Heatsinks

Heatsinks

Laser Diode Heatsinks, Mounts, and Accessories for a broad range of laser diode packages including fiber coupled packages and TO can packages.

Our Heatsinks for laser diodes are available with passive cooling and active cooling.  In short, passively cooled heatsinks conducts the heat away from the laser and dissipates it into the ambient air and actively cooled heatsinks utilizes a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) to cool the laser diode package.  See the bottom of the page on more about passive and active cooling. 

If you have any questions, please contact us.

The two strategies for removing the heat produced by a laser diode are passive cooling and active cooling.

  • Passive cooling heatsinks conduct the heat from the laser and dissipates it into the ambient air. This type of laser mount is simply a thermal heat sink and is dependent on the temperature of the ambient air.  A passively cooled laser diode heatsink is designed to maintain a temperature at some point above the ambient air temperature.
    The thermal performance of a passive heatsink is rated as thermal resistance, in units of °C/W. This rating represents the amount of temperature increase, in degrees Celsius, the heatsink will exhibit a thermal equilibrium for every watt of waste heat generated by the laser.
    A fan will improve the thermal performance of a passively cooled heatsink. Even with a fan, the performance and power range of a passive heatsink is limited to low and medium power laser diodes or applications where higher operating temperatures are acceptable.

 

  • Active cooling is a more comprehensive and complex approach to thermal management. A thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is built into the laser diode heatsink or directly into the laser diode package which actively cools the laser diode. The TEC is a small, flat, thermally conductive ceramic that uses the electrical power supplied by the temperature controller to cool one of its surfaces while heating the opposing surface.
    To complete the control loop, a temperature sensor provides a feedback signal to the temperature controller, which regulates the power provided to the TEC.

The laser diode heatsink must be able to handle the waste heat from the laser diode and now additionally the waste heat from the TEC.   In many cases, the heatsink will be cooled with water (Cold Plate) or be equipped with a fan to maximize thermal performance.
The thermal performance of an actively cooled heatsink is referred to as thermal capacity and is rated in watts. This rating represents the amount of thermal power the laser mount can absorb while maintaining a stable temperature.