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Free Space Acousto-Optic Pulse Pickers

AA’s AO Pulse Pickers are being shipped in OEM volumes to leading laser manufacturers, selected for their high performance and reliability.  Our long experience in the field allows us to advise you in choosing the best solutions to fit your application


Photon Lines supplies free space acousto-optic pulse pickers manufactured by AA Opto-Electronic. A pulse picker is an electrically controlled optical switch used to extract single pulses from a fast pulse train. Short and ultrashort pulses are in most cases generated by a mode-locked laser in the form of a pulse train with a pulse repetition rate of the order of 10 MHz – few GHz. For various reasons, it is often necessary to pick certain pulses from such a pulse train, i.e., to transmit only certain pulses and block all the others. This can be done with a pulse picker, which is essentially an electrically controlled optical gate.

Models Available:

TeO2 General Purpose Acousto-Optic Pulse Pickers

ModelWavelength (nm) Aperture (mmxmm)PolarisationBeam Diameter
Rise Time (ns)Max. Repetition Rate with Duty Cycle <1/10 MHzSeparation Angle (0 - 1) mrdEfficiency (%)Associated RF Driver
MT200-A0.5-800700 - 9500.5 x 1Linear0.06 - 0.310 - 483.3 - 0.6938 @ 800nm75 - 85MODAxx
MT200-A0.2-1064980 - 11000.2 - 1Linear0.09 - 0.315 - 482.2 - 0.6950.6 @ 1064nm75 - 85MODAxx
MT250-A0.12-800700-9500.12 x 1Linear0.04-0.16 - 165..5 - 247.6 @ 800nm70 - 85MODAxx
MT250-A0.12-1030.10641030 - 10640.12 x 1Linear0.05 - 0.18 - 164.1 - 263 @1064nm70 - 85MODAxx

SiO2 General Purpose Acousto-Optic Pulse Pickers

ModelWavelength (nm) Aperture (mmxmm)PolarisationBeam Diameter
Rise Time (ns)Max. Repetition Rate with Duty Cycle <1/10 MHzSeparation Angle (0 - 1) mrdEfficiency (%)Associated RF Driver
MQ80-A0.7-L1030.1064-Z201000 - 1100 0.7 x 1Linear0.3 - 0.533 - 55100 - 6014.3 @ 1064nm75 - 85MODAxx
MQ80-A0.3-L1030.1064-Z201000 - 11000.3 - 1Linear0.15 - 0.315 - 30370 - 15026.8 @ 1064nm50 - 70MODAxx

Click here for a copy of the latest AA Brochure.

RF Drivers for Free Space Acousto-Optic Pulse Pickers

Use with either MODA drivers or PPK: Synchro Driver for Fast Pulse Pickers.

Pulse Picker Applications

  • To obtain high pulse energies in ultrashort pulses, it is frequently necessary to reduce the pulse repetition rate. This can be achieved by placing a pulse picker between the seed laser and the amplifier. The amplifier will then act only on the wanted pulses. The blocked pulses do not necessarily constitute a strong energy loss since the average power of the seed laser may be small compared with the average output power of the amplifier, and the remaining average power can
    be sufficient for saturating the amplifier.
  • In a cavity-dumped laser, a pulse picker (often called cavity dumper) extracts the circulating pulse from the cavity in only every Nth round trip. During all the other round trips, the pulse experiences low optical losses and can be amplified to a high energy.
  • A pulse picker can be used for injection and extraction of pulses in a regenerative amplifier

A depository of related published articles is available here.

View/download theory and application notes on accousto-optics. 

View/download theory notes on pulse pickers.

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