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14 February 2007 Improvement and commissioning of a novel technology for the measurement of laser-beam profiles
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Measurement of the laser beam propagation factor M2 is essential in many laser applications including materials processing, laser therapy, and lithography. In this paper we describe the characterisation of a prototype device using a cross-distorted diffraction grating known as an Image Multiplex (IMP(R)) grating, to measure the M2 value of laser beams. The advantage of the IMP(R) grating instrument lies in its ability to simultaneously image nine positions along the beam path. This enables beam propagation parameters to be calculated both for pulsed lasers and lasers with rapidly changing propagation characteristics. This is in contrast to the scanned technique recommended by the ISO, which is relatively slow and in practice can only be easily used with cw sources. The characterisation was accomplished by comparison of results from the IMP(R) grating device with those obtained using the accepted methodology described in the ISO 11146 series of standards through measurements conducted by the National Physical Laboratory. The scope of the work also included provision of a traceability route to international standards, and an uncertainty budget, to allow the intended user community to have confidence in measurements obtained when using the device, and to enable them to use it as part of their quality framework.
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Simon R. G. Hall, David Robinson, Steven D. Knox, Hui Yang, Andrew Scott, Simon Woods, Andrew J. Turner, and Andrew Lewin "Improvement and commissioning of a novel technology for the measurement of laser-beam profiles", Proc. SPIE 6452, Laser Resonators and Beam Control IX, 645208 (14 February 2007);

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