Prisms

Prisms

Prisms are optical components that are used to direct light at a specified angle and can also be used to separate white light into its consituent colors through refraction.  The simplest prisms have light propagate through them with no reflections (only refraction) while more complex prisms utilize multiple internal reflections to achieve their purpose. Properties of light such as retardation can be controlled and manipulated through clever design of internal beam path.  OptoSigma offers a wide variety of prisms including Equilaterial, Right Angle, Right Angle (Coated), Penta Prisms, Corner Cube, Hollow Retro-Reflectors, Light Pipe, Dove Prisms, Pellin Broca, and Knife Edge.  If none of our many catalog prisms meet your requirements please send us a request for a custom prism.

  • Corner Cube Prisms

    Description

    A corner cube prism, also called corner cube retroreflector or corner reflector, consists of 3 mutually perpendicular flat faces and has the unique property of reflecting back light input into the entrance face. The returned light is deviated by 180 degrees +/- 5 arcseconds, irrespective of the incidence angle. These very precise retroreflectors have even been placed on the moon for scientific applications and are used in optical systems to measure tilt and displacement. Corner cubes received their name because they are shaped like the corner of a box and have many features, such as constant path length inside no matter where the input is located. Corner cubes can be used to fold and offset a beam path instead of using multiple mirrors and the return image is rotated in-plane by 180 degrees.

  • Parabolic Prisms

    Description

    Parabolic prims, also called compound parabolic concentrators (CPCs) are designed to concentrate and collect light from a distance (collimated light).  Parabolic prisms have a wide acceptance angle of 25 degrees and are commonly used as efficient collectors for solar cells as well as medical and scientific applications which have a divergent light source.

  • Dove prisms

    Description

    A dove prism is used to invert an image and are a truncated right angle prism. A beam entering one of the sloped faces of a dove prism undergoes total internal reflections and exits the opposite face with a flipped orientation (top to bottom). A rotated dove prism will also change the state of polarization. Dove prisms are used in interferometry, astronomy, and pattern recognition. The name comes from it's inventor, Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.

  • Equilateral Dispersing Prisms

    Description

    Equilateral Dispersing Prisms are fabricated with three equal sides and angles. These prisms are typically used to disperse (refract) white light into its component wavelengths. Equilateral Dispersing Prisms are available in different materials which offer the ability to have more spatial separation of the wavelengths. These prisms find uses in spectrometers to be able to tune over broad wavelength ranges.

  • Light Pipes

    Description

    A light pipe is a long cylinder shaped piece of glass, or other material, that is used to transmit light along its length. While travelling through the light pipe, the light is reflected at various points and gets mixed together thus homogenizing the light and providing more uniform intensity. A light pipe is a large scale optical fiber and can be used in a similar manner to conduct light from one location to another, such as from an led to a light indicator on an instrument.

  • Pellin Broca Prisms

    Description

    Pellin Broca prisms are four sided prism with included angles of 135, 90, 75, and 60 degrees  Input light enters between the 90 and 75 degree angles and exits deviated by exactly 90 degrees.  If a broadband light is input, only a single wavelength will be deviated by 90 degrees (plus a small angle from dispersion) and by rotating the prism, you can select individual wavelengths because the 90 degree deviation is constant.  This property is commonly used to separate individual wavelengths from a multi-line laser.  Pellin Broca prisms are commonly used in optical spectroscopy and for separating the second harmonic generation wavelength from the fundamental wavelength.

  • Penta Prisms

    Description

    Penta prisms derive their name from their 5-sided pentagon shape.  Penta Prisms are very useful in applications requiring precise 90 degree deviation without inversion or flipping the image orientation.  Light incident on the input face will exit deviated by 90 degrees independent of the angle of incidence on the input face.  The monolithic structure provides better stability than the use of 2 independent mirrors.  Pentaprisms are often used in Metrology applications and applications prone to vibration.

  • Prism Sheets

    Description

    OptoSigma's Prism Plates are uni-directional arrays of prisms which can be used to scatter, or diffuse, incident light such as displays or LCD TVs.  The prisms are processed directly onto an acrylic plate and are delicate to touch.  Because of the structure of the Prism Plate, it does have a directionality and diffuses light in a single direction.

  • Hollow Retro-Reflector

    Description

    Hollow Retro-reflectors are hollow corner cube retroreflectors which use 3 Plano (flat) surfaces to form the corner cube geometry. Hollow Retro-Reflectors eliminate the effects of the index of refraction and also the entrance surface of a traditional corner cube. This makes them very useful over wide wavelength ranges and wide wavelength ranges. They are also much lighter weight than a comparable size solid corner cube prism.

  • Right Angle Prism

    Description

    The Right Angle Prism (RAP) gets its name from the 90 degree (also known as a right angle) apex angle and has 2 equal sides.  These prisms are a workhorse of the optics world and have many uses.  With a mirror coated (to protect from contamination which would ruin total internal reflection)  hypotenuse, the RAP can be used to fold an optical path by 90 degrees and with mirror coated legs an AR coated hypotenuse, the RAP can be used to retroreflect an optical path with an offset.  An uncoated RAP can be used to disperse light such as turning white light into a rainbow.

  • Knife Edge Right Angle Prisms

    Description

    Knife Edge Right Angle Prisms are normal right angle prisms with the intersecting edges meeting in a sharp edge (having no chamfer). This allows them to be used for applications such as splitting a beam and providing 90 degree deviation with very little scatter loss from the intersection of the faces.

  • Brewster Dispersing Littrow Prism

    Description


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