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Laser choppers

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EOPC-CH-10 Tuning Fork Resonant Chopper
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EOPC-CH-10 Tuning Fork Resonant Chopper



Tuning fork choppers are the most reliable choppers. They have an infinite lifetime and are used for chopping light, plasma, X-ray and laser light (VIS to DUV). They can work in high temperature, vacuum (to 10-10 Torr) and cryogenic (to 200 deg C) conditions. Low cost, compact size, lightweight and virtually unlimited life make the tuning fork choppers especially suitable for dedicated applications, OEM, built into an instrument or system, and for portable systems. The choppers are used in systems and portable instruments in industrial, scientific, medical, aerospace and military applications worldwide.

The tuning fork chopper is a FIXED FREQUENCY electromechanically driven light chopper. Vanes, attached to the moving tines of a fork, modulate a light beam. The chopper operates at the natural resonant frequency established by the effective mass of the moving assembly and the spring constant of the tines. Chopping frequency ranges from 10 Hz to 6 KHz, apertures up to 15mm are practical in the lower frequencies (under 100 Hz), 0.5mm at 3 KHz and 0.2mm at 6 KHz. The amplitude of the motion of the chopper is inversely proportional to its frequency. Dark or bright vanes are standard; mirrors, lenses or gratings optional. The standard operating temperature is -40 deg C to +65 deg C.

Balanced operation and high "Q" insure excellent frequency stability, low electrical drive power and low reaction forces. High flexural stiffness provides good resistance to shock and vibration. Tuning fork choppers are cryogenic and high temperature capable. They can be constructed of low out-gassing materials for ultra high vacuum. A significant use of tuning fork choppers is in aerospace and atmospheric research. Tuning fork choppers take part in distinguished space research projects around the globe. Another important use of the tuning fork chopper is in the communication and data acquisition environments, where optical signals are obscured by noise. A fixed frequency modulated signal can be filtered from background noise. This is best achieved using a lock-in amplifier. The detected signal and the reference signal (mixed with the frequency of the tuning fork chopper) cause the frequency of interest to appear as a pure dc output level. All other signals are filtered with the low pass filter. Once noise is removed, proper signal measurements can be obtained. Other important uses of tuning fork choppers are in transportation and in inspection systems.

  • ONE FIXED FREQUENCY from 10 Hz to 6 kHz
  • Suitable for long life dedicated applications
  • Aperture up to 10mm
  • Small size/lightweight
  • Withstands shock and vibration
  • Low power drive electronics
  • Rugged, no wearing parts
  • High reliability, long life
  • High frequency stability (to 0.005%)
  • High amplitude stability (<0.01%)
  • Vacuum operation (to 10-10 Torr)1
  • High/low temperature operation (Cryogenic temperatures to 200°C)1
  • Jitter free operation
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)

EOPC-CH-20 Tuning Fork Resonant Chopper
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EOPC-CH-20 Tuning Fork Resonant Chopper



Tuning fork choppers are the most reliable choppers. They have an infinite lifetime and are used for chopping light, plasma, X-ray and laser light (VIS to DUV). They can work in high temperature, vacuum (to 10-10 Torr) and cryogenic (to 200 deg C) conditions. Low cost, compact size, lightweight and virtually unlimited life make the tuning fork choppers especially suitable for dedicated applications, OEM, built into an instrument or system, and for portable systems. The choppers are used in systems and portable instruments in industrial, scientific, medical, aerospace and military applications worldwide.

The tuning fork chopper is a FIXED FREQUENCY electromechanically driven light chopper. Vanes, attached to the moving tines of a fork, modulate a light beam. The chopper operates at the natural resonant frequency established by the effective mass of the moving assembly and the spring constant of the tines. Chopping frequency ranges from 10 Hz to 6 KHz, apertures up to 15mm are practical in the lower frequencies (under 100 Hz), 0.5mm at 3 KHz and 0.2mm at 6 KHz. The amplitude of the motion of the chopper is inversely proportional to its frequency. Dark or bright vanes are standard; mirrors, lenses or gratings optional. The standard operating temperature is -40 deg C to +65 deg C.

Balanced operation and high "Q" insure excellent frequency stability, low electrical drive power and low reaction forces. High flexural stiffness provides good resistance to shock and vibration. Tuning fork choppers are cryogenic and high temperature capable. They can be constructed of low out-gassing materials for ultra high vacuum. A significant use of tuning fork choppers is in aerospace and atmospheric research. Tuning fork choppers take part in distinguished space research projects around the globe. Another important use of the tuning fork chopper is in the communication and data acquisition environments, where optical signals are obscured by noise. A fixed frequency modulated signal can be filtered from background noise. This is best achieved using a lock-in amplifier. The detected signal and the reference signal (mixed with the frequency of the tuning fork chopper) cause the frequency of interest to appear as a pure dc output level. All other signals are filtered with the low pass filter. Once noise is removed, proper signal measurements can be obtained. Other important uses of tuning fork choppers are in transportation and in inspection systems.

  • ONE FIXED FREQUENCY from 10 Hz to 6 kHz
  • Suitable for long life dedicated applications
  • Aperture up to 10mm
  • Small size/lightweight
  • Withstands shock and vibration
  • Low power drive electronics
  • Rugged, no wearing parts
  • High reliability, long life
  • High frequency stability (to 0.005%)
  • High amplitude stability (<0.01%)
  • Vacuum operation (to 10-10 Torr)1
  • High/low temperature operation (Cryogenic temperatures to 200°C)1
  • Jitter free operation
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)

EOPC-CH-30 Taut Band Resonant Chopper
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EOPC-CH-30 Taut Band Resonant Chopper

The taut band resonant chopper (optical modulator) is a FIXED FREQUENCY electromechanically driven vane which reflects or blocks a light beam via a sinusoidal motion. This chopper is used when excursion cannot be attained with a tuning fork chopper and very low frequencies (down to 5 Hz) are desired. The chopper operates at one fixed frequency chosen from the chopping range of 5 Hz to 300 Hz. The practical upper frequency is 100 Hz. Taut band choppers are used for chopping large diameter beams and for sequentially chopping a pair of parallel beams (up to 0.6 inch in diameter). The amplitude of the motion of the chopper is inversely proportional to its frequency. Dark or bright vanes are standard, but can be replaced with a mirror to create a beam deflector. Filters or gratings are optional as well. Optical devices such as detectors and emitters may be attached to the vanes with fine conductors.

  • ONE FIXED FREQUENCY from 5 Hz to 300 Hz
  • Angular motion up to 30°
  • Small size/lightweight
  • Withstands shock and vibration
  • Low power drive electronics
  • Rugged, no wearing parts
  • High reliability, long life
  • High frequency stability (to 0.005%)
  • High amplitude stability (<0.01%)
  • Vacuum operation (to 10-10 Torr)1
  • High/low temperature operation (Cryogenic temperatures to 200°C)1
  • Jitter free operation
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Reference signal available
  • Metal vanes are standard, mirrors, prisms or lenses optional

EOPC-CH-40 Variable Frequency Optical Modulator
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EOPC-CH-40 Variable Frequency Optical Modulator

The variable low frequency chopper (optical modulator)/ shutter/ beam deflector is a chopping vane mounted on a motor with a limited rotation angle. The position of the rotor follows the input current with respect to amplitude and frequency. The mechanical rotation of the vane relative to its rest position depends on the direction and the magnitude of the current in the drive coil. The chopper covers a frequency range from DC to 30 Hz. It can hold very large vane, mirror, grating and other optical and electro-optical devices.
The chopper is used when very low frequencies are desired. It is used for large light beam chopping or for simultaneous chopping of multiple optical beams. It is also used as a shutter. If the vane is replaced with a mirror, it is used as an optical beam deflector.
The chopper/ beam deflector/ shutter comes in two versions:
1) The CH-40-LS is a low speed, wide angle chopper
2) The CH-40-HS is a high speed, narrow angle chopper
The LFC driver is used to drive the chopper.

  • VARIABLE frequency from DC to 30 Hz
  • Large aperture
  • Small size/lightweight
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Metal vanes are standard, mirrors, prisms or lenses optional

EOPC-CH-61 Low Frequency Optical Modulator
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EOPC-CH-61 Low Frequency Optical Modulator

The EOPC-CH-61 consists of a blade (vane) mounted on a motor with a limited rotation angle. The position of the blade follows the direction of the current in the motor winding. Current in one direction sets the shutter to the open position and current in the other direction sets the shutter to the closed position. Alternating the current causes the blade to open and close the chopper at a frequency range from DC to 50 Hz. This method of chopping is jitter free. High reliability and long life is achieved by eliminating the use of a brush type motor or gear heads. The device can be used at the same time as a shutter that is controlled by the direction of the current.

  • Chopping frequency from DC to 50 Hz
  • Response time of 10msec (when used as a shutter)
  • No hard stop, no clicking sound
  • No shock to the system when opening and closing
  • Aperture 0.25" × 0.45" (6.3mm × 11.4mm) or 0.34" (8.7 mm) dia.
  • Jitter free operation
  • High frequency stability
  • Small size
  • Withstands shock and vibration
  • High reliability, long life
  • Can be stopped in the "ON" or "OFF" position
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Bright or dark blade
  • Low power drive electronics
  • No radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • A boxed chopper optional
  • Integrated IR emitter (BLACK BODY) optional
  • Patented technology

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