CO2 mirror distortion
Many people don't realise how easy it is to distort a laser mirror by over-tightening mounts or water fittings. We recently repaired a water cooled mirror 33mm thick that looked to be in good condition. By reflecting a visible laser beam from the mirror at 45 degrees we could see the distortion in the mode. On our interferometer we could make out a 2-3mm diameter convex "pip" in the centre of the mirror where the surface had been "punched through" by a mounting screw in the rear of the mirror. There was 16mm of solid copper between the bottom of the screw and the mirror face. It is also possible for the trained eye to make out the "punch through" from the water connector distorting the mirror face.
Other uses of optical polishing of metals - IPL Intense Pulsed Light
IPL equipment for medical and salon use is becoming more popular and is one example of how our polishing and plating skills are being used for new applications outside of industrial lasers. The lamps in these devices can generate a large amount of heat, so much so that cavities and lamphousings need a highly polished metal construction. This is where our polishing skills come in - the images to the right show the ultra smooth finished surfaces we can achieve. We also make cavities and internal structures for scientific instruments such as those for Laser Induced Breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and fluorescence spectroscopy.