The Acousto-Optic Q-Switch - Indispensable for Laser Markers

Q-Switched lasers are often required when the energy delivered to a target is of importance. This leads to a diverse range of applications including materials processing (marking, cutting, welding, drilling), medical (ophthalmology and dermatology) and scientific research. One particlarly widespred use is that of industrial laser marking, where laser pulses are used to create convenient permanent marks on a desired material surface.

The acousto-optic Q-Switch is probably the most common type of Q-Switches in use today. A radio-frequency (RF) transducer generates an acoustic (ultrasonic) wave within an interaction material. This results in a periodic change of refractive index in the material and the creation of a diffraction grating.

Light incident on the Q-Switch at the Bragg angle is diffracted, producing a loss in the laser resonator. If the loss introduced by the Q-Switch is higher than the gain, then lasing ceases. Switching off the RF drive power to the transducer causes the acoustic wave to decay and lasing recommences with a high-energy pulse.v

Choice of Several Products

Laser & IPL Lamps

Laser & IPL Lamps
see product list

Flow Tubes & Plates

Flow Tubes & Plates
see product list

Crystal Rods

Crystal Rods
see product list