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A Novel Low-Cost Synchronous/Asynchronous Microcontroller-Based Pulsed Laser

1
Departamento de Electrónica, DICIS, Universidad de Guanajuato, Salamanca, Gto. 36885, México
2
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Ciudad de México 03940, México
3
Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica (CIO), León, Gto. 37150, México
4
Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas 87149, México
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050489
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microelectronics and Optoelectronics)
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Abstract

The development and implementation of continuous-wave (CW) or pulsed lasers has become essential in all areas of science and engineering. In the case of pulsed lasers, their emission period is commonly set up by the length of the laser cavity, which implies that it is necessary to replace the whole laser or modify the cavity to change the repetition rate. On the other hand, microcontrollers, capable of performing specific tasks saving size, cost and power consumption, have proven to be a powerful tool for various applications. To the best of our knowledge, we present a novel pulsed laser based on a very low-cost commercial microcontroller and a continuous-wave laser diode, where the pulse width and period are adjustable through a graphical user interface (GUI); besides, a new temporal asynchronous regime consisting of periodic packets of multiple pulses is produced. Pulses from 8 to 60 ms duration and with periods from 0.25 to 5 s are presented. These long optical pulses can be useful in certain applications where conventional pulses cannot be used due to their inadequate pulse width or period or intensity, such as simulating the neuronal activity of the brain or the development of neuromorphic hardware, where the response times are in the order of ms. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcontroller; laser; optical pulsing; control microcontroller; laser; optical pulsing; control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lauterio-Cruz, J.P.; Hernandez-Garcia, J.C.; Filoteo-Razo, J.D.; Estudillo-Ayala, J.M.; Rojas-Laguna, R.; Pottiez, O.; Barron-Zambrano, J.H.; Rostro-González, H. A Novel Low-Cost Synchronous/Asynchronous Microcontroller-Based Pulsed Laser. Electronics 2019, 8, 489.

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