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Superpolished Mirrors

Photonics.com
Jun 2011
Research Electro-Optics Inc. (REO)Request Info
 
BOULDER, Colo., June 6, 2011 — New superpolished laser mirrors from REO offer low loss, making them suitable for use in demanding applications.

Microroughness is <0.5 Å, allowing them to achieve scattering loss of <5 ppm and finesse of 200,000 when incorporated into optical cavities. Ion beam-sputtered coatings are used to take advantage of the ultrasmooth surfaces and deliver reflectivities of >99.998% at any wavelength in the 450-nm to 2-µm range.

The mirrors can be produced on a number of substrate materials, including BK7, fused silica, Zerodur, ULE, sapphire and silicon. They are supplied with diameters in the 6- to 101-mm range, with a flatness of λ/20 at 633 nm, 10-5 surface quality over an 80% clear aperture, with zero defects (0-0) achievable over controlled subapertures.

Standard solvent-based cleaning methods maintain the low-loss specification. Mirrors with plano, concave and convex surface shapes are available. The company uses a suite of advanced metrology instrumentation to maintain and verify these performance specifications, including phase-shifting interference microscopy, cavity ringdown measurements and photothermal common path interferometers.

The superpolished mirrors are useful in any laser or laser-based system that requires high reflectivity or low loss. Typical applications include cavity mirrors in low-gain gas and solid-state HeNe and HeCd lasers, and systems that use nonlinear processes. Other uses are in ring laser gyroscopes, instruments based on cavity ringdown spectroscopy and frequency reference standards.


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GLOSSARY
concave
Describing a hollow curved surface; curved inward.
convex
Denoting a spherically shaped surface; curved outward.
fused silica
Glass consisting of almost pure silicon dioxide (SiO2). Also called vitreous silica. Frequently used in optical fibers and windows.
Zerodur
Schott Glass Technologies' trade name for a glass-ceramic material with a very low coefficient of thermal expansion.
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