Photonics News

Spotlight on the Pulse Generator

A key instrument used in labs around the world, the pulse generator is a foundational piece in a researcher’s suite of instruments. Pulse generators create high-frequency pulses, digital delays, and bursts to advance our understanding of materials, chemical composition, the interaction of light with matter, and so much more. It is an ideal synchronization and timing control instrument for applications research in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, medical and life sciences, industrial and aerospace, and quantum/laser physics. 

Understanding the ins and outs of the pulse generator, especially its features and functions, will help you get the most out of this irreplaceable device, leading to more accurate results in your experiment.  

Pulse Width

Pulse width is a measure of the elapsed time between the rise and fall of a single pulse of energy. Operators can adjust pulse width to change the amount of power being emitted, making pulse width an important measurement for efficient power use.


Pulse width modulation (PWM) is a method of adjusting the pulse width and controlling the amount of power that’s delivered to your system. This can be used to regulate the speed of a motor, the brightness of an LED, and when generating an audio signal. Having control of your power output is crucial to creating a solid testing environment in any application.

Timing and Synchronization

Along with pulse width, delay, and repetition rate are key factors in precision timing. Many times, researchers will be coordinating multiple systems in their testing. Having an accurate timing function in your pulse generator is crucial to keeping these systems coordinated and precise.


Quantum Composers’ pulse generators offer resolution from 250 ps to 10 ns to give you maximum control and flexibility over the timing and synchronization. Looking for a resolution up to 250ps will bring you maximum control and flexibility.


Jitter is indicative of performance. Depending on the nature of your experiment, you may need a pulse generator with low jitter (otherwise known as phase noise). A low jitter is not always needed but, in some applications, finding a pulse generator with low jitter is necessary to test accuracy. For that reason, knowing your tolerance for jitter is important when selecting a pulse generator.


In applications like digital communication systems and telecommunications, having a low jitter is important to keep data transmission clean. Laser and optoelectronic systems benefit from low jitter to achieve precise synchronization or modulation. Channel to channel, Quantum offers pulse generators with jitter between 250ps and 50ps, meaning you’re sure to find one that meets your testing requirements.

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Pulse Generators at a Glance: 

9520 Benchtop Series

High-precision benchtop modular unit for customizing multiple pulses and triggers for the simple to the complex.

9530 Series

High-precision and quality timing and synchronization in a rackmount form factor.

9420 Series

High-quality, workhorse unit for most general applications.

9250 Emerald Series

Designed to give you an affordable yet high-resolution system synchronizer in a compact footprint.

9200+ Sapphire Series

Feature-rich, high-performance, compact, and affordable for those looking for more precise resolution and jitter.

9200 Sapphire Series

Perfect for those on a budget. Compact and affordable.

8500 Series Level Board Level

All functionality of the standard pulse generators in an easy-to-integrate package.

8200 Series Board Level

A cost-effective way to create and synchronize multiple sequences, delayed triggering, or any precisely timed series of events.

Compare Pulse Generators

Make the right choice with this comparison chart.