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Laser beam characterization instruments provide the tools to know precisely what the laser beam is doing at the point of the work and if the optics are having the desired effect.
Dick Rieley, Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC

A manufacturer needed to profile and measure diodes that produce a 1300nm CW source in the 10's of mW's. The inspection needed to be conducted in seconds with full accuracy and repeatability because100% inspection was specified to insure the quality level needed by the customer. As this component was a basic element to the finished product, if any defects could be identified at this stage, a significant savings in scrap product would be realized vs attempting to rework finished product.

The initial...

Dan Ford, Southwest Regional Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC
Anyone who has driven a vehicle has encountered a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system in action. Some of you have even found out how much it can cost in terms of speeding fines! Let’s take a closer look behind the scenes. How do we know the detector is working?

Many customers involved with laser welding measure the pulse energy output of their lasers, but is this all the data required needed to ensure quality welds? Steve Schellenberg at Spinal Modulation had his doubts. While he found pulse energy measurement using his Ophir equipment useful in qualifying his laser welding process, two of his laser welding stations were producing different quality welds despite producing identical laser pulse energies. One laser welder seemed to be doing an OK job, while the other welder produced significantly...

  • Resonator problems
  • Beam misalignments
  • Aged optics
  • Damaged optics
  • Gas impurities


  • Dross on laser cut
  • Decreased cut speeds
  • Low or unstable laser power
  • Off-balance or unstable beam profile

Overall Effect:

  • Loss of TIME and MONEY
John McCauley, Product Specialist, Ophir-Spiricon

by John McCauley, Product Specialist, Ophir-Spiricon

The Advanced Laser Applications Workshop (ALAW) is an annual conference hosted by The Fabricators & Manufacturers Associate (FMA) in the Detroit, Michigan area. ALAW is an excellent forum to discover and discuss the latest technologies with respect to material processing that involves the use of a laser. Being in the Detroit area, the conversations primarily address automotive material processing, however, much discussion is also directed...

Derrick Peterman, Northern California Sales Engineer, Ophir-Spiricon
Do you know why your laser takes longer and longer to cut the same part? It’s because lasers change over time. No one’s surprised when mechanical cutting tools wear out from wear and tear over time
Chuck Reagan, Southeast Sales Engineer, Ophir-Spiricon

By Chuck Reagan, Southeast Sales Engineer, Ophir-Spiricon

From time to time, our company is asked to provide assistance to researchers whose primary field of study is not lasers. In 2005 I began working with a medical researcher at a major medical school whose primary field of study is Dental Material Science. He tested various light sources to photo-cure restorative materials directly in the mouth of the patient.

This researcher worked with...

John McCauley, Product Specialist, Ophir-Spiricon
High-power industrial lasers are valuable tools in material processing. Maintaining them at peak performance and optimizing the processes for which they are used will maximize throughput and minimize downtime. Periodic measurement and longterm monitoring of key laser variables, including laser output power, focused spot size, and focus spot temporal location provide the data you need to increase accuracy and optimize your process...

By Nicolas Chaise, Regional Sales Manager, Ophir Spiricon Europe

Nowadays, it is quite common to weld with a laser. But some welding applications still require expert skills and customized solutions.

A customer of ours in the shipyard market owns a powerful 12KW fiber laser. Most of the time, they weld small metals pieces. But for a new application, it required a new process.
Welding Large...
The U.S. military often serves as the proving grounds for emerging technologies. With advances in laser technologies, it is more common today for these military systems to involve lasers. One such example is the use of a laser in the periscope of a nuclear-powered submarine. As you can imagine, the data that this laser provides relies directly on both the quality of the laser and its alignment within the system. So how is the accuracy of this particular system’s laser ensured?

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...

Photon’s High Power NanoScan is designed to measure "high power" laser beams that were previously impossible to measure with standard BeamScan or NanoScan products. High power is a fairly indistinct term that means different things in different contexts. For our purposes, "high power" is defined as between 100W and 5000W, however the High Power NanoScan will not be able to measure this power range for all wavelengths. High power laser beams are handled by using reflective materials, and the level of reflectivity,...

Introduction Problems you may encounter with a NanoScan scanning-slit beam profiler are due to either scanhead damage, or out-of-tolerance conditions. Scanhead damage can be categorized into two main types; Laser and Mechanical. Laser damage is the most prevalent, and results from exposure to lasers with excessive laser power/energy density, and or high average power. The damage can be classified into 2 categories, designated "Instantaneous" and "Long-Term".


CCD cameras are commonly used for many imaging applications, as well as in optical instrumentation applications. These cameras have many excellent characteristics for both scene imaging and laser beam analysis. However, CCD cameras have two characteristics that limit their potential performance. The first limiting factor is the baseline drift of the camera. If the baseline drifts below the digitizer zero, data in the background is lost,...

Larry Green Ophir-Spiricon, LLC
- THz Range available to the user - Wavelengths and Frequencies - Tools to Image THz beams - Optics- Type and Sources - Cameras and Other Sensors - Results
John McCauley, Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC
Whether you’re new to lasers or you’ve been working with them for some time, you may be wondering what all the fuss is over laser beam profiling

By Allen M. Cary, Photon Inc. San Jose CA

Most people working with lasers today are trying to do something with the light beam, either as the raw beam or, more commonly, modified with optics. Whether it is printing a label on a part, welding a precision joint or repairing a retina, it is important to understand the nature of the laser beam and its performance. Laser beam profiling provides the tools to characterize the laser and know precisely what the beam is doing at...

Choosing the best profiler for a laser is a complex process. There is no one profiler available that works with all lasers because of all the factors involved. Here we'd like to help you begin figuring out what to focus on when doing laser profiler shopping (window or otherwise). First of all, keep in mind that there are two main types of profilers used today:

  • Array/camera based profilers and (array is a general term for camera-types of technology where pixels are used to capture an...
Just knowing the beam profile can make the difference between success and failure of a process...

By Jeffrey L. Guttman, PhD, Director of Engineering, and Allen M. Cary, Sales & Marketing Manager, Ophir-Photon LLC

The beam profiler magnification calibration involves measuring spot centroids for known beam position translations. This can be done either by moving the profiler or moving the spot. The former method is preferred since the profiler with magnification is usually mounted to a high quality 3-axis translation stage. For a 25x or greater magnification it is recommended to use a stage...

Jeffrey L. Guttman, Ph.D., Director of Engineering, Ophir-Spiricon

By Jeffrey L. Guttman, Ph.D., Director of Engineering, Ophir-Spiricon

Abstract: The Mode-Field Diameter (MFD) and “spot size” of an assortment of lensed and tapered specialty fibers were...

Ophir Photonics uses pyroelectric detectors in a number of their products, both for beam profiling and for laser power measurement. The Photon and Spiricon brands are laser beam profilers based on scanning slit or array technologies; Ophir brand products are laser power measurement instruments.
Spiricon Pyrocam III
The Pyrocam™ III is a...

There is a fair amount of confusion caused by the reporting of dynamic range of beam profilers. The purpose of this applications note is to explain some of the terminology used in the discussion of this parameter by both Ophir- Spiricon and other suppliers of beam profilers.
Dynamic Range is the ratio of the largest measurable signal to the smallest measurable signal. The smallest measurable signal is typically defined as that equal to the noise level, or alternatively the “Noise...

The need to profile lasers with powers in the 10mW to 1W range are becoming more common. Many of these lasers are in the visible spectrum, allowing them to be measured with CCD and CMOS camera systems. As with any laser that is being measured with a camera array, the beam needs to be attenuated, but there are some cautions to be observed. These beams are not so powerful that they will damage or destroy typical absorptive filters. In fact, it is possible to stack up a sufficient optical density to reduce the power of a 1W laser to the nW...