# Mounted N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lenses (AR Coating: 350 - 700 nm)

- Positive Focal Length for Infinite Conjugate Applications
- Ø1/2", Ø1", Ø1.5", or Ø2" Optics in SM-Threaded Mounts

LA1256-A-ML

(Ø2")

LA1027-A-ML

(Ø1")

LA1131-A-ML Lens

Mounted in a KB1P

Quick-Release Mount

(KB1P Mount Sold Separately)

LA1289-A-ML

(Ø1/2")

LA1385-A-ML

(Ø1.5")

Please Wait

N-BK7 Plano-Convex Spherical Singlets | |
---|---|

Lens Shape |
Plano-Convex |

Substrate Material |
N-BK7 (Grade A)^{a} |

AR Coating Range |
350 nm - 700 nm (-A Coating) |

Reflectance OverAR Coating Range (AOI = 0°) |
R_{avg} < 0.5% |

Design Wavelength |
587.6 nm or 633 nm^{b} |

Index of Refraction |
1.517 (@ 587.6 nm) 1.515 (@ 633 nm) |

Surface Quality |
40-20 Scratch-Dig |

Surface Flatness^{c} (Plano Side) |
λ/2 |

Spherical Surface Power^{c,d}(Convex Side) |
3λ/2 |

Surface Irregularity^{c} (Peak to Valley) |
λ/4 |

Damage Threshold^{e} |
7.5 J/cm^{2}(532 nm, 10 ns, 10 Hz, Ø0.504 mm) |

Abbe Number |
v_{d} = 64.17 |

Centration |
<3 arcmin |

Clear Aperture |
Ø1/2" Lenses: >Ø11.05 mm Ø1" Lenses: >Ø22.86 mm Ø1.5" Lenses: >Ø34.29 mm Ø2" Lenses: >Ø45.72 mm |

Focal Length Tolerance |
±1% |

### Features

- Material: N-BK7
- AR Coated for the 350 - 700 nm Range
- Choose from Ø1/2", Ø1", Ø1.5", or Ø2" Optics
- Focal Lengths from 15 mm to 2500 mm
- Mounted in SM-Compatible Lens Cells with Retaining Rings

These Plano-Convex Lenses are fabricated from RoHS-compliant N-BK7 and feature an antireflection (AR) coating that provides <0.5% average reflectance per surface over the 350 nm to 700 nm wavelength range. N-BK7 is typically chosen whenever the additional benefits of UV fused silica (i.e., good transmission further into the UV and a lower coefficient of thermal expansion) are not necessary. These Ø1/2", Ø1", Ø1.5", and Ø2" lenses are mounted in SM05 (0.535"-40), SM1 (1.035"-40), SM1.5 (1.535"-40), and SM2 (2.035"-40) compatible mounts, respectively, for compatibility with our line of SM-threaded lens tubes. An SM-threaded retaining ring is used to secure each lens within the mount. Each mount is engraved with the item #, lens type, focal length, an arrow pointing toward the curved surface of the lens, and its AR coating range.

Like all plano-convex lenses, these lenses have a positive focal length and near-best-form shape for infinite and finite conjugate applications. They can be employed to converge collimated beams or collimate light from a point source. To minimize the introduction of spherical aberration, a collimated light source should be incident on the curved surface of the lens when being focused and a point light source should be incident on the planar surface when being collimated.

The focal length of each lens can be calculated using a simplified thick lens equation:

Here *n* is the index of refraction and *R* is the radius of curvature of the lens surface. For more information, please see the *Tutorial* tab.

Our N-BK7 plano-convex lenses are available uncoated or with one of five antireflection coatings (-A, -AB, -B, -C, or -D), which reduce the amount of light reflected from each surface of the lens over the specified wavelength range. The mounted lenses with a -A coating, which is designed for the 350 nm to 700 nm range, are highlighted on this page. Links to pages with alternative AR-coated lenses are provided in the selection guide table below. Please see the *Graphs* tab for coating information.

N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens Selection Guide | |
---|---|

Unmounted Lenses | Mounted Lenses |

Uncoated | Uncoated |

-A Coating (350 - 700 nm) | -A Coating (350 - 700 nm) |

-AB Coating (400 - 1100 nm) | -AB Coating (400 - 1100 nm) |

-B Coating (650 - 1050 nm) | -B Coating (650 - 1050 nm) |

-C Coating (1050 - 1700 nm) | -C Coating (1050 - 1700 nm) |

-D Coating (1650 - 3000 nm) | - |

Quick Links to Other Spherical Singlets | ||||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Plano-Convex | Bi-Convex | Best Form | Plano-Concave | Bi-Concave | Positive Meniscus | Negative Meniscus |

The transmission graph below is for uncoated N-BK7. It represents total transmission through a 10 mm thick, uncoated sample, and the losses within the 350 nm to 2.0 µm wavelength range are primarily due to surface reflections.

Click to Enlarge

Click Here for Raw Data

This transmission curve is for a 10 mm thick uncoated sample of N-BK7 when the incident light is normal to the surface. Please note that this is the measured transmission, including surface reflections.

Click to Enlarge

Click Here for Raw Data

The blue shaded region indicates the specified 350 - 700 nm wavelength range for optimum performance.

N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens Selection Guide | |
---|---|

Unmounted Lenses | Mounted Lenses |

Uncoated | Uncoated |

-A Coating (350 - 700 nm) | -A Coating (350 - 700 nm) |

-AB Coating (400 - 1100 nm) | -AB Coating (400 - 1100 nm) |

-B Coating (650 - 1050 nm) | -B Coating (650 - 1050 nm) |

-C Coating (1050 - 1700 nm) | -C Coating (1050 - 1620 nm) |

-D Coating (1650 - 3000 nm) | - |

The N-BK7 plano-convex lenses are available uncoated or with one of five broadband antireflective coatings, the reflectance traces of which are shown in the graph below. These high-performance multilayer AR coatings have an average reflectance of less than 0.5% (per surface) across the specified wavelength ranges (except for the -AB and -D coatings, which provide <1.0% average reflectance).

These optics provide good performance for angles of incidence (AOI) between 0° and 30° (0.5 NA). For optics intended to be used at large incident angles, consider using a custom coating optimized at a 45° angle of incidence; this coating is effective from 25° to 52°.

The plot shown below indicates the performance of the standard coatings in this family as a function of wavelength. Broadband coatings have a typical absorption of 0.25%, which is not shown in the reflectance plots.

Click Here for More Information on Thorlabs' AR Coatings

Click here for detailed substrate data.

In the thick lens equation, use the index of refraction for N-BK7 at the wavelength of interest to approximate the wavelength-dependent focal length of any of the plano-convex lenses.

The focal length of a thick spherical lens can be calculated using the thick lens equation below. In this expression, *n _{l} * is the index of refraction of the lens,

*R*and

_{1}*R*are the radii of curvature for surfaces 1 and 2, respectively, and

_{2}*d*is the center thickness of the lens.

When using the thick lens equation to calculate the focal length of a plano-convex lens, *R _{1}*=∞ and

*R*=-R. Note that the minus sign in front of R is due to the sign convention used when deriving the thick lens equations and values of R are reported in the specification tables below. Therefore, via substitution, the thick lens equation becomes:

_{2}The focal length of the lens calculated using the simplified thick lens equation directly above is the distance between the second (back) principal plane (H") and the position at which a collimated beam incident on the curved surface of the plano-convex is focused. The principal plane positions of a thick lens can be calculated with the following equations:

and

However, as with the thick lens equation, H' simplifies to zero and H" simplifies to:

when used to calculate the principal plane locations of plano-convex lenses. *f _{b}* is the back focal length of the unmounted lens, which is often referred to as the working distance. For mounted lenses, the working distance is measured from the back of the threaded housing.

Damage Threshold Specifications | |
---|---|

Coating Designation (Item # Suffix) |
Damage Threshold |

-A |
7.5 J/cm^{2} (532 nm, 10 ns, 10 Hz, Ø0.504 mm) |

### Damage Threshold Data for Thorlabs' A-Coated N-BK7 Singlet Lenses

The specifications to the right are measured data for Thorlabs' N-BK7 A-coated lenses. Damage threshold specifications are constant for all mounted A-coated N-BK7 lenses, regardless of the size or the focal length of the lens.

### Laser Induced Damage Threshold Tutorial

The following is a general overview of how laser induced damage thresholds are measured and how the values may be utilized in determining the appropriateness of an optic for a given application. When choosing optics, it is important to understand the Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) of the optics being used. The LIDT for an optic greatly depends on the type of laser you are using. Continuous wave (CW) lasers typically cause damage from thermal effects (absorption either in the coating or in the substrate). Pulsed lasers, on the other hand, often strip electrons from the lattice structure of an optic before causing thermal damage. Note that the guideline presented here assumes room temperature operation and optics in new condition (i.e., within scratch-dig spec, surface free of contamination, etc.). Because dust or other particles on the surface of an optic can cause damage at lower thresholds, we recommend keeping surfaces clean and free of debris. For more information on cleaning optics, please see our *Optics Cleaning* tutorial.

### Testing Method

Thorlabs' LIDT testing is done in compliance with ISO/DIS 11254 and ISO 21254 specifications.

First, a low-power/energy beam is directed to the optic under test. The optic is exposed in 10 locations to this laser beam for 30 seconds (CW) or for a number of pulses (pulse repetition frequency specified). After exposure, the optic is examined by a microscope (~100X magnification) for any visible damage. The number of locations that are damaged at a particular power/energy level is recorded. Next, the power/energy is either increased or decreased and the optic is exposed at 10 new locations. This process is repeated until damage is observed. The damage threshold is then assigned to be the highest power/energy that the optic can withstand without causing damage. A histogram such as that below represents the testing of one BB1-E02 mirror.

The photograph above is a protected aluminum-coated mirror after LIDT testing. In this particular test, it handled 0.43 J/cm

^{2}(1064 nm, 10 ns pulse, 10 Hz, Ø1.000 mm) before damage.

Example Test Data | |||
---|---|---|---|

Fluence | # of Tested Locations | Locations with Damage | Locations Without Damage |

1.50 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 0 | 10 |

1.75 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 0 | 10 |

2.00 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 0 | 10 |

2.25 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 1 | 9 |

3.00 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 1 | 9 |

5.00 J/cm^{2} |
10 | 9 | 1 |

According to the test, the damage threshold of the mirror was 2.00 J/cm^{2} (532 nm, 10 ns pulse, 10 Hz, Ø0.803 mm). Please keep in mind that these tests are performed on clean optics, as dirt and contamination can significantly lower the damage threshold of a component. While the test results are only representative of one coating run, Thorlabs specifies damage threshold values that account for coating variances.

### Continuous Wave and Long-Pulse Lasers

When an optic is damaged by a continuous wave (CW) laser, it is usually due to the melting of the surface as a result of absorbing the laser's energy or damage to the optical coating (antireflection) [1]. Pulsed lasers with pulse lengths longer than 1 µs can be treated as CW lasers for LIDT discussions.

When pulse lengths are between 1 ns and 1 µs, laser-induced damage can occur either because of absorption or a dielectric breakdown (therefore, a user must check both CW and pulsed LIDT). Absorption is either due to an intrinsic property of the optic or due to surface irregularities; thus LIDT values are only valid for optics meeting or exceeding the surface quality specifications given by a manufacturer. While many optics can handle high power CW lasers, cemented (e.g., achromatic doublets) or highly absorptive (e.g., ND filters) optics tend to have lower CW damage thresholds. These lower thresholds are due to absorption or scattering in the cement or metal coating.

Pulsed lasers with high pulse repetition frequencies (PRF) may behave similarly to CW beams. Unfortunately, this is highly dependent on factors such as absorption and thermal diffusivity, so there is no reliable method for determining when a high PRF laser will damage an optic due to thermal effects. For beams with a high PRF both the average and peak powers must be compared to the equivalent CW power. Additionally, for highly transparent materials, there is little to no drop in the LIDT with increasing PRF.

In order to use the specified CW damage threshold of an optic, it is necessary to know the following:

- Wavelength of your laser
- Beam diameter of your beam (1/e
^{2}) - Approximate intensity profile of your beam (e.g., Gaussian)
- Linear power density of your beam (total power divided by 1/e
^{2}beam diameter)

Thorlabs expresses LIDT for CW lasers as a linear power density measured in W/cm. In this regime, the LIDT given as a linear power density can be applied to any beam diameter; one does not need to compute an adjusted LIDT to adjust for changes in spot size, as demonstrated by the graph to the right. Average linear power density can be calculated using the equation below.

The calculation above assumes a uniform beam intensity profile. You must now consider hotspots in the beam or other non-uniform intensity profiles and roughly calculate a maximum power density. For reference, a Gaussian beam typically has a maximum power density that is twice that of the uniform beam (see lower right).

Now compare the maximum power density to that which is specified as the LIDT for the optic. If the optic was tested at a wavelength other than your operating wavelength, the damage threshold must be scaled appropriately. A good rule of thumb is that the damage threshold has a linear relationship with wavelength such that as you move to shorter wavelengths, the damage threshold decreases (i.e., a LIDT of 10 W/cm at 1310 nm scales to 5 W/cm at 655 nm):

While this rule of thumb provides a general trend, it is not a quantitative analysis of LIDT vs wavelength. In CW applications, for instance, damage scales more strongly with absorption in the coating and substrate, which does not necessarily scale well with wavelength. While the above procedure provides a good rule of thumb for LIDT values, please contact Tech Support if your wavelength is different from the specified LIDT wavelength. If your power density is less than the adjusted LIDT of the optic, then the optic should work for your application.

Please note that we have a buffer built in between the specified damage thresholds online and the tests which we have done, which accommodates variation between batches. Upon request, we can provide individual test information and a testing certificate. The damage analysis will be carried out on a similar optic (customer's optic will not be damaged). Testing may result in additional costs or lead times. Contact Tech Support for more information.

### Pulsed Lasers

As previously stated, pulsed lasers typically induce a different type of damage to the optic than CW lasers. Pulsed lasers often do not heat the optic enough to damage it; instead, pulsed lasers produce strong electric fields capable of inducing dielectric breakdown in the material. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to compare the LIDT specification of an optic to your laser. There are multiple regimes in which a pulsed laser can damage an optic and this is based on the laser's pulse length. The highlighted columns in the table below outline the relevant pulse lengths for our specified LIDT values.

Pulses shorter than 10^{-9} s cannot be compared to our specified LIDT values with much reliability. In this ultra-short-pulse regime various mechanics, such as multiphoton-avalanche ionization, take over as the predominate damage mechanism [2]. In contrast, pulses between 10^{-7} s and 10^{-4} s may cause damage to an optic either because of dielectric breakdown or thermal effects. This means that both CW and pulsed damage thresholds must be compared to the laser beam to determine whether the optic is suitable for your application.

Pulse Duration | t < 10^{-9} s |
10^{-9} < t < 10^{-7} s |
10^{-7} < t < 10^{-4} s |
t > 10^{-4} s |
---|---|---|---|---|

Damage Mechanism | Avalanche Ionization | Dielectric Breakdown | Dielectric Breakdown or Thermal | Thermal |

Relevant Damage Specification | No Comparison (See Above) | Pulsed | Pulsed and CW | CW |

When comparing an LIDT specified for a pulsed laser to your laser, it is essential to know the following:

- Wavelength of your laser
- Energy density of your beam (total energy divided by 1/e
^{2}area) - Pulse length of your laser
- Pulse repetition frequency (prf) of your laser
- Beam diameter of your laser (1/e
^{2}) - Approximate intensity profile of your beam (e.g., Gaussian)

The energy density of your beam should be calculated in terms of J/cm^{2}. The graph to the right shows why expressing the LIDT as an energy density provides the best metric for short pulse sources. In this regime, the LIDT given as an energy density can be applied to any beam diameter; one does not need to compute an adjusted LIDT to adjust for changes in spot size. This calculation assumes a uniform beam intensity profile. You must now adjust this energy density to account for hotspots or other nonuniform intensity profiles and roughly calculate a maximum energy density. For reference a Gaussian beam typically has a maximum energy density that is twice that of the 1/e^{2} beam.

Now compare the maximum energy density to that which is specified as the LIDT for the optic. If the optic was tested at a wavelength other than your operating wavelength, the damage threshold must be scaled appropriately [3]. A good rule of thumb is that the damage threshold has an inverse square root relationship with wavelength such that as you move to shorter wavelengths, the damage threshold decreases (i.e., a LIDT of 1 J/cm^{2} at 1064 nm scales to 0.7 J/cm^{2} at 532 nm):

You now have a wavelength-adjusted energy density, which you will use in the following step.

Beam diameter is also important to know when comparing damage thresholds. While the LIDT, when expressed in units of J/cm², scales independently of spot size; large beam sizes are more likely to illuminate a larger number of defects which can lead to greater variances in the LIDT [4]. For data presented here, a <1 mm beam size was used to measure the LIDT. For beams sizes greater than 5 mm, the LIDT (J/cm2) will not scale independently of beam diameter due to the larger size beam exposing more defects.

The pulse length must now be compensated for. The longer the pulse duration, the more energy the optic can handle. For pulse widths between 1 - 100 ns, an approximation is as follows:

Use this formula to calculate the Adjusted LIDT for an optic based on your pulse length. If your maximum energy density is less than this adjusted LIDT maximum energy density, then the optic should be suitable for your application. Keep in mind that this calculation is only used for pulses between 10^{-9} s and 10^{-7} s. For pulses between 10^{-7} s and 10^{-4} s, the CW LIDT must also be checked before deeming the optic appropriate for your application.

Please note that we have a buffer built in between the specified damage thresholds online and the tests which we have done, which accommodates variation between batches. Upon request, we can provide individual test information and a testing certificate. Contact Tech Support for more information.

[1] R. M. Wood, Optics and Laser Tech*.* **29**, 517 (1998).

[2] Roger M. Wood, *Laser-Induced Damage of Optical Materials* (Institute of Physics Publishing, Philadelphia, PA, 2003).

[3] C. W. Carr *et al*., Phys. Rev. Lett. **91**, 127402 (2003).

[4] N. Bloembergen, Appl. Opt. **12**, 661 (1973).

In order to illustrate the process of determining whether a given laser system will damage an optic, a number of example calculations of laser induced damage threshold are given below. For assistance with performing similar calculations, we provide a spreadsheet calculator that can be downloaded by clicking the button to the right. To use the calculator, enter the specified LIDT value of the optic under consideration and the relevant parameters of your laser system in the green boxes. The spreadsheet will then calculate a linear power density for CW and pulsed systems, as well as an energy density value for pulsed systems. These values are used to calculate adjusted, scaled LIDT values for the optics based on accepted scaling laws. This calculator assumes a Gaussian beam profile, so a correction factor must be introduced for other beam shapes (uniform, etc.). The LIDT scaling laws are determined from empirical relationships; their accuracy is not guaranteed. Remember that absorption by optics or coatings can significantly reduce LIDT in some spectral regions. These LIDT values are not valid for ultrashort pulses less than one nanosecond in duration.

A Gaussian beam profile has about twice the maximum intensity of a uniform beam profile.

**CW Laser Example**

Suppose that a CW laser system at 1319 nm produces a 0.5 W Gaussian beam that has a 1/e^{2} diameter of 10 mm. A naive calculation of the average linear power density of this beam would yield a value of 0.5 W/cm, given by the total power divided by the beam diameter:

However, the maximum power density of a Gaussian beam is about twice the maximum power density of a uniform beam, as shown in the graph to the right. Therefore, a more accurate determination of the maximum linear power density of the system is 1 W/cm.

An AC127-030-C achromatic doublet lens has a specified CW LIDT of 350 W/cm, as tested at 1550 nm. CW damage threshold values typically scale directly with the wavelength of the laser source, so this yields an adjusted LIDT value:

The adjusted LIDT value of 350 W/cm x (1319 nm / 1550 nm) = 298 W/cm is significantly higher than the calculated maximum linear power density of the laser system, so it would be safe to use this doublet lens for this application.

**Pulsed Nanosecond Laser Example: Scaling for Different Pulse Durations**

Suppose that a pulsed Nd:YAG laser system is frequency tripled to produce a 10 Hz output, consisting of 2 ns output pulses at 355 nm, each with 1 J of energy, in a Gaussian beam with a 1.9 cm beam diameter (1/e^{2}). The average energy density of each pulse is found by dividing the pulse energy by the beam area:

As described above, the maximum energy density of a Gaussian beam is about twice the average energy density. So, the maximum energy density of this beam is ~0.7 J/cm^{2}.

The energy density of the beam can be compared to the LIDT values of 1 J/cm^{2} and 3.5 J/cm^{2} for a BB1-E01 broadband dielectric mirror and an NB1-K08 Nd:YAG laser line mirror, respectively. Both of these LIDT values, while measured at 355 nm, were determined with a 10 ns pulsed laser at 10 Hz. Therefore, an adjustment must be applied for the shorter pulse duration of the system under consideration. As described on the previous tab, LIDT values in the nanosecond pulse regime scale with the square root of the laser pulse duration:

This adjustment factor results in LIDT values of 0.45 J/cm^{2} for the BB1-E01 broadband mirror and 1.6 J/cm^{2} for the Nd:YAG laser line mirror, which are to be compared with the 0.7 J/cm^{2} maximum energy density of the beam. While the broadband mirror would likely be damaged by the laser, the more specialized laser line mirror is appropriate for use with this system.

**Pulsed Nanosecond Laser Example: Scaling for Different Wavelengths**

Suppose that a pulsed laser system emits 10 ns pulses at 2.5 Hz, each with 100 mJ of energy at 1064 nm in a 16 mm diameter beam (1/e^{2}) that must be attenuated with a neutral density filter. For a Gaussian output, these specifications result in a maximum energy density of 0.1 J/cm^{2}. The damage threshold of an NDUV10A Ø25 mm, OD 1.0, reflective neutral density filter is 0.05 J/cm^{2} for 10 ns pulses at 355 nm, while the damage threshold of the similar NE10A absorptive filter is 10 J/cm^{2} for 10 ns pulses at 532 nm. As described on the previous tab, the LIDT value of an optic scales with the square root of the wavelength in the nanosecond pulse regime:

This scaling gives adjusted LIDT values of 0.08 J/cm^{2} for the reflective filter and 14 J/cm^{2} for the absorptive filter. In this case, the absorptive filter is the best choice in order to avoid optical damage.

**Pulsed Microsecond Laser Example**

Consider a laser system that produces 1 µs pulses, each containing 150 µJ of energy at a repetition rate of 50 kHz, resulting in a relatively high duty cycle of 5%. This system falls somewhere between the regimes of CW and pulsed laser induced damage, and could potentially damage an optic by mechanisms associated with either regime. As a result, both CW and pulsed LIDT values must be compared to the properties of the laser system to ensure safe operation.

If this relatively long-pulse laser emits a Gaussian 12.7 mm diameter beam (1/e^{2}) at 980 nm, then the resulting output has a linear power density of 5.9 W/cm and an energy density of 1.2 x 10^{-4} J/cm^{2} per pulse. This can be compared to the LIDT values for a WPQ10E-980 polymer zero-order quarter-wave plate, which are 5 W/cm for CW radiation at 810 nm and 5 J/cm^{2} for a 10 ns pulse at 810 nm. As before, the CW LIDT of the optic scales linearly with the laser wavelength, resulting in an adjusted CW value of 6 W/cm at 980 nm. On the other hand, the pulsed LIDT scales with the square root of the laser wavelength and the square root of the pulse duration, resulting in an adjusted value of 55 J/cm^{2} for a 1 µs pulse at 980 nm. The pulsed LIDT of the optic is significantly greater than the energy density of the laser pulse, so individual pulses will not damage the wave plate. However, the large average linear power density of the laser system may cause thermal damage to the optic, much like a high-power CW beam.

Posted Comments: | |

user(posted 2015-02-17 16:04:27.237)cdaly(posted 2015-02-24 04:19:09.0)