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Beam Expander Selection Guide

Beam Expander Selection Guide

Beam Expander Selection Guide

In many laser based applications, beam expanders are an essential component of the optical system. They are most often used to decrease divergence or to create smaller final focused spot sizes by expanding the beam before the final focusing element. They are also used to increase beam diameter, therefore reducing power density or facilitating alignment.

Once you have determined the need for a beam expander, selecting the correct beam expander can be a daunting task due to the numerous options available. The table below displays a selection guide for determining which Edmund Optics® (EO) beam expander will best fit your application.

TECHSPEC® Beam Expanders (Table 1 of 2)
  Expansion Power
1X 2X 3X 4X 5X 6X 7X 8X 10X 15X 20X
LC Fixed YAG                      
DA Fixed YAG                      
DA Fixed HeNe                      
UDA Fixed YAG                      
UDA Fixed Broadband                      
RVBX Option #1 Variable                
RVBX Option #2   Variable      
TECHSPEC® Beam Expanders (Table 2 of 2)
  Design Wavelength (nm) Transmitted Wavefront, P-V Entrance Aperture (mm) Mount Focusing Mechanism Price per Piece
LC Fixed YAG 355, 532, 1064 λ/4 @ DWL 3.5 – 5 M22 x 0.75 None $
DA Fixed YAG 266, 355, 532, 1064 λ/10 @ DWL 7.5 – 10 M30 x 1 Rotating Optics $$
DA Fixed HeNe 633 λ/4 @ DWL 2 C-Mount Sliding Optics $$$
UDA Fixed YAG 532, 1064 λ/10 @ DWL 8 – 11 C-Mount Sliding Optics $$$$
UDA Fixed Broadband 260 – 365,
425 – 700,
500 – 1100,
750 – 1100
λ/10 @ DWL 8 – 11 C-Mount Sliding Optics $$$$
RVBX Option #1 266, 355, 532, 1064,
260 – 365,
425 – 700,
500 – 1100,
750 – 1100
λ/4 @ DWL 10 – 15 C-Mount Sliding Optics $$$$$
RVBX Option #2 355, 532, 1064,
260 – 365,
425 – 700,
500 – 1100,
750 – 1100
λ/4 @ DWL 10 – 15 C-Mount Sliding Optics $$$$$
Tables 1 and 2: Selecting the right beam expander for your application requires knowledge of many different parameters. Edmund Optics offers a variety of beam expanders with different specifications, sizes, and prices to best fit your application requirements.

The first step is determining whether fixed or variable magnification is required. For variable magnification applications, EO offers the Research-Grade Variable Beam Expanders (RVBX).

For fixed magnification applications, the laser wavelength, input aperture, and required transmitted wavefront performance must first be determined. For cost sensitive applications at Nd:YAG wavelengths, EO offers LC Fixed YAG Beam Expanders. These beam expanders have an entirely fixed optical design and offer diffraction limited performance for Nd:YAG fundamental wavelengths, first harmonics, and second harmonics.

For applications where divergence adjustment is required to collimate converging or diverging input beams, or alternatively to create a controlled, slightly convergent or divergent output, DA (Divergence Adjustable) and UDA (Ultra Divergence Adjustable) Fixed Beam Expanders are the best choice. For Nd:YAG wavelengths, the ideal options are the DA Fixed YAG Beam Expanders and UDA Fixed YAG Beam Expanders. The DA Fixed YAG Beam Expanders offer excellent value, with λ/10 performance, coatings for Nd:YAG wavelengths up to the third harmonic, and input apertures up to 10mm. Compared to the DA Fixed YAG Beam Expanders, the UDA Fixed YAG Beam Expanders are the premium option due to their sliding optics and larger apertures.

The DA Fixed HeNe Beam Expanders are designed specifically for use with HeNe lasers, and feature sliding optics in divergence adjustment for relatively small apertures up to 2mm. The UDA Broadband Fixed Beam Expanders are designed for broadband use, offering a selection of broadband coatings covering 260 – 1100nm, sliding optics for divergence adjustment, and λ/10 performance at their design wavelength.

The decision tree below provides a visual method of determining which Edmund Optics beam expander meets your application requirements.

     

Start Here

What Beam Expander do I need?

     
  
YES
  

Do I need to be able to change my magnification?

  
No
  
     
  
 
 
 
  
YES
  

Do I need to be able to Adjust for divergence/focus?

  
No
  
     
  
 
 
 
  
OTHER /
BROADBAND
  

What Laser am I using?

  
HeNe
  
 
  
 
  
 
Nd:YAG or Nd:YLF
 
   
  
   
YES
  

Do I Need Sliding Optics or Large Apertures

  
No
  
     
  
     

When standard or stock options do not meet your criteria, custom versions can be designed. Some custom requirements allow for quick modifications on standard beam expander designs, allowing for a rapid, cost-effective turnaround. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements with one of our Application Support Engineers.

View our selection of beam expanders to determine the best fit for your application.

Designed or tested for use with lasers, check out our selection of laser grade lenses, mirrors, filters, optics assemblies, and more.

Not sure which product is best for your application? Talk to one of our engineers right now!
Not sure which product is best for your application? Talk to one of our engineers right now!

View our selection of beam expanders to determine the best fit for your application.

Designed or tested for use with lasers, check out our selection of laser grade lenses, mirrors, filters, optics assemblies, and more.

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