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BBO Switch

BBO is the electro-optic material of choice for high average power Pockels cell applications at the wavelength range from 200nm to 2500nm. BBO has a high damage threshold and a low dielectric constant and is useful in high repetetion rate, high average power (up to 150W) diode pumped solid state lasers (DPSS lasers). BBO has significant advantages over other materials in terms of laser power handling abilities, temperature stability, and substantial freedom from piezoelectric ringing. Because it relies on the electro optic effect, switching time — aided by the low capacitance of the Pockels cell — is very fast. The wide transparency range of BBO allows it to be used in diverse applications.
Electro-optic Pockels cells are used in applications that require fast switching of the polarization direction of a beam of light. These uses include Q-switching of laser cavities, coupling light into and out from regenerative amplifiers, and, when used in conjunction with a pair of polarizers, light intensity modulation. Pockels cells are characterized by fast response, since the Pockels Effect is largely an electronic effect that produces a linear change in refractive index when an electric field is applied, and are much faster in response than devices based on acoustic changes in a material, for example.
Because of crystal symmetry and the desire for the light beam to experience no birefringence in the absence of an electric field, BBO Pockels cells are transverse-field devices.

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