Optoelectronics

Laser optics customisation to meet specific requirements

20th October 2020
Alex Lynn

LASER COMPONENTS has announced that it manufactures laser optics that are optimally adapted to meet the customer’s requirements. This not only applies to series production but to the individual lenses and mirrors produced in house as well. From substrate production and coatings to a thorough outgoing goods inspection, all operating steps are carried out in house.

Many end products, such as the so-called internal coating optics from NUTECH in Neumünster, Germany, require a small number of precisely manufactured optics. These parts are used to equip tubes and hollow bodies with corrosion and wear protection from the inside. The functionality of these custom-made tools largely depends on the quality of the mirrors and lenses installed in them. The radius, thickness, and radius of curvature of the individual lenses depend, among other things, on the length of the tool, the coating material, and the laser used.

Based on the computer-calculated lens design and the technical capabilities of the production facilities, LASER COMPONENTS’ engineers work closely with the customer to develop a design that achieves the desired beam properties and can be manufactured cost effectively.

The grinding and polishing machines are designed for substrates with diameters from 12.7 to 55mm. In contrast to industrial mass production, each substrate blank is individually clamped in the grinding machine, which is adjusted separately for each lens type. This is followed by a computer-assisted fine polishing process in which even the smallest irregularities can be individually reworked. The result is an optimally shaped lens with a maximum deviation of λ/10. Accuracies of up to λ/20 are also possible upon request.

Several processes are available for coating optics. They offer different possibilities regarding layer tension, laser damage threshold, combinability, and complexity of the layer design. The manufacturer selects the best process together with the customer. The production process ends with an additional quality control; as a result, all surface imperfections in the substrate and coating are recorded and evaluated by experienced specialists.

“Of course, there are companies in the Far East that manufacture off-the-shelf optical products in large quantities,” explained René Sattler, Product Engineer for laser optics at LASER COMPONENTS. “Such mass-produced goods of average quality do not correspond to our company philosophy. We dedicate our full attention to each individual optic. Our customers can, therefore, be sure that each piece exactly meets the specifications agreed upon.”

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