Electro-optic and Acousto-optic Laser Beam Scanners

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Optical solid state deflectors rely on the electro-optical or acousto-optic effect. These Electro-Optical Deflectors (EODs) and Acousto-Optical Deflectors (AODs) do not contain moving parts and therefore exhibit high deflection velocities and are free of drawbacks associated with mechanical scanners. A description of the principles of operation of EODs and AODs is presented. In addition, characteristics, properties and the (dis)advantages of EODs and AODs, when compared to mirror based mechanical deflectors, is discussed. Deflection angles, speed and accuracy are discussed in terms of resolvable spots and related quantities. Also, response time, damage threshold, efficiency and the type and magnitude of beam distortions is addressed. Optical deflectors are characterized by high angular deflection velocities, but small deflection angles. Whereas mechanical mechanical scanners are characterized by relatively small deflection velocities, but large deflection angles. Arranging an optical deflector and a mechanical scanner in series allows to take advantage of the best of both worlds
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
JournalPhysics procedia
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-304989
  • IR-91723


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