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High Speed Optical Chopper vs. PEM


The Optical Choppers offered by Hinds Instruments are resonant devices designed to work at one frequency. We offer two ways to chop light: a High Speed Optical Chopper (HSOC) and a Photoelastic Modulator (or PEM).

High Speed Optical Chopper

The HSOC is calibrated for one wavelength, from 400 nm – 750 nm. However, it can be used within a +/- 10% range from the center wavelength without a change in calibration. The frequencies to choose from are 40, 50, and 60 kHz. The HSOC comes in a small, single enclosure package. All optics and drive electronics are included.

Photoelastic Modulator

The PEM is the most versatile choice. The wavelength range can be from 130nm – 18µm depending on the model of optical head chosen and the PEM can be used for non-chopping applications in separate set ups. Its operation as a chopper over large wavelength ranges requires additional optics (one linear and one circular polarizer) to convert the PEM into a chopper system. These can be obtained from Hinds Instruments or purchased separately by the user. The basic PEM comes in three modules: the optical head, the drive electronics and the control electronics. Frequencies range from 20-84 kHz.

All Hinds chopper options offer:

  • Wide acceptance angle
  • No moving parts
  • Minimal heat generation
  • No safety concerns
  • Small footprint and lightweight
  • Quiet operation
  • Low power consumption
  • Meets CE and RoHS compliance regulations

Selecting Your Optical Chopper

High Speed PEM
Optical Chopper
50 kHz Operation**
Other Frequencies
Wavelength Adjustable
Demodulation Electronics Available**
Software Available for Computer Control**
Configured for >10 mW/cm2
Configured for < 10 mW/cm2**
Smallest Footprint*
Lowest Cost*

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