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Proceedings Paper

Developing a more useful surface quality metric for laser optics
Author(s): Quentin Turchette; Trey Turner
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Paper Abstract

Light scatter due to surface defects on laser resonator optics produces losses which lower system efficiency and output power. The traditional methodology for surface quality inspection involves visual comparison of a component to scratch and dig (SAD) standards under controlled lighting and viewing conditions. Unfortunately, this process is subjective and operator dependent. Also, there is no clear correlation between inspection results and the actual performance impact of the optic in a laser resonator. As a result, laser manufacturers often overspecify surface quality in order to ensure that optics will not degrade laser performance due to scatter. This can drive up component costs and lengthen lead times. Alternatively, an objective test system for measuring optical scatter from defects can be constructed with a microscope, calibrated lighting, a CCD detector and image processing software. This approach is quantitative, highly repeatable and totally operator independent. Furthermore, it is flexible, allowing the user to set threshold levels as to what will or will not constitute a defect. This paper details how this automated, quantitative type of surface quality measurement can be constructed, and shows how its results correlate against conventional loss measurement techniques such as cavity ringdown times.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7912, Solid State Lasers XX: Technology and Devices, 791213 (16 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.873895
Show Author Affiliations
Quentin Turchette, Research Electro-Optics, Inc. (United States)
Trey Turner, Research Electro-Optics, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7912:
Solid State Lasers XX: Technology and Devices
W. Andrew Clarkson; Norman Hodgson; Ramesh Shori, Editor(s)

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