Precision Optical Delay Line with High Scan Speed

Optical Delay with High Precision

ScanDelay, an optical delay line, allows the introduction of a well-defined time delay into an optical path. The delay is periodically controlled by a fast scanning shaker at a frequency of up to 20 Hz.

The heart of APE’s optical delay line series is a special linear translation stage that is supplied together with appropriate control and drive electronics. The linear drive has been designed especially for optical applications. It combines low moving mass with compactness, reaching a high speed, as well as high precision and resolution. The delay drive moves frictionless, has a large and precise travel range, and allows for very small displacements without any stick-slip-effects.

Thus scanDelay is capable of generating fast wide scans as well as smallest delays without any stick-slip effects. The actual position is measured in real time by an analog photo-electric system with high resolution and a wide dynamic range. The linear drive allows an ultra-precise scanner movement and leads to an excellent scan-to-scan reproducibility.

Including Software & Electronics

The control electronic contains the motion driver and a quartz stabilized signal synthesizer. It can be synchronized with an external clock for a precise, phase-locked scanner movement.

The software interface allows the user easy and fast setup of the scanning parameters. A visualized scan curve with amplitude values in time units gives direct feedback when the user is optimizing the scanning parameters. The software interface also incorporates the feedback loop controlled scanner stabilization. A set of LabView drivers allows the integration into existing measurement software.

The scanDelay can be operated over a wide range of scanning frequencies with various scan modi, the motion driving force can be sinusoidal, triangular, sawtooth-like, or even of a user defined shape. The scanner movement will respond to this within the physical limitations imposed by a harmonic system.

At a Glance

  • Precise optical delay + high scanning speed
  • Perfectly suited for pump-probe experiments
  • Scan range variable from femtoseconds up to several picoseconds
  • User-defined delay patterns
  • Control software / LabView drivers
  • Scan rate phase-locked to external source possible
  • Linear and calibrated scaling due to position measurement


scanDelay software: scanning frequency and sampling parameters


scanDelay Optical Delay Specification    
* Internal position sampling and indication of amplitude (maximum delay) in Control Software from 0.4 ... 20 Hz only. Below 0.4 Hz scan frequency, only partial (smaller than maximum delay) scan position is displayed. Full position information is available via analog position output signal.** Fast frequency divider for approx. 80 MHz input optional*** x10, x100 switchable
Scan Range15 ps50 ps 150 ps
(± 1.125 mm)(± 3.75 mm)(± 11.25 mm)
Scan Modes
Internal Generator*0.1 ... 20 Hz0.1 ... 20 Hz0.1 ... 10 Hz
Externally Triggered*0.01 ... 20 Hz0.01 ... 20 Hz0.01 ... 10 Hz
External Trigger InputTTL, 20 Hz ... < 50 kHz**
Position Output Signal± 10 V / 15 ps***± 10 V / 50 ps***± 10 V / 150 ps***
Trigger Output (programmable position)TTLTTLTTL
Linearity of Position Signal< 0.5 %< 0.5 %< 0.5 %
Coating of the RetroreflectorAg (protected)Ag (protected)Ag (protected)
Other coatings on requestOther coatings on requestOther coatings on request
Optics (High Precision Retro Reflector)
Clear Aperture1"1/2"1/2"
Computer InterfaceUSBUSBUSB
LabView driver for user-defined remote control setupsincl.incl.incl.

Datasheets & Brochures

scanDelay_USB (pdf / english)

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Email & Phone Contacts

APE has distributors around the world to give you the best support. Choose a country to find your local sales contact:

APE Angewandte Physik & Elektronik GmbH
Plauener Strasse 163-165 | Haus N
13053 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 986011-30
Fax +49 30 986011333


Coherent Scientific pty. Ltd.
Hilton SA 5033, South Australia

Phone: +61 8 8150 5200

Pinnacle Scientific Cooperation
Hangzhou, Jianggan District
China 310020

Phone +86 571 88225151

PulsePower Technology Ltd.
Beijing, Haidan District
China 100090

Phone +86 10 62565117

199 00 Praha 9, Česko

phone +420 212 247 293

Gammadata Instrument AB
750 02 Uppsala

Tel: +46 18 56 68 35

F 92170 Vanves, France

Tel: +33 1 419 061 80

Laser Sciences Services Pvt. Ltd.

Tel: +91 2778 1673

Photonic Solutions PLC
Edinburgh, UK

Tel: +44 131 664 8122

Ammo Engineering Ltd.
Petach Tikva 49517, Israel

Tel: +972 3 9239 666

Optoprim Srl.
20052 Monza, Italy

phone +39 (039) 834977

Phototechnica Corporation
Saitama 336-0017, Japan

Tel: +81 48 871 0067

Seoul 137-862, Korea

Tel: +82 2 3461 1103

Mexico City 03100, Mexico

Tel: 52(55) 5575-0312/0269/9929

Eurotek International
02-668 Warsaw, Poland

Tel: +48 2284 379 40

Innova Scientific S.L.
28290 Las Rozas de Madrid, Espana

Tel: +34 91 7105650

AceXon Technologies Pte. Ltd.
Singapore 658065

Tel: +65 (6565) 7300

Innova Scientific S.L.
28290 Las Rozas de Madrid

Tel: +34 91 7105650

Dyneos AG
CH-8307 Effretikon

Tel: +41 52 355 12 40

SuperbIN Company Ltd.
Taipei 11493
Taiwan, R.O.C.

Tel: +886 2 265 706 78

Photonic Solutions PLC

Tel: +44 131 664 8122

APE Applied Physics & Electronics, Inc.
47635 Lakeview Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538, USA

Tel: +1(888) 690-3250