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Photonics Buyers' Guide / Pockels Cells

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Pockels Cells

A Pockels cell is a device containing an electro-optic crystal and using the Pockels effect. A voltage applied across the crystal generates birefringence, causing plane-polarized light propagating through the crystal to be resolved into two orthogonal vectors. The change in retardation between the two vectors is proportional to the magnitude of the electrical field. A crossed polarizer analyzes the output beam, resulting in intensity modulation.

Glossary
  • Pockels cell A device containing an electro-optic crystal and using the Pockels effect. A voltage applied across the crystal generates birefringence, causing plane-polarized light propagating through the crystal to be resolved into two orthogonal vectors. The...
  • Pockels effect A linear effect found in particular crystals that are capable of advancing or retarding the phase of the induced ordinary ray, relative to the extraordinary ray, when an electric field is applied. Because the effect is linear, retardation is...
crystalelectro-opticalPockels effectbirefringencepolarized lightpolarizeroptics
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