Photon has added the M2 Wizard option to its NanoScan beam measurement instrument. M2 is a parameter used to characterise laser quality and involves a series of beam size measurements along the path of a laser beam to characterise laser propagation.
The M2 Wizard simplifies this process by a step-by-step procedure for manually measuring M2 in the NanoScan software, known as the Rayleigh method.
This method involves only three beam size measurements. Despite its simplicity, the Rayleigh method has been found to be as accurate as more complicated procedures involving 10 or more beam measurements and additional fitting of an advanced curve algorithm to the data.
For many low to moderate laser manufacturing applications a simple manual procedure to measure M2 is desirable, as it requires little training to perform and the cost of more automated equipment is not justifiable. When full automation becomes cost effective, the NanoScan can be integrated to Photon’s ModeScan fixture to create an automated M2 measurement system.