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Lasers that are focused very small (< 10 μm) are challenging to profile. This is usually too small to be resolved by a CCD camera. Besides that, the beam profiling system must be mechanically precise.
Instead of measuring, many users faced with these challenges rely on theoretical models or estimation. This of course is often much less on the mark as one would like to believe.
Dr. Derrick Peterman of Ophir-Spiricon provides two ways to deal with this issue: expand the beam at focus and measure as usual; or keep the beam as is and measure in the far field.
For the full article with details on setup and examples, read Measuring Small-Beam MFD Overcoming the Challenges
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