BBO Pockels Cells with Minimal Piezoelectric Ringing

EKSMA Optics offers Pockels cells that are generally used to modify the polarization state of light; traveling through it when a voltage is applied to electro-optic crystals’ electrodes like BBO. Pockels cells are transverse field devices and can be used in combination with polarizer to function as fast optical switches.

Standard applications of Pockels cells include laser cavity dumping, Q-switching of laser cavity, and merging light within and from regenerative amplifiers

BBO-based Pockels cells can prove handy at wavelengths from the UV to over 2 µm. Pockels cells are made attractive by low piezoelectric ringing to control lasers of high-power and high pulse repetition rate. For applications like cavity dumping and Q-switching, rapid switching electronic drivers that correctly match with the cell are available.

BBO’s low electro-optical coefficient causes high operating voltages. The quarter-wave voltage is relative to the ratio of crystal length and electrode spacing. Therefore, compact aperture devices tend to exhibit lower quarter-wave, but even for 2.5 mm aperture tools the quarter-wave voltage remains 4 kV at 1064 nm, which is quite high. Double crystal design has been used to cut down the required voltages and also to enable operation in half-wave mode with quick switching times.

Key Features

The product features of the BBO Pockels cells are:

  • Low absorption
  • Minimal piezoelectric ringing
  • Compact size
  • Wide transmission range from 200 nm to 2000 nm
  • Ceramic aperture is available


  • Beam chopper
  • Cavity dumping
  • High repetition rate regenerative amplifier control
  • High repetition rate DPSS Q-switch

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