Skip to Content

G&H Pockels Cells

Pockels cells are used in a variety of laser modulation applications benefitting from rapid/dynamic polarization control, Q-switching, light intensity control, intensity-modulation, dynamic waveplates, dynamic coupling of light in out of optical systems and light switching.

Why chose G&H as your Pockels cell partner?

We offer:

  • Market leading intrinsic and voltage contrast ratios, up to more than 15000:1
  • Lowest loss Pockels cells on the market, 99% grade KD*P
  • Long and proven lifetime in the field, low cost of ownership
  • Over 50 year experience servicing the most demanding laser applications with KD*P and KDP including 400 mm low stress, single crystal parts for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) at the National Ignition Facility (NIF)
  • KDP, KD*P, and BBO are grown by G&H in the USA

You will find Pockels cells in a wide range of applications including medical and aesthetic laser systems, CO2 lasers, petawatt lasers, regenerative amplifiers, laser fusion systems, optical switches, light intensity modulators, materials processing, e.g. marking, metal annealing, micro-machining, quantum key distribution, range-finding, lidar, target designating, multi-photon microscopy.

G&H Cleveland has since its start in 1973 focused on delivering customers the highest quality electro-optic technology based on world class, cutting-edge optical crystalline materials, optical frequency conversion, and precision-engineered electro-optical devices for laser systems applications. We manufacture a comprehensive range of high-end market leading Pockels cells. Over decades we have developed and refined product range, for wavelengths ranging from the UV to the IR (200 nm-12 μm).

What are the key considerations when choosing a Pockels cell?

Key considerations are:

  • Wavelength
  • Intrinsic contrast ratio (ICR)
  • Voltage contrast ratio (VCR)
  • Peak and average power
  • Beam size and half-wave voltage

Once the Pockels cell with the required properties has been selected it is time to choose the corresponding Pockels cell driver.

Intrinsic contrast and voltage contrast ratio

Since Pockels cells are often used inside a laser cavity to flip the polarization of the laser light between S- and P- polarization to allow for high loss when pumping the gain media and low loss when coupling the light out of the laser cavity, the ICR and VCR are two of the most important parameters. To get a high inversion of the gain media the ICR needs to be as high as possible – and when light is coupled out of the laser cavity – the VCR should be as high as possible. Higher contrast ratios in combination with low loss will result in better laser performance.

When designing Pockels cells the ultimate ICR and VCR are determined by the crystal itself. Stress that is put on the crystal during the manufacturing will degrade the ICR and the VCR. The combination of ICR and VCR provides the indication of actual performance.

For a typical high end Pockels cell using 99% KD*P you should expect:

  • Transmission >99% @1064 nm
  • ICR >4000 @1064 nm
  • VCR >3500 @1064 nm

Longitudinal and transverse driven Pockel cells

Utilizing proprietary crystal growth, fabrication, and polishing techniques we manufacture both longitudinal and transverse electrode configuration Pockels cells in beta barium oxide (BBO), cadmium telluride (CdTe), potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) and the highest grade, 99%, potassium dideuterium phosphate (KD*P/DKDP).

Longitudinally driven crystals

Longitudinally driven crystals benefit from the drive voltage being independent of aperture size, allowing larger apertures to be realized. In order to avoid obstructing the aperture with the electrodes, G&H uses cylindrical ring electrodes on the circumference of the crystal. KDP/KD*P (Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate/Potassium Dideuterium Phosphate) Pockels cells use this design (QX, Centaur CQX, Impact, and TX series cells)

Transversely driven cells

Transversely driven crystals benefit from the electrodes not being in the path of the light, and the driving voltage required to achieve half-wave voltage increases with the crystal aperture size, as well as depending upon the crystal geometry. This can reduce system complexity and size because the half-wave voltage can be lowered by reducing the distance between electrodes, or using a longer crystal. BBO (Beta-barium borate) and CdTe (Cadmium telluride) Pockels cells utilize this design (Chiron and IRX series cells)

Browse the range below or get in touch for a quote or to discuss a custom product.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

G&H experts can customize products to your requirements.

Find out more