Ultrafast Optics Guide

Selecting the proper optic for an ultrafast application is key to the success of your experiment. Standard, general purpose optics may not be the best choice for ultrafast. For example, the larger material thickness of lenses and dielectric coatings of mirrors will induce dispersion and interference effects that will be detrimental to the ultrashort pulses. Newport has analyzed these effects and has introduced a comprehensive set of optics specially designed for Ultrashort pulse applications.

Selecting an Ultrafast Mirror

Standard dielectric mirror coatings can cause significant dispersive effects for ultrashort pulses, such as those produced by Ti:Sapphire lasers. The dispersion of the material and the interference effects between coating layers result in phase variations at specific wavelengths. Since the group delay is related to the slope of the phase variation, these wavelength regions introduce significant GDD errors that can broaden and distort your pulse. Therefore, for applications that require steering ultrashort pulses, we suggest using our Ultrafast Mirror Selection Guide below.

For more information about selecting ultrafast optics, please see our Ultrafast Laser Optics white paper about balancing costs with successful outcomes.

Series Typical Performance Diameter (mm) Mirror Surface GDD, Cubic Term
OP-bbmetalmirrors-S-4 FemtoOptics Femtosecond Optimized Silver Mirrors R>99% @ 600-1000 nm
R >97% @ 470-1000 nm
25.4 & 50.8 Flat Inexpensive option for very low GDD(1)
Optic-pink mirror 1 inch FemtoOptics Femtosecond Optimized Concave Mirrors R>99% @ 600-1000 nm
R>97% @ 470-1000 nm
(EFL 50-1500 mm)
Concave Near zero GDD over extended bandwidth
OP-bbmetalmirrors-S-4 FemtoOptics Chirped Mirror Matched Pair R>99.5% @ 700-890 nm 25.4 Flat -45 fsec2 at 800 nm
FemtoOptics High Reflector Mirror FemtoOptics High Reflector Harmonic Mirrors R>99% @ 400 or 267 nm 25.4 Flat Near zero GDD within specified wavelength range
OP-uf25_3szs-S Low GDD Broadband Mirror for Ultrashort Pulses R>99% @ 700-930 nm 12.7, 25.4 & 50.8 Flat Near Zero GDD through wavelength range
Optic-pink mirror 1 inch Low GDD Concave Mirror for Ultrafast Pulses R>99% @ 700-930 nm 25.4 & 50.8
(EFL 50-1000mm)
Concave Near zero GDD through wavelength range
OP-Chirpymirror-S Chirped Mirrors for Ultrashort Pulses RP>99.8% @ 700-900 nm 25.0 Flat Negative GDD up to -140 fsec2
With near zero cubic term
OP-SuperBB-S Standard Broadband Turning Mirrors for Ultrashort Pulses R>99.6% @ 680–1060 nm 25.4 & 50.8 Flat High Reflectance with neutral GDD and cubic term
Optic-pink mirror 1 inch High Performance Ultrafast Broadband Turning Mirrors R>99.6% @ 670-1340 nm 25.4 Flat Optimized for neutral GDD across bandwidth of Insight® Laser
Optic-pink mirror 1 inch Ytterbium Doped Laser Mirrors R>99.5% @ 520 & 1040 nm 25.4 Flat Designed for low GDD for Spirit® One™ Laser

(1) Mirror also useable for wavelengths outside standard Ti:Sapphire range. Please contact us for any customized shapes or special requirements.

Ultrafast Lenses, Beamsplitters, Waveplates and Polarizers

Beam sampling, beam splitting, focusing or polarization changes can be done with our specially designed optics for Ultrashort pulses listed below. Special considerations have been made to ensure that pulse dispersion will be minimized.

Series Performance Diameter/Size (mm) Shape Key Feature
FemtoOptics Ultrathin Windows FemtoOptics Ultrathin Windows AR coating R<0.4% @ 620-980 nm 12.7, 25.4 & 30 Round Flat Ultrathin thickness allows for fine tuning of positive GDD
FemtoOptics P-Pol Beamsplitters FemtoOptics P-Polarized Beamsplitters R=67%, 76%, 80% or 90% @ 800 nm 25.4 Round Flat Minimum GDD for beam splitting of intense pulses down to 25 fs or less
FemtoOptics Wedges FemtoOptics Wedges Optional AR coating R<0.5% @ 650-1040 nm 20 x 30 & 20 x 50 Rectangular Wedge Dispersion fine tuning over a wide dynamic range
OP-kpxlens-S-6 UF Optimized AR Coated Fused Silica Plano-Convex Lenses R<1% @ 660-1380 nm
R≤2.5% @ 640-1500 nm
12.7 & 25.4 Round Custom coating provides optimal antireflection across broad wavelength range with minimal dispersion
OP-laserbeamsamp-S Beam Sampler for Ultrashort Pulses Ravg<0.75%  @ 45° AOI, 660-1000 nm 25.4 Round Flat Ultra-thin substrate produces minimal dispersion
OP-u_fast_bsplit-S Beamsplitters for Ultrashort Pulses Rs=50 ±5 % @ 700-950 or 680-1080 nm 25.4, 50.8 Round Flat Large bandwidth with low dispersion
OP-pellicle_bs-S Pellicle Beamsplitters Ultra-thin, light weight beamsplitter @ 375-2400 nm 51.6 mm clear aperture Round Flat Near zero dispersion
10Q20UF.HB1 Ultrafast Laser Harmonic Beamsplitters RS>99.8% @ 400 nm
Ts>95% @ 800 nm
25.4 Round Flat 3 mm thick substrate, low dispersion
OP-ultrafastprism-S Brewster Angle Dispersing Prisms for Ultrashort Pulses Optimized for 185-2100 or 370-2000 nm 15.0 & 25.0 Triangular Prism UV Fused Silica, LaKL21 or SF10 materials to optimize dispersion compensation
OP-10rp52-S-178 Achromatic Zero-Order Quartz-MgF2 Waveplates Retardation Accuracy from ±λ/50 to ±λ/100 25.4 Flat, air-spaced Quartz and MgF2 offer wide wavelength range
OP-10gl08-S Glan-Laser Calcite Polarizers Extinction ratio>100,000:1 25.0 with 1.063-20 thd Air spaced optics Air-spaced for high laser damage resistance
OP-u_fast_tfp_sq-S Thin Film Polarizers For Ultrashort Pulses TP, avg >96%, RS, avg >80% @ 700-950 nm
TP, avg > 95%, RS, avg > 99% @ 785-815 nm
14.3 x 28.6 Flat, Rectangular AOI of 70° ±2°
OP-hollowretroflec-S Broadband Hollow Retroreflectors 1, 2, or 5 arc sec parallelism 25.4 & 63.5 aperture Round Total wavefront distortion ≤ λ/3
VA-BB Broadband Ultrafast Variable Beam Attenuators Extinction Ratio Tp/Ts > 500:1, 1000:1 average 10 mm clear aperture Cubic Minimal stretching for ultrafast pulses > 70 fs

Recommended Opto-Mechanical Mounts & Breadboards

Optical Delay Line Components Kits

Pre-selected optics and opto-mechanical components are offered at a discount in our Optical Delay Line Components Kits for building delay lines of single, dual or quadruple pass. (Note that Motorized Linear Translation Stages and Motion Controllers are sold separately.)

Optical Delay Line Components Kits

Ultrafast Lasers Accessories Kit

Newport's Ultrafast Oscillator (UF-OSC-KIT and M-UF-OSC-KIT) and Amplifier (UF-AMP-KIT and M-UF-AMP-KIT) Kits contain a full range of the necessary high performance parts and accessories for use of most 700-930 nm Ti:Sapphire systems such as the Mai Tai®, Tsunami®, and Spitfire® ACETM. With over 230 items included, the kit provides any lab with standard stages, mounts, lenses, filters, wave plates, and even gloves and lens tissue. (The kits are no longer available for sale, please check out the component list on individual product page to purchase individual components to set up your ultrafast system.)

Optical Delay Line Components Kits

Standard vs Ultrafast Mirrors for Ultrafast Applications

Mirrors can be categorized into four groups: standard dielectric, standard metallic, ultrafast dielectric, and ultrafast metallic.

Standard dielectric mirrors are not recommended for ultrafast applications due to significant dispersion effects, so we do not quantify their GDD as a standard specification.

Standard metallic mirrors normally feature low GDD – thus, they are acceptable for applications using multiple laser sources or an OPA, where it is often needed to cover a wavelength range broader than what a single ultrafast dielectric mirror is designed for. However, standard metallic mirrors suffer from more losses (lower reflectivity) compared to ultrafast dielectric mirrors and are therefore not recommended for setups where ultrafast pulses experience multiple reflections.

For applications that require high reflectivity and guaranteed GDD, ultrafast dielectric mirrors are the best choice. Ultrafast metallic mirrors (coating code EAG.1 or EAG.2), with a metallic coating and ultrafast dielectric overcoat to minimize losses, are a compromise and suitable for a wide range of ultrafast applications.

Using a Spectra-Physics Mai Tai SP ultrafast laser with a center wavelength of 800 nm, Newport has measured auto-correlations of pulses bouncing twice from each kind of mirror to show how they influence and distort the pulse duration:

Mirror Coating Type Conclusions
10D20BD.2 Standard Dielectric
  • Not suitable for pulse durations of 80 fs and below
  • Possibly suitable for pulse durations close to 150 fs
10Q20BB.2 Standard Dielectric
  • Not suitable for pulse durations of 80 fs and below
  • Possibly suitable for pulse durations close to 200 fs
10Q20BB.3 Standard Dielectric
  • Not suitable for pulse durations of 80 fs and below
  • Possibly suitable for pulse durations close to 200 fs
10D20ER.2 Standard Metallic
  • Suitable for pulse durations of 20 fs and above
10Q20UF.35P Ultrafast Dielectric
  • Suitable for pulse durations of 20 fs and above
10B20UF.25 Ultrafast Dielectric
  • Suitable for pulse durations of 35 fs and above
Autocorrelation on 10 nm
Autocorrelation on 35 nm
Autocorrelation on 60 nm