Pockels Cells

Pockels Cells are electro-optic devices used to switch the polarization direction of light beams. Their operating principle is the Pockels effect, by which an applied electric field produces linear change in the refractive index of non-centrosymmetric crystalline materials. Because their switching behavior largely depends on the drive electronics, Pockels cells offer a much faster response time than acousto-optic devices.

Common applications for Pockels Cells include:

  • Q-switching of laser cavities
  • Coupling light in and out of regenerative amplifiers
  • Light intensity modulation, when used in conjunction with a pair of polarizers
  • Pulse Picking 

 

Pockels Cell Performance Specifications
ModelTypeCrystalWavelength RangeTransmission @ 1064nmStandard AperturesCell CapacitanceQuarterwave Voltage @ 1064 nmExtinction Ratio @ 1064 nmDamage Threshold @ 1064 nm
PKC21 Single Crystal KD*P 0.25 - 1.32 µm >99% 9.5 mm
12 mm
15 mm
20 mm
25 mm
8 pF
9 pF
10 pF
14 pF
17 pF
3.3 kV  >1000:1
  
>800 MW/cm2 peak @ 10ns pulses 
 
PKC26 Single Crystal, Compact  >99% 9.5 mm 8 pF
PKC8050  Dual Crystal  >96% 8.0 mm 11 pF  1.65 kV >50 W/cm2 CW
PBC05  Single Crystal BBO 0.22 - 2.1 µm >98% 2.5 mm
3.5 mm
~3 pF 3.6 kV
4.8 kV 
>1000:1   >500 MW/cm2 peak @ 10ns pulses
PBC06  Dual Crystal >97% 3.5 mm
4.5 mm
5.5 mm
~5 pF 2.4 kV
3.1 kV
3.6 kV
>500:1 >3 kW/cm2 CW

*Typical cell performance is specified at 1064nm. For other wavelengths, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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