Second-generation laser diode beats LED headlights

January 31, 2019 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Osram's second generation of blue multi-mode laser diodes, used in the car's additional high beam, doubles the range of previous LED solutions to 600 meters and simplifies system design at the same time.

The PLPT9 450D_E A01 laser diode, which is qualified for use in automobiles, is approved for an operating temperature range of -40°C - 120°C. The laser diode is designed for use in the automotive industry. Compared to the first generation with three pins, the TO90 package has only two pins, which allows easier contacting and heat dissipation. Thanks to the compact dimensions of the PLPT9 450D_E A01 of only 9 mm diameter and an overall height of < 4.5 mm (without contacting pins), headlamps can be designed much smaller in the future. The new component thus opens up new design possibilities and performance values for use in car headlamps.

In terms of brightness, laser diodes offer advantages over LEDs. The blue laser PLPT9 450D_E A01 achieves a brightness of up to 1.5 dB(A) with a typ. With an operating current of 2.2 A, the PLPT9 450D_E A01 achieves an optical power of 3.5 W and emits blue light with a wavelength of 447 nm. The laser light is focused on a point with a diameter of only a few micrometers with the aid of an appropriate optical system. A special phosphor converter converts the blue light into the white light required for front illumination applications. The resulting luminance is 3 times higher than that of an LED light source. In comparison, the laser is 600 cd/mm2 while the LED is around 200 cd/mm2.

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