Prisms and Beamsplitters

Source: Ross Optical Industries
Prisms and Beamsplitters

Ross Optical offers a variety of prism types, including right angle, equilateral, dove, amici, wedge, penta, and retroreflectors, as well as plate and cube beamsplitters. This page provides an overview of these offerings.

Right Angle:

Right angle prisms have a minimum of three polished faces inclined relative to each other at 45-90-45 degrees. This makes them ideal for use as total internal reflectors, hypotenuse face reflectors, retroreflectors, and 90 degree beam benders.


Equilateral prisms have three equal 60o angles and are used in beam dispersion applications.


Dove prisms are basically a truncated version of a right angle prism. They’re used as image rotators. The image passing through the prism as it rotates will rotate at twice the angle of the actual prism itself.


Amici prisms, or roof prisms, are right angle prisms whose hypotenuse has been replaced by a 90-degree roof. They’re used to erect and make a 90-degree deflection of an incoming object, and are ideal for turning an inverted image right-side up.


Wedge prisms are typically round and have two flat sides that are at a small angle to each other. They’re used primarily for laser beam steering.


As the name would indicate, penta prisms are five-sided and contain two reflecting surfaces at 45o to each other, and two refracting faces perpendicular to entering and emerging beams.


Retroreflectors are also known as corner cubes. They’re made of solid glass and allow the entering ray to emerge parallel to itself, just in the opposite direction of propagation. When precision alignment is difficult and the use of a mirror wouldn’t be applicable, these are ideal.

Plate Beamsplitters:

These beamsplitters are a thin window with a beam splitter coating applied to one side. They’re used at a 45o incident angle, and partially reflect the beam at a 90o angle while also partially transmitting it through the glass.

Cube Beamsplitters:

When you cement two right angle prisms together on the hypotenuse, you get a cube beamsplitter. They’re easier to mount than plate beamsplitters and they offer less ghosting.

For more information on Ross Optical’s prism and beamsplitter offerings, download the brochure. You can also contact them directly for more information or to discuss your application.