User:Pranav Rathi/Notebook/OT/2010/08/18/CrystaLaser specifications
We are expecting our laser any time. To know the laser more we are looking forward to investigate number of things. These specifications are already given by the maker, but we will verify them.
Laser is TM (transverse magnetic) or P or Horizontal linearly polarized (in the specimen plane laser is still TM polarized; when looking into the sample plane from the front of the microscope). We investigated these two ways: 1) by putting a glass interface at Brewster’s angle and measured the reflected and transmitted power. At this angle all the light is transmitted because the laser is P-polarized, 2) by putting a polarizing beam splitter which uses birefringence to separate the two polarizations; P is reflected and S is transmitted, by measuring and comparing the powers, the desired polarizability is determined. We performed the experiment at 1.8 W where P is 1.77 W and S is less than .03 W*
Beam waist at the output window
We used knife edge method (this method is used to determine the beam waist (not the beam diameter) directly); measure the input power of 1.86W at 86.5 and 13.5 % at the laser head (15mm). It gave us the beam waist (Wo) of .82mm (beam diameter =1.64mm).
Possible power fluctuations if any
The power supply temperature is really critical. Laser starts at roughly 1.8 W but if the temperature of the power supply is controlled very well it reaches to 2 W in few minutes and stay there. It’s really stupid of manufacturer that they do not have any fans inside so we put two chopper fans on the top of it to cool it and keep it cool. If no fans are used then within an hour the power supply reaches above 50 degrees of Celsius and then, not only the laser output falls but also the power supply turns itself off after every few minutes.
Higher order modes had been a serious problem in our old laser, which compelled us to buy this one. So mode profiling is critical; we want our laser to be in TEM00. I am not going to discuss the technique of mode profiling; it can be learned from this link:  .
As a result it’s confirmed that this laser is TEM00 mode. Check out the pics:
Specs by the Manufacturer
All the laser specs and the manual are in the document: [Specs]
The original beam waist of the laser is .2mm, but since we requested the 4x beam expansion option, the resultant beam waist is .84 at the output aperture of the laser. As the nature of Gaussian beam it still converges in the far field. We do not know where? So there is a beam waist somewhere in the far field. There are two ways to solve the problem; by using Gaussian formal but, for that we need the beam parameters before expansion optics and information about the expansion optics, which we do not have. So the only way we have, is experimentally measure the beam waist along the z-axis at many points and verify its location for the minimum. Once this is found we put the AOM there. So the experimental data gives us the beam waist and its distance from the laser in the z-direction. We use scanning knife edge method to measure the beam waist.
- In this method we used a knife blade on a translation stage with 10 micron accuracy. The blade is moved transverse to the beam and the power of the uneclipsed portion is recorded with a power meter. The cross section of a Gaussian beam is given by:
Where I(r) is the Intensity as function of radius (distance in transverse direction), I0 is the input intensity at r = 0, and wL is the beam radius. Here the beam radius is defined as the radius where the intensity is reduced to 1/e2 of the value at r = 0. This can be seen by letting r = wL.
The experiment data is obtained by gradually moving the blade across from point A to B, and recording the power. Without going into the math the intensity at the points can be obtained. For starting point A
For stopping point B
By measuring this distance the beam waist can be measured and beam diameter is just twice of it:
this is the method we used below.
- Beam waist can also be measured the same way in terms of the power. The power transmitted by a partially occluding knife edge:
After integrating for transmitted power:
Now the power of 10% and 90% is measured at two points and the value of the points substituted here:
The difference between the methods is; the first method measures the value little higher than the second method (power), but the difference is still under 13%. So either method is GOOD but the second is more accurate.
We measured the beam waist at every 12.5, 15 and 25mm, over a range of 2000mm from the output aperture of the laser head. The measurement is minimum at 612.5 mm from the laser, thus the beam waist is at 612.5±12.5mm from the laser. And it is to be 1.26±.1 mm.
Here the plot beam diameter Vs Z is presented. Experimental data is presented as blue and model is red. As it can be seen that model does not fit the data. Experimental beam expands much faster than the model; this proves that the beam waist before the expansion optics must be relatively smaller. To make a perfect model(using Gaussian optics formula) we would need the beam parameters before the expansion optics as i already mentioned.