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Beam Expanders Overview

Beam ExpandersSpecial Optics’ family of high performance laser beam expanders feature diffraction limited optical designs with large output clear apertures of 1.3 mm to over 100mm, expansion ratios from 2X to 40X and input apertures of 1.3 mm to 20mm.  The beam expanders have high transmission, low wavefront distortion and can be specified at single and dual wavelengths from 248nm to 1550nm.  Damage thresholds are typically 500MW/cm2. 

Featuring standard clear entrance apertures of up to 20mm, Special Optics beam expanders transmit the entire beam with excellent wavefront quality.  Beam truncation could produce significant energy loss as well as thermal effects. 

Special Optics beam expanders allow proper collimation and a more controlled focus or defocus of the beam.  These Galilean design beam expanders provide an adjustable focus for collimation at varying wavelengths, and to control divergence correction and focusing.  They are adaptable for complex applications requiring increased power density at the focal point, beam guidance over long distance, dual wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm), high power laser energy, and large aperture needs.

Special Optics beam expanders provide performance from the ultraviolet all the way through the visible and infrared regions.  The majority of Special Optics beam expanders are typically aluminum construction to minimize thermal distortion.  They are designed to be rugged and self-supporting.  The beam expanders are easy to use and to provide accurate, unobstructed expansion for any collimated input source. 

In addition to the standard products, Special Optics is also able to provide custom beam expanders optimally tailored to suit your exact needs.  Customized beam expanders can be produced to provide lower wavefront distortions, different expansion ratios, higher transmissions and damage thresholds and even larger output beam diameters.  Custom systems have been designed to provide output beam diameters of over 200mm as well as input beam diameters that exceed 100mm.   

Special Optics has been manufacturing and designing the highest quality Laser Beam Expanders since 1965.  Our range of beam expanders is extensive and includes high power, low power, large aperture, Achromatic (Dual Wavelength), Apochromatic, manual zoom, and motorized variable zoom beam expanders covering wavelengths from UV to the IR.

Applications for Laser Beam Expanders include:

  • Laser micromachining /  Laser Processing
  • Laser structuring of foils
  • Laser Scribing
  • Cutting of solar cells
  • Micro drilling
  • Laser Marking
  • Lidar Systems
  • Beam condensing
  • Remote sensing
  • Propagation studies
  • Collimation of Laser harmonics
  • Interferometers
  • Collimation of High Power Lasers
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Beam Expander Theory

For your convenience we offer a detailed explanation on how beam expanders work in our white paper on Beam Expander Theory. Click here to read.

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