Patent Number: 6,295,157

Title: Thermally balanced acousto-optic modulator

Abstract: An acousto-optic modulator for use with a multi-channel laser beam system, for instance, is of conventional structure except that two different RF (radio frequency) signals drive the modulator. These signals each produce at least one output beam as diffracted by the modulator body. These two beams are angularly and spatially separated. One of the sets of beams is incident upon a beam stop, and therefore is not used for writing. Only the other set of beams, driven by the other of the frequencies, performs the actual writing. The optical stop in addition to blocking one of the sets of diffracted beams also blocks the transmission of the zero order (undiffracted) beam. The sum of the load power of the signals at the two frequencies is kept approximately constant, thereby maintaining a constant thermal condition within the modulator.

Inventors: Allen; Paul C. (Beaverton, OR), Martyniuk; Jerry (Portland, OR)

Assignee: Etec Systems, Inc.

International Classification: G02F 1/11 (20060101); G02F 1/01 (20060101); G02F 1/33 (20060101); G02F 1/29 (20060101); G02F 001/11 (); G02F 001/33 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018