A device using a bulk acousto-optic interaction (eg. deflectors, modulators, etc...).
“Zero” order,”1st” order:
The zero order is the beam directly transmitted through the cell. The first order is the diffracted beam generated when the laser beam interacts with the acoustic wave.
Bragg angle :
The particular angle of incidence (between the incident beam and the acoustic wave) which gives efficient diffraction into a single diffracted order. This angle will depend on the wavelength and the RF frequency.
Separation angle :
The angle between the zero order and the first order.
RF Bandwidth :
For a given orientation and optical wavelength there is a particular RF frequency which matches the Bragg criteria. However, there will be a range of frequencies for which the situation is still close enough to optimum for diffraction still to be efficient. This RF bandwidth determines, for instance, the scan angle of a deflector or the tuning range of an AOTF.
Maximum deflection angle :
The angle through which the first order beam will scan when the RF frequency is varied across the full RF bandwidth.
Rise time :
Proportional to the time the acoustic wave takes to cross the laser beam and, therefore, the time it takes the beam to respond to a change in the RF signal. The rise time can be reduced by reducing the beam's width.
Modulation bandwidth :
The maximum frequency at which the light beam can be amplitude modulated. It is related to the rise time - and can be increased by reducing the diameter of the laser beam.
The fraction of the zero order beam which can be diffracted into the “1st” order beam.
The ratio between maximum and minimum light intensity in the “1st” order beam, when the acoustic wave is “on” and “off” respectively.
Frequency shift (F):
The difference in frequency between the diffracted and incident light beams. This shift is equal to the acoustic frequency and can be a shift up or down depending on orientation.
The number of resolvable points, which a deflector can generate - corresponding to the maximum number of separate positions of the diffracted light beam - as defined by the Rayleigh criterion.
RF Power :
The electrical power delivered by the driver
Acoustic power :
The acoustic power generated in the crystal by the piezo-electric transducer. This will be lower than the RF power as the electro-mechanical conversion ratio is lower than 1.