Diode laser electronics for atom optics

Please note: the electronics designed described here are very primitive and the performance very ordinary. We now purchase diode laser controllers from www.moglabs.com.

Diode laser (mechanical aspects) for information on the mechanical design of external cavity diode lasers.

Old electronics if you are interested in our older designs (which are fraught with mistakes).

Other technical stuff from the atom optics group.

This page documents some of our very old laser electronics designs. We do not recommend using these designs, except perhaps for educational purposes.

n As of Feb 2005, quite a bit of superseded stuff has been removed so as not to waste anyone's time on really bad electronics. If you want to know more about things that are missing, feel free to contact us.


We are particularly grateful to Alex Slavec for his outstanding design and development of a sophisticated, robust, very low noise high-performance laser controller, codenamed Augustus. Alex's design is now commercially available: see www.moglabs.com

Some references:

A very large fraction of our original electronics development was done by Phil Fox.

Many others have made contributions, including:

Our papers of relevance

Other papers of interest

Circuit board details

Precision current source

Piezo driver

The piezo driver described here is expensive and complicated and not recommended. Find someone that knows how to use FETs.

Temperature controller

Note that the temperature controller described here is a ridiculously complicated circuit for something that can be done with a single opamp (pluse a high-current output stage such as that included here, using an L165).

Zeeman coil

I have provided considerable discussion of Zeeman coil design in appendix B of the MOGlabs MOG controller manual.

Lockin amplifier

FM demodulator

RF drivers for AOMs


We have PDF datasheets for most of the components we use.  These can also be obtained directly from the manufacturers if you can't find the one you need in this directory.

Items which have been removed:
  • Laser driver interface
  • Laser protection board
  • Claudius frequency locking system
  • Photodiode board
  • Power supplies

Created: 10 March, 1999
Last modified:
Authorised and maintained by: A/Prof. R. Scholten, School of Physics