A recent publication by members on the Advanced Multilayer Optics (AMO) team has been highlighted as an Editor’s Pick by the Optical Society of America (OSA). The paper, published in Optics Express, reports on the successful development of two beamsplitters operating across the near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) spectral ranges.
A beamsplitter is an optical instrument that splits a beam of light. An essential tool of spectroscopy, it facilitates the study of biological molecules using ultrashort laser pulses. Most organic molecules exhibit fundamental vibrational and rotational modes in the mid-infrared range, which can be investigated by harnessing MIR radiation. Developing such laser systems demands high-quality multilayer optical elements, which operate in the NIR and MIR spectral ranges, or so-called NIR-MIR coatings. These coatings are typically used to split or combine the laser beams into more powerful near-infrared and less powerful mid-infrared components.
For the first time, the authors investigated two beamsplitters based on thin-film material combinations of ZnS/YbF3 and Ge/YbF3. They reported that the ZnS/YbF3 pair provides high reflectance in the near-infrared spectral range. The Ge/YbF3 pair has high potential for the design and production of NIR-MIR coatings, which exhibit excellent reflectance properties over the near-infrared and mid-infrared spectral ranges.
The research was funded by the Munich Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP), a DFG Cluster of Excellence.
T. Amotchkina, M. Trubetskov, M. Schulz, and V. Pervak, "Comparative study of NIR-MIR beamsplitters based on ZnS/YbF3 and Ge/YbF3," Opt. Express 27, 5557-5569 (2019)