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Primary Focusing Mirrors for Petawatt Laser Beamlines

Ultra-high precision off-axis paraboloids from Optical Surfaces Ltd. are being used to maximise power density at the focus of Petawatt laser beamlines run by world-leading, high-power laser research groups including ELI, LULI and CLF Rutherford as well as a growing number of academic centres of excellence.

Off-axis paraboloids, also known as off-axis parabolic mirrors, are the focusing element of choice for high-power laser research groups because they offer the advantage of an unobstructed aperture and access to the focal plane. In addition, due to their completely achromatic performance, they are highly suitable for broadband or multiple wavelength applications. 

Few optical manufacturers are able to produce off-axis paraboloids of sufficient surface quality to enable Petawatt lasers to focus their massive energy down onto targets only a few microns in size. Under these extreme conditions the laser-matter interactions can produce energetic beams of electrons and protons as well as bright, coherent sources of x-rays which enable researchers to address fundamental questions in areas including plasma physics, x-ray radiography, proton therapy and fast ignition experiments.

Using in-house production techniques developed over the last 50 years, and benefiting from a highly stable manufacturing environment largely immune from vibration and thermal variation, the company's experienced and skilled engineering team are able to produce fast-focusing off-axis parabolic mirrors with unmatched surface accuracy, surface quality and surface slope errors.

The company's ISO 9001-2015 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk. This provides an environment where temperature is naturally thermally stable and vibration is extremely low. With such stable conditions testing of high precision mirrors, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. In addition to these natural advantages, Optical Surfaces has invested in an extensive range of test equipment and have developed methods to ensure accurate and reliable testing.

To discuss development of an ultra-high precision off-axis paraboloid for your high-power laser facility please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd on +44-208-668-6126 or [email protected].

For further information on off-axis paraboloids please visit



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