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UV Laser Optics

Overview

Ultraviolet (UV) laser optics are vital for many applications including semiconductor processing, fluorescence microscopy, and laser micromachining. Many laser optics applications are moving towards shorter UV wavelengths in order to create very small and precise features with minimal peripheral heating. The surge in UV optics applications has led to a corresponding demand for optical components designed to work at those wavelengths. Edmund Optics® (EO) is a premier supplier of UV optics including mirrors, lenses, filters, and beam expanders.

Why UV Laser Optics?

 

Create More Precise Features

Directly break the atomic bonds in materials processing and medical applications instead of melting or vaporizing the material

 

Minimize Damage to Surrounding Areas

No peripheral heating caused around the beam spot, minimizing damage to surrounding material or tissue

 

Higher Spatial Resolution

Because laser spot size is directly proportional to wavelength, UV lasers have a higher spatial resolution than visible or IR lasers

 

More Absorption

Many materials have higher absorption in the UV region than other wavebands including organic materials

 

More Energy

UV radiation is more energetic than visible and IR radiation because the energy of light is inversely proportional to wavelength

Difficulties Using UV Optic

 

Require Tighter Surface Tolerances

Relative performance specified in waves is worse at short UV wavelengths. For example, a lens used at 308nm will require an irregularity tolerance twice as tight as a lens used at 632.8nm to maintain the same relative level of wavefront distortion.

 

Coating is More Complicated

The deposition process requires more accurate monitoring, as small fluctuations in production results in much greater errors in the UV than they would in the visible or IR spectra.

 

More Scattering

Surface imperfections such as scratches and pits are amplified under UV light and small surface flaws can be points of absorption or scatter, reducing system throughput. In order to minimize energy loss, a tight surface quality specification is required.

 

Increased Multiphoton Absorption

The higher energy of UV radiation makes it more likely to cause multiphoton absorption, which can start a runaway process and damage the optical component.

Example Applications

UV laser optics components are ideal for many applications because of their ability to create small and precise features with minimal damage to surrounding areas.

Laser Materials Processing

Laser Materials Processing

Scribing, cutting, and drilling in ceramics, glass, plastics, and metals

Medical Lasers

Medical Lasers

Neurosurgery, ablation reactions, and other medical processes requiring precise cuts

Semiconductor

Semiconductor

Silicon scribing, wafer inspection and marking, and micromachining

Fluorescence Microscopy

Fluorescence Microscopy

Excite fluorescence to study properties of both organic and inorganic substances

Why Partner with Us?

 

Quality

  • ISO 9001 Certified and MIL-SPEC quality systems
  • Wide range of metrology including interferometers, cavity ring-down (CRD) spectrometers, Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors, profilometers, and coordinate measurement machines (CMMs)
  • Guaranteed Laser Damage Threshold specifications

 

Capabilities and Service

  • Optics manufacturing in USA, Europe, and Asia
  • Custom design services emphasizing manufacturability
  • Rapid turnaround of modification services

 

Resources and Support

Laser Optics Clean Room

Superior Process Control for Consistent Quality

Given the expense of the metrology required for precision UV testing, it is often difficult to verify that the optics ordered meet their advertised specifications. Edmund Optics® (EO) tested 41 off-the-shelf samples of 355nm laser line mirrors from 4 competitors against our TECHSPEC® 355nm laser line mirrors for Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT), reflectivity, surface accuracy, and parallelism. The testing was a double-blind study, reducing bias by ensuring that the experimenters did not know whose mirror they were testing. The following plots show whether the mirrors passed or failed their advertised specifications. The results of the study showed that EO TECHSPEC® 355nm laser line mirrors were the only mirrors that met every advertised specification.

Oscilloscope
Figure 1: Only the mirrors from EO and Competitor 1 met their advertised LIDT specification in 100% of the tests.
Lock-In Amplifier
Figure 2: The mirrors from EO, Competitor 1 and Competitor 3 met their advertised surface accuracy specification in 100% of the tests.
Phasemeter
Figure 3: Only the mirrors from EO met their advertised reflectivity specification in 100% of the tests.
Data Logger
Figure 4: The mirrors from EO, Competitor 1, and Competitor 2 met their advertised parallelism specification in 100% of the tests.

UV Optics Product Selection Guide

Resources

Application Notes

Technical information and application examples including theoretical explanations, equations, graphical illustrations, and much more.

Advantages of Using Beam Expanders
Read  

Beam Expander
Selection Guide
Read  

Considerations when Using Cylinder Lenses
Read  

Fundamentals
of Lasers
Read  

Handling and Storing High Power Laser Mirrors
Read  

High Laser Damage AR Coatings
Read  

Simplifying Laser Alignment
Read  

Understanding and Specifying LIDT of Laser Components
Read  

UV Optics: Tighter Tolerances and Different Materials
Read  

Why Laser Damage Testing is Critical for UV Laser Applications
Read  

Importance of Beam Diameter on Laser Damage Threshold
Read  

Videos

Informative corporate or instructional videos ranging from simple tips to application-based demonstrations of product advantages.

Beam Combining for Increased Power
Watch  

Cylinder Lens Product Overview
Watch  

Laser Optics Lab Video Series
Watch  

LC (Low Cost) Fixed YAG Beam Expanders
Watch  

Calculators

Technical calculators based on commonly used and referenced equations in the Optics, Imaging and Photonics industries.

Gaussian Beam Calculator
Calculate  

Laser Spot Size Calculator
Calculate  

Downloads

Downloadable brochures, case studies, whitepapers, capabilities guides, and product literature.

UV Optics Brochure
Download  

Technical Articles

Links to technical articles appearing in industry publications authored by Edmund Optics or featuring contributions from EO's engineering team and key management.

"No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Selecting Optical Coatings" by Stefaan Vandendriessche - Photonics Media
Read  

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