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In an acousto-optic device (or Bragg cell), a crystal subjected to an ultrasonic wave (generated by a piezo transducer driven by an RF signal) behaves like an electronically controlled grating, deflecting a laser beam passing through the device. Both the deflection efficiency and the separation angle can be actively controlled by the RF signal power and frequency respectively.
The largest volume for acousto-optic devices today is for use as a Q-Switch. Solid-state laser systems utilise intra-cavity acousto-optic Q-switching to generate high-repetition-rate pulse trains, for both industrial lasers and military applications. Depending on the exact requirements, Q-switches can be made from all commonly used acousto-optic materials (Fused Silica, Quartz, TeO2, etc).
Photoelastic light modulators
Photoelastic modulators (PEMs) are a key component across a diverse range of photonic applications. PEMs change the polarisation state of a light beam at frequencies between 20 and 100 kHz. The photoelastic effect is used to change the birefringence of the optical element in the photoelastic modulator. The following includes applications where PEM components and systems are widely used to solve complex and demanding optical polarisation measurement challenges:
- Polarisation measurement - astronomical polarisation, birefringence, dichroism, attenuation, ellipsometry, extinction ratio, Faraday rotation, fluorescence, optical chopping, Kerr constant, magneto-optic Kerr effect, PM IRRAS, and polarisation extinction
- Ratio, polarisation scrambling, reflection difference/ anisotropy spectroscopy, rheology, scattering media, stress measurement
- Optical lithography (DUV bi-refringence)
- Lens measurement (discrete optic curved surfaces)
- Thin Films (Birefringence Measurement, MOKE, PM-IRRAS)
- Fibre/ laser crystals/ optical metrology (extinction ratio, polarisation extinction ratio, S. polarimetry, waveplate measurement, SOP/ DOP)
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Our solutions and expertise are centred around six key markets
Over the years we have built up considerable knowledge and knowhow, providing tailored solutions for our customers.
- Industrial and Connectivity
- Renewable energy
- Aerospace and Defence
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