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Old 01-11-2011, 11:50 AM #1
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Default If price is not an object - best multiline beam splitter?

What is the very best way to split a multiline argon beam into its constituent wavelengths? I'm looking for highest transmission, best beam quality after the split.

So far - I have found transmission gratings, diffraction gratings, holographic gratings and basic prisms.

To me - it seems that a prism made from high quality optical glass would be best intuitively, but I have no experience with this and have not seen them used in this regard. I need a fairly wide spread so that I can isolate each wavelength.

What do you folks use, and what do you recommend? I know the cheap solution is to use a CD or DVD - and that is my short term plan. But in the end I want o be able to isolate individual wavelengths and not have much degradation.

Thanks! Please also post a link to the product you recommend as I'm currently pricing out options.


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Old 01-11-2011, 12:15 PM #2
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Default Re: If price is not an object - best multiline beam splitter?

As far as I know.. a simple triangular prism will split the beam quite well. If you want to experiment, you can use the shiny side of a CD or DVD. As for the best beam splitter, I can't say for sure.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:23 PM #3
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Default Re: If price is not an object - best multiline beam splitter?

A prism is the only choice for highest transmission. Diffraction gratings split only a small percentage of the beam.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:41 PM #4
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Default Re: If price is not an object - best multiline beam splitter?

Does the prism need to be of high quality or a regular prism would work? I am asking because I have seen glass prisms online up to $200 dont remember exactly and I bought some locally for like $15 ea.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:53 PM #5
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Default Re: If price is not an object - best multiline beam splitter?

Diffraction gratings can have very high reflectances, at least 80% but maybe even 90% into a single order. Good for things like the feedback of a dye laser, but for line selecting inside an agron laser a prism is used, even tunable HeNe lasers use a weird prism, so prism are the lowest loss. They also have a much lower dispersion, but that won't be a big point here.

The right prism will be AR coated for the right wavelengths, that's about it. Brewster angle stuff if too specialized. Uncoated will still be better than gratings.
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