Hz)< 50 nA p-p10 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 bandwidthDL pro: 10 kHz, CTL: 4 kHzTA 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 current3 A
      Max. TEC voltage3 V @ 3 A / 12 V @ 3 A
      Smallest set temperature step50 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 step0.01 mV
      Voltage noise density140 nV / sqrt (Hz) @ 1 kHz
      Temperature coefficient of piezo voltage< 40 ppm / K
      Small signal bandwidth3 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 requirements100 - 240 V~, 50 / 60 Hz
      Power requirements250 W max., typ. 35 W, no active cooling fans
      Size (H x W x D)154 mm x 450 mm x 348 mm
      Weight8.0 kg (with MC, CC-500, PC, TC)
      Operating temperature5 °C ... 40 °C
      Transport temperature0 °C ... 40 °C
      Relative humidity80 % 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
  • Additional Information
  • Options
    • 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
  • Applications
  • Downloads

    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.

    ReleaseDateNew SystemsNew FeaturesNotable Improvements and Bug Fixes
    3.204/2024DL pro BFY New GUI for CTL and Topwave DUV; not tested for SHG/FHG
    3.110/2023 Quad-Laser OperationNew GUI for DL, DFB and TA pro; not tested for CTL and SHG/FHG
    3.003/2022 Motor pro, remote emission control

    Support of new DLC pro hardware, split signal displays, CTL calibration shift, Wide scan: return to previous position now optional, CC-5000 ARC support

    2.503/20222nd DL for TA, CTL 900System IntegrationLock-In output available on out-A/B, improved diagnosis reports, support of the new display board
    2.402/2021 autoPID Diagnosis report
    2.310/2020  Service script without PC connection
    2.207/2020FALC pro  
    2.106/2020TA pro AL 
    MTA pro
    MSHG pro
    autoPDH  Service report without PC connection
    2.012/2018TOPOWide scan modeCTL motor scan improved
    1.908/2018DLC Holo-Litho 405Lock wizardARC (analog remote control) for TC added
    1.804/2018TopWave 266
    PDH/DLC pro
     Better protection in case of exchange of laser heads
    1.701/2018MDL pro
    2nd DL
    Configuration manager
    Python support
    CTL scan-trigger problems fixed
    User interface for power stabilization easier to use
    1.604/2017DFB pro
    PS HP
    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
    1.509/2016DL-FHG pro
    TA-FHG pro
    SUV option
    Service scriptsLocking without selected lock-point enabled
    SHG and FHG system display seed power correctly
    1.403/2016 Power stabilization
    FFT for all systems
    Labview example
    CTL: microsteps enable
    Limitations in signal routing lifted
    Scan and lock screen combined to ease operation
    Direct access of scaling mode
    1.306/2015DL-SHG pro
    TA-SHG pro
     Problem of freezing touch UI fixed
    Limits of FeedForward increased
    Correct display of TA pro power
    1.211/2014CTL Improved handling of touch UI events
    1.109/2014TA pro Cross talk between ARC of CC and PC modules removed
    1.002/2014DL 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

  • Literature
  • Related Products