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G&H acousto-optic deflectors (AODF) provide precise spatial control of an optical beam, whether performing 1D or 2D scanning or executing beam deflection through a fixed angle.
Our acousto-optic deflectors offer highly uniform diffraction efficiency across the full scan angle, with consistent power throughput for scanning applications like material processing and digital imaging.
In an AO deflector, an RF acoustic wave diffracts light as it passes through the crystal. The angle of the output diffracted beam can thus be varied or scanned by maintaining the power of the acoustic wave constant and varying its frequency. The total possible range of diffraction angles is small, typically no more than several degrees, allowing a few hundred to up to roughly two thousand spots (or 1/e intensity level overlapping beam diameters) to be resolved over this angular range. The scan time can be as fast as a few microseconds.
The total number of resolvable spots is defined by the time needed for the acoustic wave to traverse the optical beam within the AO crystal (specified as access time) and operating frequency bandwidth.
G&H offer a wide range of standard deflectors and RF drivers for wavelengths from 266-1500 nm.
The G&H acousto-optic deflector product line includes:
- Visible and NIR wavelength products based on tellurium dioxide crystals, grown in-house
- UV wavelength products based on fused silica and crystal quartz
- Broad bandwidth products based on a longitudinal mode approach using a phased array of piezoelectric elements
- High efficiency products based on slow shear deflection using parallel tangents off-axis interactions
Selecting the right RF driver is important to achieve the desired scanning speed and accuracy. Deflectors used in scanning or writing applications require a variable frequency source which is both stable and highly linear.
2D UV beam scanning may be achieved by cascading two UV deflectors in series. Our flexible functionality AODF Dual Driver with phase synchronized outputs offers the optimum in RF driver control for 2D scanning.
We provide customized AO deflector solutions or multi-channel deflectors with high speed for volume OEM applications.
Applications of AO deflectors
Digital imaging, heterodyne interferometry, laser cooling, laser marking, laser tweezers, material processing, micromachining, microscopy, on-line process control, optical inspection, photolithography, printing
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