How to Trap More Than 99.9% of a Laser Beam

Sometimes a laser is used in a “pass-through” setup, which begs the question: What happens to the laser after it passes through?

Consider for example a sensitive camera that is used to profile a laser.  Beam splitters are often used to deflect only a small percent of the laser intensity into the camera.  The other 90% or more passes straight through the splitter.

This poses a problem.

At high powers this can be a safety issue.  But even at very low powers, the laser beam not in use shouldn’t be bouncing around the room.  To “catch” the laser beam, we use a beam dump or beam trap.

The main spec of a beam trap (besides power level allowed) is backscatter.

If the beam trap can handle 1 kW but reflects 50% of the beam (even diffusely), it’s not much of a beam trap.

The goal here is to catch the entire laser beam, or as close to it as possible, so very little light escapes.

That’s where Ophir’s new beam trap BT50A-15 comes in.

With its unique design, the BT50A-15 absorbs 99.95% of the laser, or backscatters 0.05% or less, typically.

Find out more about the new beam trap here.

Flickr creative commons image via astroshots42

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