Water-cooled AO Q-switch

  • Update:Apr 05, 2020
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We provide full range of acousto-optic Q-switches such as water- and air-cooled Q-switches at the RF frequency of 27MHz 41MHz and 80MHz etc in industrial standard.

Product Introduction

The acousto-optical Q-switch often used in the laser marking makes use of mutual interaction between an ultrasonic wave and a light beam in a scattering medium. The light beam that enters in a direction forming a Bragg angle to the wave surface of the acoustic wave in the scattering medium is diffracted in accordance with periodic changes in the diffraction rate produced by the acoustic wave.

The situation is briefly explained. First of all, an RF signal is impressed to the transducer adhered to the molten quartz and thickness extensional vibration is produced. Ultrasonic shear waves are caused to advance in the molten quartz by this vibration, and phase grating formed by acoustic waves is produced. The laser beam is diffracted when it satisfies the Bragg angle with respect to this phase grating, and is separated in space from the incident light. If the laser optical resonator is constructed against 0-dimensional diffracted light (undiffracted light), the diffracted light deviates from the laser optical resonator axis when a RF signal is impressed. As a result, loss occurs in the laser optical resonator and laser oscillation is suppressed. To make use of this phenomenon, an RF signal is impressed for a certain length of time only (status of low Q-value) to suspend laser oscillation. In the meantime, the population inversion of the Nd:YAG rod is accumulated by continuous pumping. When the RF signal is reduced to zero (status of high Q-value) and the loss to the laser optical resonator is removed, the accumulated energy is activated as laser oscillation in a pulse form within an extremely short length of time. They are Q-switch pulses.

This situation is briefly explained. When an RF signal is subjected to pulse modulation, it is possible to periodically take out a Q-switch pulse. When the period of Q-switch pulses becomes shorter than the life (about 200 ms) of the higher order of the Nd:YAG rod, however, the population inversion decreases and the peak value of Q-switch pulses decreases.

For more information on the principle, please click here.

Standard QS24/27 Series Industrial Q-switches

A water-cooled acousto-optic Q-Switch for use in high-power Nd:YAG laser systems. Combining top grade fused silica with high quality optical finishing and in-house anti-reflection coatings, this Q-Switch exhibits very low insertion loss and high damage threshold. Through an innovative design and manufacturing process, RF powers up to 100W may be applied.

Standard options include a choice of frequencies (24 to 68MHz), active apertures (1 to 8mm), acoustic modes (compressional for linear polarisation, shear for unpolarised) and water connectors. Customised housings are available for OEM’s.

Specifications

Stallion Series Acousto-Optic Q-Switches

A ‘Stallion’ version of our industry standard water cooled Acousto-optic Q-Switch, for use in high power lamp or diode pumped Nd:YAG lasers.

The patent pending ‘Stallion’ manufacturing technique provides superior corrosion resistance whilst maintaining optimum performance and RF power handling capabilities up to 100W.

Combining top grade fused silica with high quality optical finishing and in-house anti-reflection coatings, this Q-Switch exhibits very low insertion loss and high damage threshold.

In addition to the standard product shown, custom configurations are available for specialized applications. These include alternative housing options, wavelengths and RF frequencies.

Key Features:

Applications:

General Specifications:

Interaction material:

Fused Silica

Wavelength:

1064nm

AR coating reflectivity: Damage threshold:

< 0.2% per surface > 1GWcm-2

Transmission (single pass):

> 99.6%

Static insertion loss:

≤ 6% at 50W laser power

VSWR:

< 1.2:1 (<1.4:1 at 50W RF power)

RF power rating:

100W CW (max)

Water flow rate:

> 190cc / minute

Water-cooling channel material: Recommended water temperature:

Thermal switch cut-off:

Stainless steel 316

+22oC to +32oC

+55oC +/- 5oC

Ordering Codes: Example: I-QS027-4S4G-N5-ST1 (Q-Switch, 27.12MHz, 4mm active aperture, shear mode, fused silica, 1064nm, 4mm OD straight push fit water-connectors, BNC, Stallion housing with M3 mounting holes)

How to Find the Replacement of the Used/damaged Q-switch

  1. To find the frequency of the RF driver (Q-switch driver).
  2. To find the diameter of the YAG rod or laser beam diameter from the laser head. In general, the aperture of the Q-switch is 1mm larger than the YAG rod diameter.
  3. If there is no polariser inside the laser resonator and the laser beam is non-polarised, acoustic mode S should be used. Otherwise, acoustic mode C is used in polarised laser beam. (Remark: the above recommendation is not 100% true. We have found that acoustic mode S is also used in polarised lasers and it operates well. Acoustic mode C is also used in non-polarised lasers and it operates well too.)
  4. Then to select a suitable water connector. Please note that you can use your own water connector to replace/change the connector since the connector is screwed. For example, if the damaged Q-switch has B-connector and you have a new Q-switch with S-connector, you can take away B-connector from the damaged Q-switch and then install this B-connector into your new Q-switch replacing its S-connector.

RF Power for Q-switches:

The following table shows the RF powers required at the theoretical peak loss modulations for Q-switches:

Aperture size

Compressional peak RF power

Shear peak RF power

2mm

~20W

~60W

3mm

~25W

~90W

4mm

~35W

~100W

5mm

~50W

~100W

Comparison between Standard Series Q-switches and Stallion Q-switches

Stallion, I-QS27 series

Standard QS27-xx-x series

Water-cooling pad still made of Aluminum to avoid corrosion (prevent oxidation)

Water-cooling pad is made of Aluminum, no coating. This  is very easy to cause corrosion.

Inner water-duct is having 3.5mm diameter by coating with stainless steel

Inner water-duct is having 2.5mm diameter

Same dimension and screw hole position as QS27 series

 

Screw is using international standard, M3

Screw is using old UK standard

Water-connector is having choice of right-angle and straight through

Only straight through version

Water-connector is having 4mm or 6mm diameter selection

 

Using laser marking for the serial number on the housing (un-erasable)

Using sticker to label part number and serial number that is very easy to erase even by hand (erasable of the device’s information)

New part number of Stallion versus the older model :    

Stallion Q-switch series

Old Q-switch series

I-QS27-5S4G-U5-ST1

QS27-5S-x

I-QS27-3S4G-U5-ST1

QS27-3S-x

I-QS27-5C4G-U5-ST1

QS27-5C-x

I-QS27-4S4G-U5-ST1

QS27-4S-x

Comparison between Stallion and old Q-switches. The main difference of the outlooks is water connector.

AO Q-Switch Models for 1064nm (Water cooled)

Model No.

I-QS027-4C10G-x5-ST7

Device

AO Q-Switch

Interaction material

Crystal Quartz

Wavelength

1064nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0·2% per surface

Damage threshold

> 1GW/cm2

Transmission

> 99·6%

Frequency

27.12MHz

Polarisation

Linear, vertical to base

Active Aperture

4.0mm

Acoustic Mode

Compressional

Loss Modulation

> 80%

Max RF Power

75W

Water flow rate

> 0.2l / minute

Recommended water temperature

22ºC to 32ºC

Thermal switch cut-off

65ºC ± 5%

Housing

Stallion, St/St 316 water channels

Water connectors

To be specified

AO Q-Switch at Other Wavelengths (Water Cooled)

Model No.

QS027-4J-xxx

I-QS027-5S4Y-x5-ST1

Interaction material

Fused Silica (Infrasil, water-free)

Fused Silica (Infrasil, water-free)

Wavelength

1550nm

946nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface at 1550nm

< 0.2% per surface at 1550nm

Damage threshold

> 500MWcm-2

> 1GWcm-2

Polarisation

Random

Random

Interaction length

 46.0mm

 46.0mm

RF frequency

27.12MHz

27.12MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

< 1.2 1

Acoustic Mode

Shear

Shear

Active aperture

1.6mm

5.0mm

Clear aperture

8.0mm

8.0mm

Loss modulation

> 70% at 50W; > 85% at 100W

> 75%

Housing

Standard QS27-xx-xxx

Stallion

Water connectors

Barbed or Screw fit

Push fit

 

Model No.

I-QS041-3C4H-x5-ST1

 QS027-4H-xxx

Interaction material

Fused Silica(Infrasil, water-free)

 Infrasil (water-free fused silica)

Wavelength

1319 - 1342nm

 1319-1342nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface at 1319-1342nm

 < 0.2% per surface

Damage threshold

> 1000MWcm-2

 > 1000MWcm-2

Polarisation

Linear (vertical to base))

 Linear (vertical to base)

Interaction length

46.0mm

 46.0mm

RF frequency

40.68MHz

 27.12MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

 < 1.2 1

Acoustic Mode

Compressional

 Compressional

Active aperture

3.0mm

 5.0mm

Clear aperture

8.0mm

 

Loss modulation

~ 85% at 40W RF power

 > 80% at 50W RF power

Housing

Stallion

 Standard QS24/27-xx-xxx

Water connectors

Push-fit

 Barbed

 

Model No.

QS027-4G/M-xxx

QS027-4C/G-xxx

Interaction material

Infrasil (water-free fused silica)

Fused Silica

Wavelength

1064nm / 2128nm

532/1064nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface at 1064nm

< 0.3% per surface at 2128nm

< 0.2% per surface

Transmission:

> 99.6% at 1064nm

> 99.4% at 2128nm

> 99.6%

Damage threshold

> 500MW/cm2

> 500M W/cm2

Polarisation

Linear, vertical to base

Linear, vertical to base

Active Aperture:

5.0mm

4.0mm

Interaction length

46.0mm

46.0mm

RF frequency

27.12MHz

27.12MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

 < 1.2 1

Acoustic Mode

Compressional

Compressional

Active aperture

5.0mm

 

Loss modulation

> 85% at 45W (1064nm)

> 75% at 100W (2128nm)

> 80% at 35W

Rise-time (10-90%):

109ns/mm

109ns/mm

Housing

Standard QS27-xx-xxx

Standard QS27-xx-xxx

Water connectors

Barbed or Screw fit

Barbed or Screw fit

 

Model No.

I-QS027-4S4V2-x5-ST1

I-QS041-5C10V5-x5-ST3

Device

 

 

Interaction material

Infrasil (water-free fused silica)

Crystal Quartz

Wavelength

1550nm

1900 - 2100nm

Polarisation

Any

 

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface

< 0.5% per surface

Damage threshold

> 500MWcm-2

> 500MWcm-2

Transmission

> 99.6%

> 99.0%

Frequency

27.12MHz

40.68MHz

Active Aperture

4.0mm

5.0mm

Acoustic Mode

Shear

Compressional

VSWR

< 1.2:1 (<1.4:1 at 50W RF power)

< 1.2:1 (<1.4:1 at 50W RF power)

Loss Modulation

> 60%

70%

Max RF Power

100W

50W

Water flow rate

> 0.2l / minute

> 0.2l / minute

Water cooling channel material

Stainless steel 316

Stainless steel 316

Recommended water temperature

+22oC to +32oC

+22oC to +32oC

Thermal switch cut-off

+55oC +/- 5oC

+65oC +/- 5oC

Storage temperature

0 to +50degC

-20 to +70degC

    

Model No.

QS027-4M-AP1

QS027-4H-xxx

Interaction material

Fused Silica (Infrasil, water-free)

Fused Silica (Infrasil, water-free)

Wavelength

1980 - 2050nm

1342 / 1550nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface at 1980 - 2050nm

< 0.2% per surface at 1342nm

< 0.5% per surface at 1550nm

Damage threshold

> 500MW/cm2

> 500M W/cm2

Polarisation

Linear (vertical to base)

Any

Active Aperture:

4·0mm

1.6mm

Interaction length

46·0mm

 

RF frequency

27.12MHz

27.12MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

 < 1.2 1

Acoustic Mode

Compressional

Compressional

Loss modulation

~ 55% at 50W (3mm beam diameter)

70% at 50W RF power

> 85% at 75W RF power

Rise-time (10-90%):

109ns/mm

109ns/mm

Housing

Standard QS27-xx-xxx

Standard QS27-xx-xxx

Water connectors

Barbed or Screw fit

Barbed or Screw fit

 

Model No.

I-QS050-1.4V10M-U5-HI10

I-QS027-5C4G-x5-SOx

Interaction material

Crystal Quartz

Fused Silica

Wavelength

2053nm

1060-1125nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface

< 0.3% per surface

Polarisation

Linear (vertical to base)

Linear, vertical to base

Active Aperture:

1.4mm

5mm

Interaction length

46·0mm

 

RF frequency

50MHz

27MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

 

Acoustic Mode

Very High Efficiency (VHE)

 

Loss modulation

>95%

> 80%

Housing

Stallion

Stallion

Water connectors

Push in

Push in

 

Model No.

QS027-10M-NL5

I-QS027-4C10V5(BR)-x5-IS6

Interaction material

Crystal Quartz

Crystal Quartz

Wavelength

2054nm

2000-2100nm

AR coating reflectivity

< 0.2% per surface

< 0.2% per surface

Polarisation

Linear (vertical to base)

Linear (vertical to base)

Active Aperture:

5mm

4mm

Interaction length

46·0mm

46·0mm

RF frequency

27.12MHz

27MHz

VSWR

< 1.2 1

< 1.2 1

Acoustic Mode

Compressional

Compressional

Loss modulation

~ 80% at 100W

>80%

Rise-time (10-90%):

109ns/mm

109ns/mm

Housing

Standard QS27-xx-B

Stallion

Water connectors

Barbed

Push in

Application Notes:

STBR Series Acousto-optic Q-switches

STBR series Acousto-Optic Q-switching systems for industrial and laboratory applications. The STBR free space Q-switches are designed for the highest conversion efficiency of RF energy into acoustic energy by attaching the transducer to the crystal with an advanced vacuum metallized process. Q-switches are special modulators designed for use inside laser cavities. They are fabricated from high optical quality Fused Quartz, Flint Glass, and Tellurium Dioxide, or other acousto-optic materials with Brewster cut optical faces or durable hard oxide AR coatings for high optical power applications.

Model #

FSQ-24-2-BC

FSQ-27-5-BC

FSQ-80-5-BC

TEQ-27-4-BC

TEQ-80-20-BC

Substrate

SiO2

SiO2

SiO2

TeO2

TeO2

Brewster cut

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Laser Wavelength (nm)

1064

1064

1060

2940

800

Active Aperture (mm)

2

2

1

1.5

3

Center Frequency (MHz)

24

27

80

27

80

Digital Modulation Bandwidth (MHz)

2

5

6.5

4 (3dB Bandwidth)

20 (3dB Bandwidth)

Optical Transmission (%)

99.8

99.8

>99.5

>99.5

>99.5

Maximum Diffraction Efficiency (%)

30

30

25

>50

>65

Rise Time (nsec)

100

100

85

150/630

80/400

Acoustic Velocity (m/s)

5.96E+3

5.96E+3

5.96E+3

4.2E+3

4.2E+3

Wave Front Distortion

λ/10

λ/10

λ/10

λ/10

λ/10

Separation Angle

5 mrad @ 1064nm

5 mrad @ 1064nm

5 mrad @ 1064nm

1 deg @ 2940nm

0.9 deg @ 800nm

Input Impedance

50 ohms

50 ohms

50 ohms

50 ohms

50 ohms

Optical Polarization

Linear (perpendicular to acoustic wave)

Linear

Perpendicular to acoustic wave

VSWR

2.1:1

For the associated RF drivers (Q-switch drivers), please refer to “RF Drivers for STBR series”

Super Q-Switch (SQS)

A new compressional mode, water-cooled, AO Q-Switch designed for use in high power unpolarised lasers giving faster switching, better pulse-to-pulse stability and higher power densities. Enhance your systems performance with greater punch and increased power, specifically for laser processing applications.

Before the Super Q-Switch, some customers were using 2 x Compressional mode Q-Switches (like the QS27-4C-S) in the same cavity. One of the Q-Switches is rotated 90degrees to the other. Because the Compressional mode Q-Switch is more efficient for polarised light, the first Q-Switch would block one polarisation & the second Q-Switch blocks the other. This is a good solution, but takes a large space in the cavity. The Super Q-Switch gives the same performance as using 2 x Compressional Q-Switch, but they are incorporated into 1 device.  

This Q-switch uses a dual channel driver to operate two orthogonal compressional mode transducers bonded to a single monolithic optical cell and mounted in one convenient housing. Our proprietary bonding techniques and power handling technology allows this device to operate up to 50W per channel giving an efficient, compact, single device for the next generation of high power, high gain, solid state lasers.

Part number

QS2x-xD-x-xxx

I-QS027-6.5D10G-B5

Interaction Material

Fused Silica

Crystal Quartz

Wavelength

1047 to 1064nm

1047 to 1064nm

Anti-Reflection Coating

< 0.2% per surface

< 0·2% per surface

Damage Threshold

> 500MWcm-2 (1GWcm-2 typical)

1064nm > 1GW/cm2

Transmission (single pass)

> 99.6%

> 99·6%

Frequency

24.00 or 27.12MHz

27.12MHz

VSWR

< 1.2:1 (50. input impedance)

< 1.3:1 at 0dBm

Active Aperture

1.6, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.5mm2

6.5mm

Clear Aperture

9 x 9mm

9 x 9mm

Acoustic Mode

Compressional (Orthogonal)

Compressional, dual

Rise-Time / Fall-Time

109ns/mm

113ns/mm

RF Power Rating

2 x 50W CW

50W per channel

Water Flow Rate

190cc / minute, minimum

Water

Maximum Water Temperature

+40°C (recommended, 22°C to 32°C)

65ºC ± 5%

Water Connectors

Screw-fit or Barbed (push-on)

Barbed

Thermal Switch Cut-Off

+55°C ± 5°C

-20ºC to +70ºC

Housing / Flow Chamber Material

Aluminium HE30TF

Aluminium

Driver Selection

N390xx-yyDMzzz-2CH

RF Power for Super QS & VHE QS :

The following table shows the RF powers required at the theoretical peak loss modulations for FS (Fused Silica) and CQ (Crystal Quartz) SQS (24/27MHz) and VHE devices (68MHz).

Aperture size / mm

Approximate f / mm

FS SQS

/ W

CQ SQS

/ W

FS VHE

/ W

CQ VHE

/ W

1.6

1

~15

~10

~55

~40

2

1.5

~20

~15

~70

~50

3

2

~25

~20

~100 (max)

~70

4

2.5

~35

~25

-

~90

5

3.5

~45

~30

-

~100 (max)

6.5

5

~50 (max)

~40

-

-

All values are for 1064nm, SQS (super Q-switch) values stated are per channel.

STBR Free Sapce Q-Switches

STBR series Acousto-Optic Q-switching systems for industrial and laboratory applications. The STBR free space Q-switches are designed for the highest conversion efficiency of RF energy into acoustic energy by attaching the transducer to the crystal with an advanced vacuum metallized process. Q-switches are special modulators designed for use inside laser cavities. They are fabricated from high optical quality Fused Quartz, Flint Glass, and Tellurium Dioxide, or other acousto-optic materials with Brewster cut optical faces or durable hard oxide AR coatings for high optical power applications.

Model # FSQ-24-2-BC FSQ-27-5-BC FSQ-80-5-BC TEQ-27-4-BC TEQ-80-20-BC
Substrate SiO2 SiO2 SiO2 TeO2 TeO2
Brewster cut yes yes ye yes yes
Laser Wavelength (nm) 1064 1064 1060 2940 800
Active Aperture (mm) 2 2 1 1.5 3
Center Frequency (MHz) 2 27 80 27 80
Digital Modulation Bandwidth (MHz) 2 5 6.5 4 (3dB Bandwidth) 20 (3dB Bandwidth)
Optical Transmission (%) 99.8 99.8 >99.5 >99.5 >99.5
Maximum Diffraction Efficiency (%) 30 30 25 >50 >65
Rise Time (nsec) 100 100 85 150/630 80/400
Acoustic Velocity (m/s) 5.96E+3 5.96E+3 5.96E+3 4.2E+3 4.2E+3
Wave Front Distortion λ/10 λ/10 λ/10 λ/10 λ/10
Separation Angle 5 mrad @ 1064nm 5 mrad @ 1064nm 5 mrad @ 1064nm 1 deg @ 2940nm 0.9 deg @ 800nm
Input Impedance 50 ohms 50 ohms 50 ohms 50 ohms 50 ohms
Optical Polarization Linear (perpendicular to acoustic wave) Linear Perpendicular to acoustic wave
VSWR 2.1:1

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which parameters do I need to specify if I want to order a Q-Switch?

You will need to specify the frequency, aperture, acoustic mode and the type of water connector.

2. Which frequency should I use?

The answer depends on your location. There are various regulatory bodies (for example the ITU) that stipulate the maximum levels of RF radiation that can be emitted in certain frequency bands. The Q-Switch drive frequency is usually chosen to be within one of the permitted bands for the country in which it will operate. Historically, 24.0MHz has been the chosen frequency in the USA and Japan and 27.12MHz in Europe and elsewhere. However, this has been less rigidly observed in recent years and 27.12MHz is now used widely in the USA.

3. What is the difference between clear aperture and active aperture? ,

The clear aperture of a Q-Switch is defined by the size of the block of silica in which the light and sound interact. For the QS24/27 Series the minimum clear aperture is 9mm.
The active aperture is defined by the height of the acoustic beam inside the silica block. This is the dimension that matters when specifying a Q-Switch.

4. How do I select the appropriate aperture for my application?

As a rule of thumb, the active aperture of the Q-Switch should be the same as the beam diameter of the laser at the point where the Q-Switch will be located. If the gain of the laser is modest it may be possible to use a Q-Switch with an active aperture one size smaller than the actual beam diameter (e.g. a 3mm active aperture Q-Switch in a laser with a 4mm diameter rod). This has the advantage of requiring lower RF drive power (drive power scales linearly with active aperture), which means less heat input and consequently greater efficiency and improved beam quality. It may even mean a lower cost driver can be used. On the downside, alignment of the Q-Switch in the cavity may be more critical.

5. Which acoustic mode would suit me best?

The choice is between shear (S) mode and compressional (C) mode (also known as longitudinal mode). If your laser is unpolarised you should choose shear mode. For polarised systems better results (less RF power = lower cost driver, less heat = better beam quality) will be obtained by using a compressional mode Q-Switch.

6. Which water connector should I choose?

The choice is between screw-on (S) connectors with a nut and olives which grip the outside of the flexible tubing, and barbed (B) push-on connectors, which grip the inside of the flexible tubing. There is little to choose between the two and it usually depends what type of pipe fitting is used as standard in the laser system. Overall the push-on fittings are probably best because there is no danger of them restricting the water flow. (The olives in the screw-on type can constrict the soft-wall tubing usually used in laser systems.)

7. How do I know that the Q-Switch is not over-heating?

The Q-Switch is fitted with a thermal interlock. If, for example, the cooling water fails it will shut down the driver when the temperature reaches 50 degrees C, preventing damage to the Q-Switch.

8. What is the optimum operating temperature of the Q-Switch?

The temperature should be set slightly above ambient to prevent the possibility of condensation forming on the optical surfaces of the Q-Switch. Around 32 degrees C is typical. For optimum performance and lifetime we do not recommend operating the Q-Switch at temperatures above 40 degrees C.

9. How do I know that the QS24/27 Series Q-Switch is the best choice for my application?

Please call one of our engineers if you are in any doubt about which Q-Switch to use. The QS24/27 Series Q-Switches are 'industry standard' devices that have been developed and refined over many years. As a result they are very reliable and because they are manufactured in large quantities they are lower cost than some of the more specialised products we can offer. Basically, if you have a lamp-pumped industrial or medical Nd:YAG laser this is probably the Q-Switch for you. It is also suitable for the latest generation of high-power industrial diode-pumped lasers.

10. I am designing a compact laser and the QS24/27 Series Q-Switch is too large. What should I do?

We manufacture a range of standard compact Q-Switches that may be suitable for your application. If not, we have considerable experience of designing application-specific Q-Switches. We supply Q-switches to many of the leading diode-pumped laser manufacturers and it is likely that we will have a design that can easily be adapted to suit your requirements.

11. I have a single-mode polarised laser. Will the QS24/27 Series Q-Switch be suitable? ,

Yes. You can use a compressional mode version with a small active aperture (3mm or less). However, you may find that the integrated Q-switch, with its integral RF driver is a more cost effective solution that also offers performance advantages in terms of higher average Q-Switched output power.

12. How much laser power can I hold off? ,

It depends on the design of your laser cavity, where the Q-Switch is placed in it and so on. Hold-off is not a parameter of the Q-Switch alone, but of the Q-Switch/laser combination. We can however determine the extra-cavity loss modulation of the Q-Switch, which is a direct measure of its effectiveness at blocking the laser beam.

13. I have a high gain laser and need the maximum possible loss modulation. How do I achieve this? ,

There are two ways; by using two compressional mode Q-Switches in series and orientated such that the acoustic beams are orthogonal to each other you can obtain a high, polarisation insensitive, loss modulation with minimum RF drive power. Also available is a newly developed Q-Switch incorporating two orthogonal compressional mode transducers in a single monolithic cell and mounted in one convenient housing. A dual channel RF driver is available for both applications.

14. Can I trust the damage threshold quoted in the data sheet?

Yes. We periodically send a sample Q-Switch to a NIST certified test house to have the optical damage threshold verified. We take the utmost care in the polishing of the optical surfaces and in their preparation and coating. All these operations are carried out in-house in order to have total control of the process.

Q-switch Driver, Air-cooled Q-switch

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