In part one of our three-part series, we discussed how high-voltage power supplies support reliability and repeatability in laser photonics. In part two, our focus is on Electro-optics (EO). Electro-optics are the materials that interact between the electromagnetic (optical) and the electric (electronic) state, thereby modifying the refractive index of a material by electric fields. The EO effect makes materials transition from optically reflective to transmissive. Examples are liquid Kerr cells, where the change is proportional to the square of the electric field, and crystal Pockels cells, where the change varies linearly with the electric field.
Continuous wave (CW) and pulsed lasers often require electro-optics to control frequency, average power level, and peak power level, and to gate or emit an output beam of specific pulse width and duration—often in a specific range from milliseconds (mS) to Femtoseconds (fS). Electro-optics are used in science, research, analytical instrument, industrial, and medical applications.