Plano Metallic Mirror

Plano Metallic Mirror

Regular price $22.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $22.00 USD
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What is Plano Metallic Mirrors?

Plano metallic mirrors are optical mirrors that have a flat (plano) surface and a metal coating that reflects light over a wide range of wavelengths. They are commonly used in applications that require high reflectivity, broadband performance, and low thermal expansion.

Some features of plano metallic mirrors are:

  • They can reflect light from the ultraviolet (UV) to the infrared (IR) spectrum, depending on the type of metal coating.
  • They have a relatively high damage threshold and can withstand high-power laser beams.
  • They are insensitive to the angle of incidence of the incoming light, unlike dielectric mirrors that have a narrow acceptance angle.
  • They are less expensive and easier to manufacture than dielectric mirrors.

Major Specifications of Plano Metallic Mirrors

Some of the major specifications of plano metallic mirrors are:

  • Diameter: The diameter of the mirror is measured across its circular aperture. It determines the size of the beam that can be reflected by the mirror. Common diameters for plano metallic mirrors are 1/2", 1", and 2".
  • Thickness: The thickness of the mirror is measured along its optical axis. It affects the weight, rigidity, and thermal stability of the mirror. Thicker mirrors are more resistant to deformation and thermal stress, but they are also heavier and more expensive.
  • Surface quality: The surface quality of the mirror is evaluated by its scratch-dig rating, which indicates the number and size of defects on the mirror surface. A lower scratch-dig rating means a smoother surface with fewer imperfections. The surface quality affects the scattering, transmission, and absorption of light by the mirror. Typical scratch-dig ratings for plano metallic mirrors are 40-20 or 60-40.
  • Surface flatness: The surface flatness of the mirror is measured by its deviation from an ideal plane. A lower deviation means a flatter surface with less distortion. The surface flatness affects the wavefront quality, focusability, and alignment of the reflected beam. Typical surface flatness values for plano metallic mirrors are λ/10 or λ/4 at 633 nm.
  • Clear aperture: The clear aperture of the mirror is the area of the mirror surface that is free from defects or obstructions. It determines the usable area of the mirror for reflecting light. The clear aperture is usually specified as a percentage of the diameter or as an absolute value in millimeters.
  • Coating type: The coating type of the mirror is determined by the metal material and the presence or absence of an overcoat. Different coating types have different reflectance properties across different wavelength ranges, as well as different durability and damage thresholds. The coating type should be chosen based on the application and the source of light.
  • Coating reflectance: The coating reflectance of the mirror is the percentage of light that is reflected by the mirror at a given wavelength or range of wavelengths. A higher reflectance means a more efficient mirror with less loss of light. The coating reflectance depends on the coating type, the angle of incidence, and the polarization state of the light. The coating reflectance is usually specified as a minimum value or as a graph.

Common Coatings for Metallic Mirror

  • UV-enhanced aluminum mirrors: These mirrors have an aluminum coating with a protective overcoat that enhances the reflectance in the UV range (250 - 450 nm).
  • Protected aluminum mirrors: These mirrors have an aluminum coating with a protective overcoat that prevents oxidation and increases durability. They have high reflectance in the visible (VIS) and near-IR range (450 nm - 2 µm) and moderate reflectance in the mid-IR and far-IR range (2 - 20 µm).
  • Silver-coated mirrors: These mirrors have a silver coating with a protective overcoat that prevents tarnishing and increases durability. They have higher reflectance than aluminum mirrors in the VIS and near-IR range (450 nm - 2 µm) and lower reflectance in the UV and IR range.
  • Ultrafast-enhanced silver mirrors: These mirrors have a silver coating with a protective overcoat that is optimized for ultrafast applications in the fundamental wavelength range of femtosecond Ti:Sapphire lasers (750 - 1000 nm). They have higher reflectance and lower group delay dispersion than standard silver mirrors in this range.
  • Protected gold mirrors: These mirrors have a gold coating with a protective overcoat that prevents oxidation and increases durability. They have high reflectance in the near-IR, mid-IR, and far-IR range (800 nm - 20 µm) and low reflectance in the UV and VIS range.
  • Unprotected gold mirrors: These mirrors have a gold coating without a protective overcoat. They have higher reflectance than protected gold mirrors in the IR range, but they are more delicate and prone to damage. They are also more suitable for polarization-sensitive and ultrafast applications, as the overcoat can introduce polarization changes and dispersion.

Use Cases for Plano Metallic Mirrors

Some common use cases for plano metallic mirrors are:

  • Spectroscopy: Plano metallic mirrors can be used to direct, split, or combine light beams in spectroscopic instruments, such as spectrometers, monochromators, interferometers, and Raman systems. They can also be used to reflect light from different sources or samples, such as lasers, LEDs, lamps, gases, liquids, or solids.
  • Scanning and imaging: Plano metallic mirrors can be used to scan or image objects or surfaces with light beams in various applications, such as microscopy, endoscopy, optical coherence tomography, holography, and laser printing. They can also be used to modulate or deflect light beams with devices such as galvanometers, acousto-optic modulators, or piezo actuators.
  • Laser systems: Plano metallic mirrors can be used to manipulate or enhance laser beams in various laser systems, such as CO2 lasers, Ti:Sapphire lasers, Nd:YAG lasers, fiber lasers, or diode lasers. They can also be used to perform functions such as beam steering, beam shaping, beam splitting, beam combining, beam focusing, beam collimating, or beam filtering.

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