Optical source manufacturers: why use high damage threshold laser power detector

As the need for laser output power and energy levels increases, beam and pulse shapes become more sophisticated in the laser-based industry, which makes determining damage limits of the laser sensors for the end users complicated. In such circumstances, choosing a high damage threshold laser power detector becomes more crucial and beneficial for the optical source manufacturers.

Determining damage threshold might be complex

One of the basic parameters to verify before purchasing and using a laser power detector is its damage threshold under different laser beam conditions. A laser detector can get damaged due to many factors.

Your laser power or density could be higher than the damage limits of the laser sensor’s coating material. Additionally, the laser beam shape is another factor that influences the damage threshold of a detector. While calculating thresholds, flat-top beams are used as a reference. The same calculations with Gaussian beams should be multiplied by a safety factor of 2, and if your beam has hot spots, the safety factor becomes 3.

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On the other hand, even if all your laser parameters are within the limits of the detector, the individual pulses might have higher energy than the sensor damage threshold, which cause deterioration of the coating. Alternatively, your pulse duration could be shorter than the reference pulse duration used for calculating the damage threshold of your detector.

Considering all these factors, it is troublesome to determine whether your laser power level is in safe zone, specifically if your laser beam density is close to your detector’s damage threshold. Therefore, it is always recommended that you select a laser power detector that supports damage threshold-levels higher than the density of your laser beam. This is important not only for avoiding theoretical damage limitations to the sensor, but also to ease the laser development process and future business investment.

Using high damage threshold laser power detectors can help your business in many ways

There are several ways in which optical manufacturers could benefit from high damage threshold laser power detectors. Firstly, we all know that optical source manufacturing is a booming industry, and laser system manufacturers are demanding high power- and energy-levels with sophisticated beam or pulse parameters. Then, improving power of the optical source and a varying product range can have a substantial impact on the future of your business. Therefore, choosing a high damage threshold laser power detector, which consists of different parameters and allows monitoring of the output power of most of your sources, will save your time and money.

Additionally, in most of the high-power laser systems with a small beam size, laser beam measurements are performed by expanding the laser beam size to reduce the laser density for protecting the laser power sensor from local damage, even if the beam is not tightly focused. Nevertheless, using an appropriate laser detector which handles the power density of your laser without expanding the laser beam will save you the need to change the beam size of your laser each time. 

Everybody using high power or density lasers wishes to be in the safe zone. As a significant amount of money is invested for a laser detector, performing the power characterization of a laser beam without worrying of sensor damage is priceless. You can experience this feeling by choosing a high damage threshold laser detector for your business from Gentec-EO’s product finder according to the parameters of your optical sources.

Gentec Electro-Optics is specialized in laser beam and terahertz source measurement and analysis. With an outstanding 50-year track record of innovation, developing and providing state-of the-art technologies to the laser market, Gentec-EO has become The Expert of the laser beam measurement field. For all sorts of laser applications from the factory to the hospital, laboratory and research center, Gentec-EO offers the broadest range of off-the-shelf and custom solutions, and stands ready to serve you now and in the future.
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