Photonics Application — Uses ENMods for Low Ripple and Noise
With the invention of the laser in 1960, photonics ― the use of light to perform functions normally thought of as the realm of electronics ― came into being, but not until the late 1960s did the word «photonics» appear. It didn’t, however, become common usage until the 1980s when fiber optics was adopted by the telecom industry. Now, the actuality of photonics, if not the name, has become pervasive: digital cameras, fiber optic cable TV, barcode scanners, laser welding, surgical endoscopy, tattoo removal, and, of course, microscopy. One of these, called fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), produces an image of a fluorescent sample, not at one point in time, but over its lifetime as it decays. FLIM can be used to detect FRET (Fluorescent Resonance Energy Transfer), an action related to many diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
The Vicor customer is a leading designer and manufacturer of photonics equipment and advanced imaging systems, including FLIM imaging, for research and biomedical applications. In earlier designs they usually used linear supplies for output power requirements of 20 W to 50 W to keep ripple / noise low. As their power needs increased to the range of 200 W to 400 W they changed to switched solutions. One power application is a thermal-controlled laser driver for the FLIM tool, which uses an ENMod AC front end. The ENMod provides full compliance to EN61000-3-2, Harmonic Current, EN55022, Level B, Conducted Emissions, EN61000-4-5, Surge Immunity, EN61000-4-11, Line Disturbances, and EN61000-3-3, Inrush Current. A 15 V Mini serves a Peltier element, and a 15 V Micro drives the laser with a constant current. For new designs they are looking at Maxi Mini Micro converters, partly because of the wide trim range.