Detector Cards and Laser Alignment Aids
The VRC1 and VRC4 are credit-card-sized detector cards. Each card has a photosensitive region that allows for the easy location of an UV, VIS or NIR light beam and its focal point. These cards are made from a durable plastic with a photosensitive region adhered to the front surface of the card. Since the active region does not require charging, the emission is persistent even when used in CW applications in a darkened room. The detection region extends all the way to the edge of the card in order to facilitate the use of the card during alignment procedures and each card features two engraved reticles for use in laser beam collimation. In addition, when the card is used in a darkened room with a sufficiently bright source, the fluorescence from the activated photosensitive region can be seen through the back of the card or the photosensitive region can be activated by illuminating the back of the card. This is especially useful for aligning the overlap of two beams.
The VRC2 is the same size as the VRC4 and VRC1; however, it requires the user to charge the card with light from a visible light source. Also, the emissions from the card are not persistent and require the user to move the card around for optimal brightness of the beam spot.
The VRC5 is a smaller card measuring 2.4" x 1.79" (61.9 mm x 45.5 mm) and is designed for the 700 to 1400 nm wavelength range; this card also requires room light charging. The photosensitive area measures 1.5" x 0.75" (38.1 mm x 19 mm) and is encapsulated between two layers of durable clear plastic.
Please refer to the Graphs tab for plots of the absorption bands for each of these products. Also note that these products are not designed to be used as laser beam blocks, and appropriate safety measures should be taken when using laser beams. See the Laser Safety tab for details.
Ø0.5" Spot at 0.3 W/cm2
Ø1.0" Spot at 2.0 W/cm2
The VRC6 MIR laser viewing card is designed for use with wavelengths from 1.5 µm to at least 13.2 µm, as shown by testing results. The detector area on this card is a thin layer of liquid crystal that has been printed onto the black metal card. Thermochromic liquid crystals are temperature-sensitive organic chemicals with twisted helical molecular structures. The MIR light changes the temperature of the detector area, resulting in a color change. The detector area is green between 25 and 30 °C, and it is black or brown otherwise. Simply tap the card on a tabletop to return the color to the resting state.
The detection region extends all the way to the edge of the card in order to facilitate the use of the card during alignment procedures, and each card features two engraved reticles for use in laser beam collimation.
Please Note: The spot size on the card will vary depending on beam power. The photos to the right demonstrate the spot size on the card at the minimum detected power density, 0.3 W/cm2, and at 2.0 W/cm2. The engraved reticles are also visible in these photos. Please see the Graphs tab for more details on the spot size variation.
Ideal for Use as a Drop-In Alignment Guide
Use with Our Ø1/2" and Ø1" Optical Component Holders
Two Fluorescing Material Options
These IR alignment disks are ideally used as drop-in tools to simplify active alignment of IR and visible setups. A small Ø1.5 mm hole at the center enables beams to be aligned with the optical axis of our mounts or lens tubes. The active material on the VRC4D05 and VRC4D1 does not require charging and will emit light persistently when exposed to light in the 790 - 840 nm, 870 - 1070 nm, or 1500 - 1590 nm spectral region. The active material on the VRC2D05 and VRC2D1 requires charging by visible light. When charged the disks will emit light when exposed to light in the 400 to 640 nm or 800 to 1700 nm spectral range.
Externally SM1 (1.035"-40)or RMS Threaded
The VRC2SM1 IR viewing and alignment disk is a photosensitive disk made from a slow-fading phosphor that is designed to simplify the alignment of infrared beams. The alignment disk contains a target that clearly marks the optical axis of any SM1 (1.035"-40) threaded mount or lens tubes to which it is attached. The depth of the SM1 threading on the back side of the alignment disk is purposely kept short so that the user can quickly insert or remove the VRC2SM1 from the optical setup.
The VRC2RMS IR viewing and alignment disk is designed to simplify the alignment of infrared beams along the optical axis of an internally threaded RMS mount. The VRC2RMS has external RMS threads that allow it to be threaded into a mount designed for an RMS-threaded microscope objective lens. Both of these disks require charging in visible light.