Technology forum – laser – photonics

Cooperation for test methods on high-performance optics

A limiting factor in the development of new laser systems is the optical resilience of the components used to generate and guide the laser radiation. These optics are necessary to achieve ever higher optical output powers. At the same time, there is a growing demand for low-weight optical components, for example, for use in galvanometer scanners in material processing.
Established methods may have to be adapted for testing these optics. In the research project ‘Standardized test method for high-performance optics in continuous wave operation’ (cw-LIDT), the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) is working together with the companies Laseroptik and Raylase to be able to reliably examine high-performance laser optics.

New test methods for modern optics

Damage to an optical surface. In order to be able to reliably test smaller optics as well, LZH is adapting methods of damage threshold measurements in collaboration with its partners. Image: LZH

According to the scientists, measurement routines are being developed at the LZH in order to test and consequently guarantee the performance compatibility of the optics. This is because the previous findings of the established optics tests cannot be transferred without further ado to modern optics with reduced geometry and therefore lower weight. For example, according to ISO standard 21254, the optics are irradiated at 100 positions. This is not possible on smaller surface areas, since the test points affect each other, for example through thermal conduction or thermal stresses.

Developing high-resistance optics

With the new measurement routine, the Photonic Materials group at LZH is then investigating different optics and using the results to create models to make optics even more robust in the future. In doing so, they take into account different materials, geometries and different manufacturing processes. Laseroptik is developing optics coatings of high damage resistance adapted to the special geometries, the partners explain. These components are then inserted into a deflection unit manufactured by Raylase and tested by the LZH in close proximity to the application, i. e. in the finished module and with parameters similar to the later application. According to the project partners, the aim is to finally develop more stable scanner modules. The cw-LIDT project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Publication in the framework of the project



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