When selecting a laser beam profiler, there are several basic questions to be answered:
- Wavelength(s) Do I need a broad wavelength range system or a limited spectrum?
- Beam Diameter Is my beam small (a few microns) or is it larger, in the mm range?
- Power/Energy Am I dealing with µW/µJ, mW/mJ, or higher? Do I need attenuation/sampling?
- Accuracy What measurement accuracy do I need?
- CW or Pulsed or beam Do I have a CW (continuous) output or a pulsed beam? If pulsed what PRR?
Next, what measurements are needed?
- Beam Diameter(s)?
- Beam XY Position, Wander?
- Beam XYZ Focus Position?
- Beam Divergence, Pointing?
- Beam Shape (Gaussian, TopHat, Line Projection)?
- Beam Quality (e.g. M2 Propagation Parameter, Uniformity)?
The answer to these questions will help narrow the selection of profilers that will best measure your beam.
Scanning slit profiling systems offer the high resolution that may be required for very small beams below a few tens of microns, and cover wavelength ranges not available in reasonably priced camera systems. While they do not give an image of the beam, in many cases XY or XYZΘΦ profiling is all that is required