NanoScan applications are normally processes and the problems that are solved by them are usually one of the processes, such as an alignment, collimation, or a precise focusing process taking too long, not being accurate enough, or requiring too much high level intervention to accomplish by using other methods.
Many applications of lasers require that the laser beam be adjusted to meet some parameter, such as the beam size at the point of work, maintaining a collimated beam over a range of operation, or precisely aligning a beam on a target. Photon’s NanoScan makes these adjustments fast and easily. Its dynamic range allows both focused and unfocused beams to be measured without changes to attenuation, giving instantaneous feedback during the focus adjustment.
Building laser optical systems, whether they be for high‐power applications such as marking machines or welding stations or for low power systems like fiber optic telecommunications or laser printers, requires that a beam be brought from unfocused to focused. The NanoScan’s large instantaneous dynamic range allows the varying power density of the focusing operation to be measured without having to change attenuation or sensor settings. In the diagram below you can see how this dynamic range makes these focusing operations simple, straightforward, and fast.
Fig. 1: Focusing a beam from over 1mm to 50μm stays in the operating space
The unsurpassed pointing accuracy of the NanoScan allows the measurement to be reduced to the bench top. Using scan averaging, the NanoScan can measure pointing to <100nm, which translates to the ability to measure deviations of < 1μr on a 10cm test bench. With this level of resolution very accurate pointing measurements can be accomplished in a small space and with little opportunity for external forces to impact the measurement. Obviously a 10cm test range is far easier to manage and control than one spanning 100 or even 1000m in length. Manufacturers of range finding and laser sighting products have found that the NanoScan reduces their test time dramatically, leading to high throughput and rapid time to market for their products.
Another common application is to superimpose one beam on top of another to create multicolor printers or digital projectors. The NanoScan’s pointing capability makes it easy to ensure that the beams are precisely aligned for the high resolution printing or display.