Lithiumniobate Pockels cells
Lithiumniobate Pockels cells (LiNbO3 Pockels cells) are electro-optical modulators where the core material responsible for the electro-optical effect is lithiumniobate crystal.
LiNbO3 Pockels cells are used in laser applications for medicine, industry and research. Solaris Optics produces custom lithiumniobate Pockels cells in its facilities in Poland.
LiNbO3 Pockels Cells Technology
Lithiumniobate is an artificial crystal showing the Pockels effect. LiNbO3 crystals are oriented and cut in a way allowing to provide Z-axis optical propagation.
Pockels effect – is a phenomenon, where a material shows birefringence (refractive index dependance on light polarization or propagation direction) when electric field (voltage) is applied; Pockels effect can be observed in non-centro-symetric materials, including crystals such as lithinum niobite.
Electric field is applied to the crystal via gold chromium electrodes. The electrodes are localized along two sides of the crystal to provide a uniform electrical field across the aperture.
Lithiumniobate is a very suitable crystal for the use in Pockel Cells because of its special properties. The most important physical characteristics include:
- high electrooptical coefficient,
- transparency in a wide spectral range from 400nm up to 4500nm,
- high melting point of 1250°C.
Additionally due to the lithiumniobate hardness and insolubility the crystal does not need any additional protection.
Applications of Lithiumniobate Pockels Cells
The Pockels cells are specified for Q-switch applications inside a laser resonator or for modulating of a laser beam outside the resonator wave voltage.