As the need for laser output power and energy levels increases, beam and pulse shapes become more sophisticated in the laser-based industry, which makes determining damage limits of the laser sensors for the end users complicated.
In such circumstances, choosing a high damage threshold laser power detector becomes more crucial and beneficial for the optical source manufacturers.
Determining Damage Threshold Might Be Complex
One of the basic parameters to verify before purchasing and using a laser power detector is its damage threshold under different laser beam conditions. A laser detector can get damaged due to many factors.
Your laser power or density could be higher than the damage limits of the laser sensor’s coating material. Additionally, the laser beam shape is another factor that influences the damage threshold of a detector. While calculating thresholds, flat-top beams are used as a reference. The same calculations with Gaussian beams should be multiplied by a safety factor of 2, and if your beam has hot spots, the safety factor becomes 3.
On the other hand, even if all your laser parameters are within the limits of the detector, the individual pulses might have higher energy than the sensor damage threshold, which cause deterioration of the coating. Alternatively, your pulse duration could be shorter than the reference pulse duration used for calculating the damage threshold of your detector.