Laser diode primer

What is a laser diode and how does it work?
A laser diode (or diode laser) is a semiconductor laser that produces coherent light when current is applied. Diode lasers are made of p-doped and n-doped semiconductor material with an active region in between. When current is applied, positively charged holes from the p-doped material combine with the negatively charged electrons from the n-doped material producing light in the form of photons. For more information, click here. (

What is the difference between CW, QCW and pulsed laser diodes?
A CW or Continuous Wave laser emits lights continuously, rather than in pulses. A QCW or Quasi Continuous Wave laser emits light in long pulses while a pulsed laser emits lights in nanosecond length pulses. Shortening the pulse reduces the thermal effects enabling higher powers. Although all wavelengths can be pulsed, not all packages can be pulsed.

What is the difference between multi-mode and single mode laser diodes?
A multimode laser contains multiple modes of light emission in two or more transverse or longitudinal modes while a single mode emits in a single cavity mode. Single mode lasers are characterized by small line widths (generally less than 5 microns) and low phase noise.

What is a broad area laser?
A broad area laser is another name for a multimode laser.

AKELA Laser Diodes

What wavelengths does AKELA offer?
AKELA offers wavelengths from 635nm to greater than 2 microns.

Are all wavelengths in stock?
No. However, we can grow material to meet customer needs or supply you with similar performing materials that can serve as proof of concept/performance.

What packages does AKELA offer?
AKELA offers any package suitable for the device. If you do not see the specified package on our website or require a custom package, just let us know and we will design, manufacture, source or use whatever package you require.

If the datasheets don't show specific performance characteristics I want, does that mean AKELA can't offer it?
No. We cannot show all product configurations on our website. So, we may be able to meet your needs with existing material in a different configuration. And, if we do show your product configuration but our diode performance doesn't match your needs, don't assume we can't. We are continually working to improve our diode performance but do so when demand calls for it.

Does AKELA offer single mode products?
Yes, when the situation is right. We are primarily a multimode/broad area laser diode manufacturer, but in specialized applications with sufficient volume, we can also produce single mode lasers.

Does AKELA sell TEC controllers and drivers with its lasers?
Yes. If you would like us to provide you with drivers, please let us know and we will supply you with the appropriate device or devices guaranteed to work with your product.

Does AKELA offer optical modeling?
Yes. AKELA can model your requirements in Zemax and develop an optics solution for your particular requirements.

Does AKELA offer collimating lenses and volume bragg gratings (VBGs)?
Yes. AKELA can develop the entire solution for your requirements, including collimating optics, VBGs or other specialized lensing.

Does AKELA build sub-assemblies or only laser diodes and accessories?
We do build full opto-mechanical sub-assemblies. Our system level engineering is one of our strengths and can save you time and money.

What is a thermal watt?
Thermal watts are calculated by subtracting the optical watts from the electrical.

What are your typical lead times?
Lead times vary based on a number of factors that are always changing and can range from 2 to 12 weeks or more based on material availability, epitaxial growth windows, the necessity for custom parts and the complexity of the job. Please contact us directly for a definitive quote.

Can AKELA handle high volume applications?
Yes. AKELA will custom design a manufacturing line for your product. In addition, AKELA’s dedication to lean manufacturing is unparalleled, enabling us to meet cost targets that our competitors cannot.