Superpolished Optics for Increased System Efficiency
08 Oct 2021
A laser system’s efficiency faces various enemies in the form of optical losses. In particular, scatter can cause issues in high-power laser systems where loss can be significant, and UV laser systems since it tends to be greater at shorter wavelengths.
Scatter occurs due to bubbles and/or inclusions which equates to roughness in an optic’s surface. It reduces the overall efficiency of laser systems, can lead to premature laser component failure and/or safety hazards (e.g. intracavity use and system alignment). It can also affect the survivability and longevity of the system’s optical components, expressed in terms of laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT).
However, it is possible to combat scatter using optics with an ultra-low surface roughness. All supported by a comprehensive in-house metrology suite to verify specifications, Edmund Optics has developed a manufacturing process for superpolishing optical surfaces down to an RMS surface roughness of sub-Angstrom ≤1Å (10-10 m) for parts-per-million-level scattering. This process produces “ultra-smooth” optics with ultra-low scatter and in high-energy cases, indications of increased LIDT. Using superpolished optics thus decreases scatter whilst increasing the longevity of the laser system.
Superpolished optics are ideal for any application where a high laser power or short wavelength is required such as laser surface treatment, metrology applications, and UV medical applications.
Edmund Optics is a world-class manufacturer of high-precision optical components and an innovator in the optical manufacturing field. Each of Edmund Optics’ global factories is specialised in a particular area of optical manufacturing for both off-the-shelf and custom parts.