AMS Technologies carries a broad range of optical scanners and deflectors, ranging from MEMS micromirrors to 2-axis and 3-axis mirror-based deflection units in larger form factors to acousto-optic and crystal-based solutions for deflecting light beams.
MEMS Micromirrors used for static and dynamic optical beam steering and pointing are available electrostatic driven in TO46 and TO5 packages with mirror diameters as small as 0.8 mm as well as magnetic actuated in slightly larger packages with reflective surfaces of up to 16 mm x 11 mm.
Our 2-axis deflection units are used for deflection and focusing of laser beams in two dimensions for a variety of applications that require small to medium sized fields and high processing speeds. While smaller devices offer very stable digital control for input apertures from 10 mm to 24 mm, larger variants deliver processing and positioning speeds of up to 200 rad/s for input apertures up to 30 mm.
A series of prefocusing deflection units providing 3D deflection of laser beams is available that offers very small spot diameters at large field sizes or processing areas, with 10 mm or 20 mm input apertures and up to 65 rad/s processing speed. For even higher speeds up to 200 rad/s, AMS Technologies provides a further series of prefocusing deflection units that produces tiny spot diameters with flexible focusing range in Z-direction. And our module-style prefocusing deflection units for fiber-coupled lasers enable ultra-dynamic, rapid processing with flexible spot diameters and can be expanded with a sensor module for customized quality control.
Intelligent PCIe control cards are available to drive the deflection units from a PC or notebook. These boards also function as an interface between our dedicated software tools and mechanical systems with the capacity to control external machines.
Our acousto-optic deflectors provide precise spatial control of an optical beam and offer highly uniform diffraction efficiency across the full scan angle, with consistent power throughput for scanning applications like material processing or digital imaging. And our KTN-crystal-based deflector modules provide ultra-high-speed scanning at scanning angles up to 150 mrad without any mechanical moving parts.
Our optical scanners and deflectors can be used with our broad portfolio of lasers and light sources ranging from laser diodes, modules and systems to DPSS lasers, diode lasers, fiber lasers and gas lasers to OPOs, tunable lasers and other laser and light sources.
Complementing our optical scanner and deflector offering, we carry a broad range of complementary precision optics such as optical beamsplitters, polarization optics, optical prisms, optical mirrors, optical filters, optical lenses or etalons.
With an optical scanner or deflector, a light beam (usually a laser beam) can be deflected in its direction and thus controlled. These components are rarely used for static alignment or adjustment, but mostly for dynamic or periodic deflection in one or two dimensions – for example, to scan an object with the laser beam, to detect barcodes or for material processing using laser cutting or melting.
Many scanners and deflectors work with mirrors whose angles are mechanically deflected in one (1D) or two (2D) axes or which are additionally shifted in a third axis (3D). Such mirror-based deflectors are available with mirror sizes in the range of a few centimeters as well as in (mostly MEMS-based) miniature format.
In addition to mirror-based units, scanners and deflectors are also available whose function is based on special crystals. These crystals are controlled acousto-optically (i.e. via sound waves) or electro-optically (i.e. via electric fields) in such a way that they deflect a light beam passing through the crystal by a defined angle. One advantage of this technique is that it does not require moving parts, but, compared to mirror-based solutions, the optical power of the light beam is limited by the crystal’s destruction threshold.
MEMS-based micromirrors provide especially compact solutions for tasks that demand deflecting and scanning of light beams. While electrostatic driven MEMS micromirrors show good DC performance and are used in applications where a high pointing stability is required (e.g. MEMS variable optical attenuators, fiber optic switches or tuneable optical filters), magnetic driven MEMS micromirrors allow for larger mirror diameters and provide solutions for applications requiring DC pointing together with dynamic scanning. MEMS-based micromirrors are available for 1D and 2D operation.
Larger-scale 2-axis deflection units can be used to deflect a laser beam in X and Y directions. This produces a two-dimensional area allowing a laser to be directed at any position. Deflection is performed by two mirrors, each of which is moved by a galvanometer scanner. Prefocusing 3-axis deflection units allow for larger working areas with smaller spot sizes and to continuously change the working distance, field and spot diameter with the same deflection unit. 3-axis technology also benefits applications on the fly with moving targets, while in 3D applications the setup enables processing of non-flat parts or uneven surfaces and high-power products.
Acousto-optic deflectors work with no mechanical moving parts and provide precise spatial control of an optical beam, whether performing 1D or 2D scanning or executing beam deflection through a fixed angle. As the angle of deflection is depending on the sound wavelength and thus controlled by the frequency of an electrical input signal, selecting the right RF driver is important to achieve the desired scanning speed and accuracy.
Electro-optical deflectors based on KTN crystals enable high-speed operation because the light is controlled by electron transfer and an external electrical field without any mechanical moving parts. With its high-speed operation and the small size, this deflector technology can be used in applications like forward monitoring sensors for automobiles, mobile-type OCT probes, optical switches, and pulse pickers.
Alternative Terms: Deflection Unit; MEMS-based Micromirror; Prefocusing Deflection Unit; 2D Scanner; 2D Deflector; 3D Deflector; 3D Scanner; KTN Deflector; Acousto-optic Deflector