White Paper: Photonics/Optics

High Performance Optical Mounts

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Optical mounts frequently play a critical role in overall laser system performance. Yet their impact often becomes obvious only when system operation degrades due to optical misalignment induced by vibration, thermal drift or long term mechanical creep in mounts. This article reviews basic styles of optical mount design and construction, and compares various mount types in terms of their stability, functionality and cost. It also explains the impact of various component mounting techniques on wave-front distortion. Additionally, it presents recent test data on a completely new type of flexure mount designed specifically for high performance in terms of thermal stability. This next-generation design provides the combination of superior beam pointing stability and component economy that is increasingly needed in demanding OEM industrial and scientific laser-based applications.

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