Insights from industry

Advancing Laser Technology: Ophir Discusses the Importance of Measuring M2

insights from industryReuven SilvermanGeneral ManagerInstruments Group, Ophir Optronics, MKS

In a new feature, AZoOptics interviews Reuven Silverman to discuss Ophir's contributions to advanced laser measurement technology.

Please could you introduce yourself and your professional background?

I am the Business Unit Manager for the Instruments group at MKS. This includes both the Ophir Photonics business (both power meters and beam profilers) and the Newport Instruments Group, previously branded as New Focus, ILX, and Oriel.

I have over 30 years of experience in Business, Research and Development (R&D), and Marketing roles.

I am originally from the United States and have a Bachelor of Science from Columbia University and a Master of Science from Northeastern University.

Advancing Laser Measurement Technology: Ophir

Image Credit: luchschenF/Shutterstock.com

Could you start by explaining the significance of M2 measurements in laser technology for those who might not be familiar?

The M2 defines the focus ability of the laser system, thus the ability to create a focal spot optimized for a specific application.

Each laser application can be fine-tuned for a specific range of the laser M2, as well as other laser characteristics, and often contains multiple optical, mechanical, and electrical components that cause offsets and drift. Timely measurement of the M2 is essential to ensure proper operation of laser systems.

How do M2 measurements impact the performance and application of lasers in various industries?

For laser manufacturers, the M2 measurement is crucial during optics alignment, laser calibration, and quality control.

For laser users, the M2 measurement enables understanding the quality of the entire system performance and identifies malfunctions, such as optics misalignments or laser component degradation.

Additionally, timely M2 measurement enables the identification of the source of incorrect laser performance on a workpiece, helping to solve issues in the early stages and reducing production defects and equipment downtime.

What unique approaches does Ophir take towards M2 measurements that distinguish your products and services in the market?

Ophir M2 products are industry standard due to a combination of useability, accuracy, and consistency. Our BeamSquared M2 measurement system has the longest travel range, enabling the M2 measurements along a longer optical path. The result is the ability to identify various laser parameter inaccuracies that other instruments are unable to detect.

The BeamSquared system is also fast, enabling the M2 analysis in just one minute. This is achieved by a combination of automation and sophisticated algorithms.

What are some of the biggest technical challenges in achieving accurate M2 measurements, and how does Ophir overcome them?

The main challenge is enabling accurate measurement of the M2 and other parameters for a wide range of laser setups, wavelengths, Rayleigh ranges, and beam sizes using a single instrument.

To meet this demand, Ophir provides a wide choice of calibrated lenses optimized for specific laser characteristics so customers can fit the instrument to their specific laser parameters.

Can you tell us about any new products you are introducing at Photonics West?

One of the new products we introduced is BeamPeek™, a system that enables real-time beam profiling analysis. This includes focal spot size and position monitoring, and beam caustic and power measurement for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications, working in both the Green and NIR range.

                                   Advancing Laser Measurement Technology: Ophir

BeamPeek™ High Power Laser Beam Analysis System. Image Credit: Ophir 

BeamPeek™ tracks how those parameters change with time to assist in the maintenance of quality and the repeatability of manufactured parts. The BeamPeek™ integrates a laser beam profiler camera, power meter, beam dump, beam splitters, and optics to provide an all-inclusive solution for AM laser analysis in an industrial environment.

The other product released was a new high-end CMOS camera designed for use with our BeamSquared M2 measurement instrument. This camera enables improved measurement resolution and provides more accurate measurements at NIR wavelengths.

Where do you see the future of laser measurement technology heading, and how is Ophir positioning itself to be at the forefront of these trends?

Laser technology is at the frontier of modern industry and rapidly emerging in more and more markets, including industrial and consumer applications.

Recently, Ophir has been releasing products that measure both laser power and beam profiling in a single unit. Products of this type include BeamWatch-AM®, BeamWatch-Integrated®, and BeamPeek™. This integration enables accurate measurements with ease, all within a single system.

In addition, Ophir is expanding its range of higher-power beam profilers to work in visible wavelengths to meet the trend of both green and blue high-power lasers.

In developing new products, how does customer feedback or needs influence design and functionality?

At Ophir, meeting customer needs is at the center of our activity. Not only does customer feedback influence our products, but it frequently drives them.

We constantly improve our equipment in different areas to meet our partners' everchanging demands.

We also have an applications team dedicated to providing unique solutions tailored to match individual and possibly unique customer demands.

What advice would you give to professionals and companies looking to better understand and utilize M2 measurements in their operations?

The laser world is extremely versatile and diverse, both in laser types and applications. It is, therefore, very important to fit your analytical equipment to your specific setup and measurement requirements.

However, it is imperative to measure your laser system to ensure it is performing as you expect. Overall system performance can be compromised by making assumptions about laser performance.           

About Reuven Silverman       

Advancing Laser Measurement Technology: Ophir

Reuven Silverman is General Manager, Instruments, of Ophir Optronics, an MKS company. Over his 10-year tenure with MKS Ophir, he has led both R&D and Business Units for the Laser Measurement and Instrumentation business areas.

Previously, Reuven worked at Orbotech (part of KLA), where he developed novel technologies in automatic inspection and repair for the flat panel display and PCB markets. Reuven holds an MBA from Bar-Ilan University and a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Columbia Engineering.

He can be contacted at [email protected]   

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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