Frequently asked questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about Gentec-EO's products.

Gentec-EO

  • Where can I learn more about your company?

    Visit the About us section to learn more about Gentec-EO.

  • How can I find what’s new at Gentec-EO?

    To receive the latest news about Gentec-EO products, events, subscribe to our monthly newsletter. You can also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

    Our blog is also a great place to learn more about laser-related topics.

  • Where can I purchase your products?

    Customers in the USA or Canada can buy them directly through our online store or by contacting our sales team to obtain a quote, ask questions and get tips.

    Outside the USA and Canada, please contact your local distributor. You can also have your request sent to the right contact using the sales inquiry form directly.

  • How can I obtain after-sales support?

    Please fill the support & RMA request form to obtain support from a member of our after-sales team. You may also contact your local distributor.

    The resource center is also a great place to find specification sheets, manuals, videos and technical notes for catalogue products.

  • Do you offer customized products and solutions?

    Yes, all products appearing in our catalogue and documentation can be customized. You can click on the Customize this product button available on most product pages to see what can be customized about a certain product. Some products may have other customizable elements not readily appearing on their product page: contact us directly to know more.

    Learn more about customization at Gentec-EO.

Order and delivery

  • What payment terms do you accept?

    Credit card payment options (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are available in the online store (accessible only in the USA and Canada).

    Credit card and wire transfer are possible options when dealing directly with a sales representative.

    When dealing with a local distributor, you are subject to their payment terms.

  • What are the available shipping carriers?

    The default shipping carrier for all orders made through the online store (accessible only in the USA and Canada) is UPS.

    Shipping terms can be determined when dealing directly with a sales representative, may it be Gentec-EO or your local distributor.

    In all cases, you may use your shipping account instead for delivery.

  • I need a quote. How can I get one?

    Use the sales inquiry form to gather and forward the details of your request to a Gentec-EO representative or local distributor. You can also use the button appearing on all product pages for the same purpose.

    We may ask you to provide more information before quoting.

    Your contact information and request will be reviewed by Gentec-EO and sent to your local distributor.

Products

  • What’s the best way to quickly find an item that fits my needs?

    The PRODUCT FINDER is a modern and quick way to find the Gentec-EO product best suited for your laser. Enter your laser parameters first to let our smart search propose three solutions that fit your needs.

  • I’m not sure about the product I chose. Can you validate my selection for me?

    There is a button labeled Check if this product works for your laser in the Specifications tab of each product page. Enter your laser parameters when prompted to do so, and our smart check will tell you whether the chosen product is suited for your application.

    If you are unsure about the given recommendations, feel free to contact our sales team to revalidate or learn more.

  • Is there a warranty included with your products?

    All Gentec-EO products include one year of warranty upon purchase.

    The warranty reflects our engagement at Gentec-EO to provide products of the highest quality standards. As such, any Gentec-EO product operated properly but not working according to its specifications within its first year of usage should be returned at our main facility for evaluation. The terms of warranty, if applicable, will then dictate the next course of action.

    In addition, a lifetime warranty applies to products duly sent back on a yearly basis for recalibration as per Gentec-EO guidelines.

  • Do you include a stand with all detectors?

    No: stands must be purchased separately. Each product page lists the compatible stand model in the Overview tab (when applicable).

  • Where can I find absorption curves for your detectors?

    The absorption curve of a chosen product appears on its product page (when applicable).

    The download center lists the absorption curves of all the different absorbers that are used by our detectors.

Software

  • Is the software free?

    Yes!

    Our software is free and does not include a license to operate. Tutorials and technical support are provided for free if you are using the software along a Gentec-EO product you already have.

    Modifications to existing software for custom applications may incur non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs.

  • Where can I download the required software and drivers?

    The download center lists the different software, firmware and drivers to use with Gentec-EO products.

    Certain devices require USB drivers to be installed on your computer before installing and operating the software. Notable cases are BEAMAGE series beam profilers and detectors with INTEGRA (USB) interface.

  • How can I keep in touch with your latest software releases?

    Our monthly newsletter and the Gentec-EO news section on our blog include information about our latest software releases.

  • Can I use your software on a different operating system than Windows?

    Gentec-EO software is compatible with Windows only.

    Serial port communication is possible on Linux with certain products, notably detectors with INTEGRA (USB) interface.

  • Do you provide LabVIEW or MATLAB compatibility?

    Most Gentec-EO detectors can be operated through LabVIEW. The drivers are available in the download center and depend on the acquisition & readout device you are using.

    Matlab can also interface with a Gentec-EO meter using serial port communication. MathWorks provides information about this method on their website.

Calibration

  • What is the accuracy of your laser beam measurement products?

    The absolute accuracy of a measurement depends on the detector type and/or model, and the laser parameters used. For thermal power detectors, this value usually is ±2.5% at 1064 nm, and for pyroelectric energy detectors it is usually ±3% at 1064 nm.

    Calibration and accuracy are interesting, yet complex topics: please contact our sales team if you want to know values specific for your case or to find how these subjects matter in your application.

  • What does “calibrated spectral range” mean?

    The calibrated spectral range of a given detector is the spectral range for which its given calibration data is NIST-traceable (National Institute of Standards and Technology).

    In a few words, traceability is a property of measurement devices that relates to how the detector was calibrated against a known reference.

  • My laser wavelength is outside the calibrated spectral range of a detector. Will my detector still work?

    Generally, yes.

    Spectral absorption is a key attribute in laser beam measurement to find whether a detector can still be used outside its calibrated spectral range with good accuracy. Many of our products are broadband and spectrally flat, and are therefore sensitive even outside the calibrated spectral range. Please contact our sales team to better understand the implications of this statement in relation to your application.

  • Why is recalibration needed?

    Recalibration done a yearly basis is needed in order to ensure that the sensitivity of the detector (mV/W or mV/J) is still within tolerance.

    The sensitivity value may have drifted (i.e. changed progressively) over time, which would add an additional systematic error on the measurements. Recalibrating the device against a known controlled reference (in this case, from the NIST) allows Gentec-EO to redefine the proper sensitivity values for your detectors.

  • How often should Gentec-EO detectors be recalibrated?

    The standard in our industry is to recalibrate on a yearly basis: this is also our recommendation.

    In some instances, it might be preferable to recalibrate at another rate. For example, in specific cases, one may observe the measurement of a detector to drift over time, which implies the calibration sensitivity has changed, and recalibration is due to restore it to a proper value. On the other hand, light usage of a detector in good conditions may not require the user to send it back on a yearly basis.

  • My detector’s surface is discolored and/or has some apparent damages. Is it broken, and can it be recalibrated?

    It depends on how much it is discolored/damaged. If the detector cannot be recalibrated in its actual condition, Gentec-EO can replace the absorber/sensor and recalibrate the detector afterwards.

  • How can I request a recalibration?

    The RMA form allows you to gather all the data needed for Gentec-EO to revert to you with current prices and scope of work if repairs are also needed.

Power measurement

  • What are the steps to follow to make a high-accuracy power measurement with your products?

    1. Laser power tends to vary (or fluctuate) when a laser is still warming up, so the first step is to ensure it has been running for a little while before usage and measurement.
    2. Beam size should be equal to 40% to 60% of the detector aperture area.
    3. A proper zeroing process must be done too with the laser off and the detector at room temperature.

    You can read more on this topic in this blog post.

  • My laser is pulsed: how can I measure its average power?

    Both a power detector and energy detector can return average power.

    A power detector can return the average power (W) of a pulsed laser if it is sufficiently fast (i.e. high repetition rate). 10 Hz is the minimum repetition rate for most power detectors to ensure they see the laser as if it were a continuous wave (CW) laser.

    An energy detector reads energy per pulse (J) of a pulsed laser, but it also detects its repetition rate by doing so. Gentec-EO meters periodically check the data buffer to return an average power measurement based on average energy per pulse and repetition rate.

  • How can I find the minimum measurable power of a detector?

    The minimum measurable power a detector can read depends on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The SNR is a value by which you multiply the noise equivalent power (NEP) to determine the minimum measurable value.

    Gentec-EO recommends a SNR of 30 to ensure the noise equivalent power of the device is sufficiently low compared to the actual measurement value.

    For example, UP19K-15S-H5-D0 has a NEP of 1 mW. This means the minimum measurable power, using Gentec-EO guidelines, is 30 mW.

  • How can I know if my photodetector is saturated?

    The output signal from a photodetector will transit from a linear regime to an asymptotic regime as laser power increases linearly.

    Photodetector saturation level is related to laser power density and does not necessarily imply damage to the photodetector.

  • How can two detectors of the same model provide different measurements for the same laser?

    This is not desirable, but can happen within the uncertainty of both detectors. If the difference in results is larger than the uncertainty, you can check a few points.

    1. Make sure that both detectors are used within their specifications. For example, detectors should be not be used at the very limit of their specifications (~50% of the maximum measurable power for example, etc.)
    2. The laser must be aligned in the center of the absorbing surface of the detector and should be fully contained inside the aperture. Speaking of which, the beam area should not exceed 80% or less than 10% of the effective aperture area for optimal results.
    3. The previous history of the device may also explain much. A detector that is damaged, even if it is not apparent, may return different measurements than expected because its calibration data is no longer valid because of the damage done. Also, a detector due for recalibration may return different measurements, especially after extended usage.

    If this does not explain the different measurements, explain the situation to us by providing the following information:

    • Serial number of each detector;
    • Environmental conditions;
    • Laser specifications (type, power, beam size, etc.)
    • Apparent damage to the absorber.

  • I want to use a water-cooled power detector. What are the cooling water requirements?

    All water requirements are thoroughly described in the manuals of a chosen detector. Please note that water requirements may vary depending on technology used and detector size.

    For example, a detector from the UP series typically requires a minimum of 3 LPM for cooling flow rate and maximum of 22 °C water temperature. The detectors in the HP series, on the other hand, require typically 4 - 6 LPM and 15 - 25 °C water temperature, with less than ±1 LPM/minute flow rate fluctuations.

    The user manual also provides information about water quality and additives to avoid.

Energy measurement

  • How can I measure average power with an energy detector?

    The average power of a pulsed or modulated laser can be determined by multiplying the average pulse energy of a set of data points by the laser repetition rate.

    For example, a 100-Hz laser that sent pulses of 1 mJ across a certain period of time had 100 mW of average power across this same period of time.  

  • How can I find the minimum measurable energy per pulse of an energy detector?

    The minimum measurable energy a detector can read depends on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The SNR is a value by which you multiply the noise equivalent energy (NEE) to determine the minimum measurable value.

    Gentec-EO recommends a SNR of 30 to ensure the noise equivalent power of the device is sufficiently low compared to the actual measurement value.

    For example, QE25LP-S-MB-D0 has a NEE of 4 μJ. This means the minimum measurable energy, using Gentec-EO guidelines, is 120 μJ.

  • Can I use an extension cable with an energy detector?

    It’s not possible to use an extension cable with an energy detector with a standard DB-15 connector because of electrical considerations.

    It is however possible to make the base cable longer as a custom product. Contact us to obtain information and/or a quotation for such a detector.

  • What is the maximum (and minimum) pulse width on an energy detector?

    The maximum pulse width of a detector depends on its rise time, which in turn factors different parameters like pyroelectric crystal size, thickness, etc. All energy detectors have this value specified in their documentation.

    There is no minimum pulse width on an energy detector. Find why in this blog post.

  • I see there are QE series energy detectors with -MB and some with -MT. What does this change?

    MB and MT are codenames for the two principal types of absorber found on our QE series energy detectors.

    MB is a broadband absorber that is the most resilient of the two, but its thickness makes its rise time is slower. Therefore, it does not allow measurements of fast lasers (generally above 1 kHz).

    MT is a metallic absorber that is the least resilient of the two, but its thin, metallic layer makes its rise time is faster. Therefore, it does allow measurements of fast lasers (generally above 1 kHz and up to 6 kHz).

  • When do I need an attenuator?

    The QED diffusing attenuator should be used with high energy density lasers (also known as fluence) and/or high average power lasers. For example, fluence values above 0.5 J/cm2 would require the user to strongly consider using a QED attenuator.

    This attenuator has high reflectivity and changes the equivalent sensitivity of the energy detector it is paired with. It might therefore be interesting to consider one of the QED calibration options to add more flexibility to your energy detector. User calibration is also a common consideration.

Beam diagnostics

  • Is the beam diagnostics software (PC-Beamage) included with BEAMAGE series products?

    An USB stick containing software, firmware and documentation pertaining to BEAMAGE series is included with all beam profilers in the box.

    PC-Beamage is also available for free in the download center. It does not require any license, login information or proof of purchase, so it is indeed possible to download the software at any time to get the feel of how it works. There are even simulated beams that you can use to try it out.

  • Which beam diameter definitions are available in your beam diagnostics software (PC-Beamage)?

    The following beam diameter definitions are selectable in PC-Beamage:

    • 4-sigma (recommended and used by ISO);
    • Full width at half maximum (FWHM);
    • One over e-squared (1/e2);
    • 86% of effective diameter (D86).

    It is also possible to set a custom beam diameter definition in the software.

  • Can I measure beam position and/or displacement with your beam profiling cameras?

    Yes!

    Absolute and/or relative beam position/displacement is a feature available in PC-Beamage. A complete panel is dedicated to such functions.

  • Are your beam profiling cameras calibrated?

    A beam profiler cannot be calibrated in the metrological sense of the term because there is no traceable standard that can be used to compare diameter measurements. For example, our power detectors are NIST-traceable but there is no such reference in the laser beam profiling domain.

    Gentec-EO still optimizes the pixel response uniformity and the noise level of each camera, no matter its sensor type, for optimal performance.

  • What is the measurement uncertainty of your beam profiling cameras?

    A beam profiler cannot be calibrated, so no measurement uncertainty value can be provided in this regard. For example, our power detectors are NIST-traceable but there is no such reference in the laser beam profiling domain.

    Pixel size is very small on all camera models we offer, which implies beam diameter measurements can be considered accurate for all practical purposes. However, ISO discourages measuring beams less than 10 pixels wide in diameter, so there is a lower limit in this regard.

  • My laser beam is too large for your beam profiling cameras. What are my options?

    A few options are available:

    • Consider using the larger BEAMAGE-4M-FOCUS if you haven’t already seen this unique variant of BEAMAGE;
    • Consider using a camera lens to allow the camera to pick up an image of the beam profile as it is diffused upon (reflection) or through (transmission) a surface. This option allows the user to both measure the laser and check its beam profile at a distance;
    • Consider reducing the beam size (for example, with a beam reducer) and employ extra attenuation to compensate for the increased beam power/energy density.
  • How can I profile a high-power laser beam?

    Gentec-EO beam profilers with an ND filter can withstand a maximum average power of 1 W. For higher powers, you must place a beam attenuator (also referred to as beam sampler or beam splitter) before the camera aperture to avoid damaging it.

    You may also consider using a camera lens to allow the camera to pick up an image of the beam profile as it is diffused upon (reflection) or through (transmission) a surface. When you use a Gentec-EO detector as the diffusing surface, you can simultaneously measure the laser and check its beam profile.

Terahertz measurement

  • How are terahertz detectors calibrated?

    Calibrating a terahertz power detector is a complex matter that is similar to some of the more standard common products we offer (such as thermal power detectors and pyroelectrical energy detectors) but has different implications because of the calibration references used. Contact us directly to understand better those implications.

  • What does relative measurements from 440 µm to 3000 µm actually mean?

    Outside the calibrated spectral range, defined for terahertz power detectors as from 10.6 µm to 440 µm, one cannot obtain absolute measurements. In other words, one cannot conclude anything from the measurements obtained in this uncalibrated spectral range until a comparison is made with other previous measurements with the same detector. Only simple conclusions can be made, such as: “this average power value I measured is twice as much as this other one I got before”.

    Relative measurements of terahertz power or energy are still useful for many tasks, like aligning your optical setup, monitoring relative power fluctuations across a period of time, finding the relative maximum average power, etc.

  • Can I measure energy per pulse with a terahertz detector instead of average power?

    Terahertz power detectors with analog output, like those of the THZ-I-BNC series or QS-THZ series, can be set up to measure pulse energy instead of average power.

    THZ5I-BL-BNC can be used with an oscilloscope to make relative measurements at up to 10 Hz. Beyond this value, the voltage output of a detector such as THZ5I-BL-BNC will diminish as repetition rate increases.

    A detector like QS5-THZ can be inserted into the QS-I-TEST evaluation test box to read a 10 Hz terahertz laser source as well.

  • Is the use of an optical chopper required for all of your terahertz products?

    All terahertz power detectors at Gentec-EO, except THZ12D-3S-VP-D0 and its variants, must be paired with an optical chopper when the terahertz laser source is continuous wave (CW).

    The chopping frequency to use varies by terahertz detector model, so please consult the technical specifications.

  • Can your terahertz detectors with analog output be used with a lock-in amplifier?

    They can, and it is in fact the best way to use them to properly measure their voltage output when incorporating a chopper in your optical setup.

  • Do you have a product that can be used to measure position and/or displacement of a THz source?

    The QUAD series are detectors with pyroelectric sensors that can be used both for terahertz sources and lasers with wavelengths in the UV to IR range.

    There are a few things to consider first to use these probes: for example, the beam must be focused into an uniform beam whose spatial intensity is stable over time. You may contact us directly to ensure this product is fit for your needs.

  • Can you measure the pulse width (or rise shape) of a terahertz pulsed laser with your detectors?

    It is possible to measure the pulse width of a terahertz pulsed laser, or typical lasers of the UV to IR range for that matter.

    This involves using a QS series pyroelectric detector with QS-I-TEST evaluation test box configured so that the QS detector rise time is much faster than the laser’s. The analog voltage output coming from QS-I-TEST can then be interpreted as the laser pulse shape.

    While this method does work well, this is not a typical use of our products: we recommend contacting us before starting such a project.

  • Do you have optics for the terahertz detectors?

    We do not offer optical lenses, but we do however offer a number of different bandpass windows for the IR and THz portion of the spectrum. Typical choices for terahertz applications are PEW (high density polyethylene), SCQW (single crystal quartz), and SiW (Silicon).

    They can be easily combined with our current terahertz detectors and QS pyroelectric detectors too.

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