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Old 01-16-2012, 04:00 AM #1
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Default beam expander logic

1st, a beam expander allows a laser beam to diverge less, at the expence of a larger beam up close
^is that correct?

If that is correct, would having a collimating lens designed to be say, 1 inch away from an axix module work in the same way?


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Old 01-16-2012, 04:48 AM #2
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Yes. I should think so.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:25 AM #3
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Default Re: beam expander logic

It certainly does. I got carried away a couple weeks ago.

635/638nm; 3mW pointer/300mW mitsubishi diode; 4mm/70mm beam:



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Old 01-16-2012, 05:39 AM #4
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Default Re: beam expander logic

That first picture brings back memories of TRON... the original, not the sequel.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:48 PM #5
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Looks like the lens and holder from a Merc or BMW headlamp
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:59 PM #6
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinjja View Post
1st, a beam expander allows a laser beam to diverge less, at the expence of a larger beam up close
^is that correct?

If that is correct, would having a collimating lens designed to be say, 1 inch away from an axix module work in the same way?
That wouldn't work probably if you want a highly collimated beam of low divergence.
You have to consider the expanding lens. It's very important.
Play around with this applet gausian beam rev 2.0.xls
In the first 2 boxes at the top input your lasers beam diameter and the beams divergence.
In the boxes below input a negative focal lenght ( ex. -6) and the box below that a positive focal length. This applet has a graphical result presentation also

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Old 01-16-2012, 03:01 PM #7
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Default Re: beam expander logic

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Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
It certainly does. I got carried away a couple weeks ago.

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Nice pic's

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Old 01-16-2012, 04:31 PM #8
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve001 View Post
That wouldn't work probably if you want a highly collimated beam of low divergence.
You have to consider the expanding lens. It's very important.
Nope. The beam is already expanding when it leaves the diode facet. So:

1) beam is expanding from diode
2) beam is collimated with lens
3) beam is expanded with lens
4) beam is collimated with lens

Steps 2 and 3 are not necessary.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:35 PM #9
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Default Re: beam expander logic

What's the logic / math involved in taking a divergence figure for both the fast & slow axis, and using them to calculate the focal length and distance from LD for a single collimating lens?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:46 PM #10
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Here's yer maths: Focusing and Collimating

(No I'm not versed in the workings thereof, I just know this to be a very good resource..)
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 PM #11
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
Here's yer maths: Focusing and Collimating

(No I'm not versed in the workings thereof, I just know this to be a very good resource..)
I've read that before. It's a neat resource, but diode specs are generally given in degrees, for each axis. Plus the emitter size is often unknown. It strikes me that there should be a way to simply use the divergence angles of the diode, the lens's focal length, and calculate the rest.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:09 PM #12
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhd View Post
I've read that before. It's a neat resource, but diode specs are generally given in degrees, for each axis. Plus the emitter size is often unknown. It strikes me that there should be a way to simply use the divergence angles of the diode, the lens's focal length, and calculate the rest.
The emitter size is often (but not always) unknown to us as hobbyists, but if we were in the profession we would have looked all that info up before selecting a diode for whatever application we're trying for. Being hobbyists leaves us at a bit of a disadvantage sometimes.. but speaking for myself I love the trial and error approach. Tends to make for some interesting learning experiences.

As far as degrees are concerned you can convert from radians by multiplying the number of degrees by 180/(Pi)
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:38 PM #13
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Default Re: beam expander logic

I think RHD is trying to ask which single variable to use, the fast axis or slow axis divergence value. Or even how to use both of the two differing divergences to create an equivalent divergence value for calculations.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:55 PM #14
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Default Re: beam expander logic

With laser diodes you're not going to be able to use both divergence figures simultaneously because of the astigmatic beam, but I think you can use the data for a single axis for collimating with normal concave or convex lenses like we do with our Aixiz modules etc.. In order to balance the axes to get a symmetrical beam you'd need to collimate the fast axis first, making the optical train more complex. These problems are inherent to all laser diodes, and they account for one of the biggest reasons why nice, round TEM00 beams are so desirable.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:06 PM #15
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
Here's yer maths: Focusing and Collimating

(No I'm not versed in the workings thereof, I just know this to be a very good resource..)

thanks for that link! i get it now - finally
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:59 PM #16
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Default Re: beam expander logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Nope. The beam is already expanding when it leaves the diode facet. So:

1) beam is expanding from diode
2) beam is collimated with lens
3) beam is expanded with lens
4) beam is collimated with lens

Steps 2 and 3 are not necessary.
Yes, all laser beams expand. And you can collimate a beam with just one positive lens, which has to be placed at or close to the lenses focal length from the diode. However, all beam expanders use at least two lenses I think for the reason that lower divergence can be achieved over using one lens. Using one lens I think requires rather large lenses to be used to catch all of the beam if you don't want to truncate the sides of the beam.
Assuming the lens you used is placed at the focal length distance from the diode it appears the beam is expanding greatly has it exits the front surface. Though collimated the beam has high divergence which is acceptable if that is your goal, but usually it's a beam with low divergence that's desired.

I don't know what the OP is trying to accomplish maybe they'll explain in detail..

Last edited by steve001; 01-17-2012 at 09:00 PM.
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