Right angle prism is a glass block in a shape of 45-degree right triangle which operates as reflector and is commonly used as replacement for mirrors to deflect the light beam. Solaris Optics offers custom fit-to-purpose right angle prisms which are manufactured in company’s Warsaw, Poland facility.

One element – many uses

Right-angle prism is a glass block in shape of pentahedron with two non-active triangular surfaces and other three optically active surfaces. Depending how the prism is oriented towards the incident light, the reflected image can be inversed, rotated or reversed:

  • inverted by 90 degrees – in the Right-Angle Prism orientation the beam is reflected by mirror-coated hypotenuse or full internal reflection is utilized
  • inverted by 180 degrees – so called in Porro type in which the light enters via hypotenuse surface and after two internal reflections on short faces is reflected back at the direction parallel to the direction of the incident light.
  • Inverted by 180 degrees and reversed – in a Dove Prism orientation the light enters in a direction parallel to hypotenuse surface, is refracted toward the hypotenuse face and after internal reflection from this surface, leaves the prism via the other leg resulting in inverted and reversed image.

Right angle prism can operate by means of full internal reflection or using mirror coatings, depending on the desired prism performance and orientation in the optical system.

The advantages of right angle prisms

The capability of right angle prism to alter the image makes it a staple component in optical systems ranging from high-performance applications in scientific, healthcare and industrial fields, as well as general use optical instruments such as telescopes or binoculars.
Right angle prisms offer a significant advantage compared to typical mirrors because of greater resistance to mechanical load and external stress. This makes them more suitable for applications which operate in demanding conditions, such as vibrations or rapid movements. Prisms provide also enormous improvement in terms of ease of mounting and alignment, which reduces application complexity, cost and time to market.
If you are interested in custom-made right angle prisms, we would eagerly discuss how we can help. Please do not hesitate to contact us!