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Acousto-Optic Deflectors and Variable Frequency Shifters

Acousto-Optic Deflectors and Variable Frequency Shifters

A Bragg configuration gives a single first order output beam, 

which intensity is directly

linked to the power of RF control signal, and which angle is 

directly linked to the RF

frequency. By varying the frequency, the output laser beam

angle is modified. A deflector

is used to scan a laser beam over a range of angles, or to 

control with accuracy the

output angle of the laser beam.

By varying the frequency, the first order beam is also 

frequency shifted by the amount of

the RF carrier frequency : it acts like a variable frequency shifter.

The main parameters to qualify a deflector are

1.Deflection angle range and

2.Resolution. The deflection angle range is the maximum 

angle variation of the laser

beam : it is linked to the frequency range of the device.

The resolution of a deflection is the number of distinct 

directions which can be addressed

by the deflector : it is linked to the deflection angle range 

and laser divergence.

Two deflectors can be used in series and at right angles to 

give full two-dimensional scanning.