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LZH expands test methods to modern high-performance optics with partners

11 Jan 2023

With Laseroptik and Raylase to adapt testing for optics to modern high-power components.

Laser Center Hannover (LZH) is helping to expand the testing methods for optics used in modern high-power laser components. In the “cw-LIDT” research project, LZH is working together with companies Laseroptik and Raylase to adapt testing methods with the aim of improving reliable testing of optics.

A limiting factor in developing new laser systems, say the partners, is the optical resilience of the components with which the laser radiation is generated and guided. These are necessary to achieve ever-higher optical outputs. At the same time, there is a growing demand for low-weight optical components, for example, for use in galvanometer scanners in material processing.

Performance compatibility

The scientists at the LZH are therefore developing measurement routines in the project to test and consequently guarantee the performance compatibility of such optics. In this context, the previous findings of the established optics tests cannot be transferred without further ado to modern optics with reduced geometry and therefore lower weight.

For example, according to ISO standard 21254, the optics is irradiated at 100 positions. This is not possible with smaller surface areas, since the measuring points influence each other, for example through thermal conduction or thermal stresses.

New routine

With the new measurement routine, the Photonic Materials group of the LZH investigates different optics and uses the results to create models to make optics even more robust in the future. In doing so, they take into account different materials, geometries, and different manufacturing processes.

Laseroptik develops optics coatings of the highest destructive strength adapted to special geometries. These components are then inserted into a deflection unit manufactured by Raylase and tested by the LZH close to the application, i.e. in the finished module and with parameters similar to the later application. The aim is to develop more stable scanner modules.

In the project “Standardized test method for high-performance optics in continuous wave operation (cw-LIDT)”, the LZH is working together with Laseroptik, Garbsen, and Raylase, Wessling. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

The scientists published initial results on this research on the SPIE Digital Library.

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