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New beam propagation system supports long Rayleigh length lasers in material processing and micromachining

MKS Instruments has announced the newest version of Ophir BeamSquared, the company's M2 laser beam propagation system that helps users optimize laser performance.

The new BeamSquared M2 system automatically and accurately measures the propagation characteristics of CW and pulsed lasers with Rayleigh length up to 20 meters - from UV to NIR to Telecom wavelengths - in less than one minute. It can optionally measure wavelengths above 1.8 µm, including CO2 and terahertz, in manual mode.

The BeamSquared M2 system comes equipped with conventional focusing lenses of 400-500 mm for use in a variety of continuous use applications, from scientific research to rapid prototyping to fabrication and machining.

The newest version adds sets of specially calibrated 750 mm and 1,000 mm lenses for use with long Rayleigh range lasers (20 m) that involve both a long-waist location and small focal spot size; the lenses can be used with new and existing BeamSquared systems.

"Material processing and micromachining applications increasingly require lasers with small focal spots and greater focal lengths, such as in remote laser welding," said Reuven Silverman, General Manager, Ophir Photonics. "That means using laser systems that combine larger beams, lower M2, and longer focal length lenses. This results in smaller focal spots at longer distances from the laser and Rayleigh lengths of up to 20 meters. To support ISO11146 standard measurement of such lasers, BeamSquared is the only M2 system that now provides long focal length lenses with high focal length accuracy."

The BeamSquared systems include the BeamSquared M2 software and a longer optical train. The software measures beam propagation characteristics on both the X and Y axes, including waist diameters, full angle divergences, waist locations, Rayleigh lengths, M2 or K and BPP factors, astigmatism, and asymmetry.

The system displays 2D or 3D beam profiles for visual verification of beam behavior through focus. Functions include a 3D slice display and the ability to add 3D displays to reports. Reports can also incorporate a beam caustic chart, in addition to setup information, laser measurements, and a variety of statistics. An Automation interface via .Net components allows users to build custom applications the incorporate the laser beam analysis and processing power of the BeamSquared system.

BeamSquared is a camera-based system that can be mounted horizontally or vertically to optimize bench space. The Ophir BSQ-SP920 silicon CCD camera accurately captures and analyzes wavelengths from 190 nm - 1,100 nm. It features a compact design, wide dynamic range, unparalleled signal to noise ratio, and reduced blooming.

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