Crystal Optics for Advanced Laser Applications
Electro-optic & non-linear optical crystals from Inrad Optics
Inrad Optics manufactures custom optics based upon non-linear and electro-optic crystals. Inrad's expertise is in speciality and proprietary crystal growth and crystal component fabrication. Materials such as LiNbO3, beta-BBO, alpha-BBO, X- Ray crystals, KDP, KD*P and ZnGeP2 (ZGP) are used for Q-switching of lasers and for harmonic generation, parametric oscillation, and sum or difference frequency generation. Inrad also produces nickel sulphate for use as UV filters, Pockels cells and drivers (see: Laser Modulation & Control) and complete instruments for harmonic generation of nanosecond and ultra-fast (pico & femtosecond) lasers (see: Lasers).
Inrad's Crystal Capabilities at a Glance
Beta-BBO: UV Harmonic Generation & Parametric Oscillation
Inrad grows single crystals of beta-BBO (b-BaB2O4) of almost any size which are commonly used with Nd:YAG and other solid state lasers for second, third and fourth harmonic generation, sum frequency mixing and parametric oscillation. To simplify ordering, certain standard sizes are held in stock, from 5 x 5 x 0.1mm up to 10 x 12 x 8mm. All crystals are type I phase matched, meaning that the polarisation direction of the two longest wavelengths in the mixing process are in the same direction, while that of the shortest wavelength is orthogonal.
KDP / KD*P: Large Aperture Crystals for Harmonic Generation & Mixing
Inrad grows and polishes almost any size of type I KDP (potassium dihydrogen phosphate) and type I or type II KD*P (potassium dideuterium phosphate) that are frequently used with Nd:YAG and other solid state lasers for harmonic generation and mixing. To simplify ordering, certain standard sizes are held in stock, from 10 x 10 x 0.1mm up to ø60 x 4mm. In the type I phase matched crystals, the polarisation direction of the two longest wavelengths in the mixing process are in the same direction, while that of the shortest wavelength is orthogonal. In the case of the type II phase matched crystals, the polarisation direction of the two longest wavelengths in the mixing process are orthogonal, while that of the shortest wavelength is in the same direction as the longest wavelength.
LiNbO3: IR Difference Frequency Mixing & Parametric Oscillation
Lithium niobate is a ferroelectric crystalline material with excellent electro-optic, non-linear and piezoelectric properties. Applications which exploit the large electro-optic coefficients of the material are optical modulation and Q-switching in the infrared. Because it is non-hydroscopic and has a low half-wave voltage, lithium niobate is often the material of choice for military Q-switches. Applications which take advantage of the large non-linear coeffiecients of the material include optical parametric oscillation, difference frequency mixing to generate tunable IR radiation and second harmonic generation. Lithium niobate has a broad spectral transmittance from 0.4 ... 5.0µm (with an -OH absorption at 2.87µm) and is proving particularly popular for second harmonic generation of low power laser diodes in the 1.3 to 1.55µm band.
Inrad offers optical-grade lithium niobate with standard cuts suitable for use in parametric oscillation, Q-switches, difference frequency generation and in autocorrelators. Inrad's LiNbO3 crystals are large and particularly blemish-free and to simply ordering, standard sizes are held in stock, from 10 x 10 x 0.5mm up to 13.3 x 18.5 x 30mm.
ZnGeP2 (ZGP): IR Difference Frequency Mixing & Parametric Oscillation
Inrad grows ZGP (zinc germanium phosphate) in-house which means that crystals can be offered in various sizes and orientations. To simply ordering, standard sizes are stocked, ranging from 6 x 8 x 15mm up to 6 x 12 x 25mm. The standard orientation for ZGP is type I phase matched, in which the polarisation direction of the two longest wavelengths in the mixing process are in the same direction, while that of the shortest wavelength is orthogonal. ZGP proves particulary well suited to mid-infrared difference frequency mixing as well as in 2.9µm pumped OPOs which tune from 3.5 ... 5.0µm.
Alpha-BBO: for UV Polarisers
Inrad also grows single crystals of alpha-BBO (a-BaB2O4) which is a birefringent crystal used in high power laser applications. Because of its high UV transmittance, UV polarisers made from a-BBO have attractive features; both Glan-Laser and Rochon polarisers can be custom fabricated.
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