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Cleaning Of Optical Components

- Sep 18, 2017 -

Optics, any of which is used to form optical paths, optics or optics-related instruments, devices, and things are optical elements such as lenses, optical fibers, plane mirrors, gratings, optical isolators, beam splitters, gratings, and so on!

Optical components for operation and cleaning tutorials


Use the correct operating skills to reduce the number of cleaning of the optical components, thereby increasing their service life. Please open the optical components in a clean and temperature controlled environment. Never operate the optical element directly because the skin grease may permanently damage the optical surface. Optical Components The correct way is to wear gloves. For smaller optical elements, it is easier to use optical tweezers or vacuum tweezers. Regardless of the method used to hold the optical components, if possible, Optical Components can only hold non-optical surfaces, such as frosted edges.

IMPORTANT: The optical surfaces of the following optical elements can not be touched by hand or instrument: holographic gratings, scribe gratings, unprotected metal mirrors and thin film spectroscopes (this is not an exhaustive list). These optical components are particularly sensitive and any direct contact can cause damage.

WARNING: Most crystals (such as calcite, beam shifters, lithium niobate wafers and electro-optical modulators) are susceptible to temperature and may crack when subjected to thermal shock. Therefore, Optical Components before opening to ensure that the packaging and internal items to achieve temperature balance. These crystals are much lighter than ordinary optical elements, so they need to be handled more carefully when cleaning.


Do not place the optical element on a hard surface because the impurities on both surfaces wear the optical element. Most optical elements should be wrapped with lens paper and then placed in a particular optical element storage box. Generally store the storage box in low humidity, Optical Components high cleanliness and temperature control environment. The optical elements are easily scratched or contaminated, and some of the optical coatings are hygroscopic, Optical Components so that it is important to store the optical elements reasonably for protecting the optical elements.

an examination

Under normal circumstances, the use of optical components before the inspection, cleaning before and after the inspection. Because most of the contaminants and surface defects are relatively small, we often need to use the magnifying device when inspecting the optical components. Optical Components In addition to the amplification equipment, sometimes we also need to use light to illuminate the optical surface, thereby enhancing the surface contaminants and defects of the reflection intensity.

When checking the surface of the reflective film, make the optical element close to the line of sight parallel. Approximate parallel observation of the optical surface, do not look at it, Optical Components so you can see the pollutants, rather than the reflected light. The polished surface of the lens should be perpendicular to the line of sight, so that the transparency of the entire optical element can be checked.

If the clean optical surface is defective, the level of the defect can be determined by comparing the calibrated scratches - pitting control panel. If the surface defect size exceeds the manufacturer's scratches - pits specifications, then the optical components need to be replaced to meet the performance requirements.

Cleaning procedures

If possible, be sure to read the manufacturer's recommended cleaning and operating procedures. Since the cleaning optics always require the operation of the optical element, always follow the correct operating procedure when using the following cleaning instructions. Optical Components If the cleaning or improper operation, will permanently damage the optical components.

Prior to cleaning, first check the optical components to determine the type and extent of contamination. The inspection procedure can not be ignored because it is often necessary to use a solution to clean the optical element and to contact the optical element directly, and if the number of operations is too frequent, it may damage the optical surface.

If there are multiple contaminants on the optics, it is necessary to pay attention to the cleaning step because another impurity may damage the optical surface when cleaning an impurity. For example, if an optical element is contaminated with both oil and dust, wiping the oil surface will scratch the optical surface because the dust will rub the surface when wiping it.

Blow the surface of the optical element

Before making any other cleaning technology, it is usually necessary to blow away dust and other loose contaminants. This method requires the use of an inert dust tank or a typhoon. Do not blow the surface directly against the surface of the optical element because it is likely to deposit saliva on the optical surface.

If an inert dust is used, place the tank in the entire process before and during use. Do not shake the tank before use or when using it. And align the nozzle with the optical element far before blowing. These steps help to prevent the inert gas propellant from depositing on the optical surface. Optical Components If you use a filling gas, keep the tank away from the optical element by about 6 inches and use the short blow mode. The nozzle of the inert gas tank is rotated so that its nozzle forms a grazing angle with the surface of the optical element. For large-sized optical element surfaces, the optical surface is blown along the pattern of Fig.

This cleaning method is suitable for almost all types of optical components. However, for certain optical elements such as holographic gratings, scribe gratings, unprotected metal mirrors, calcite polarizers, and thin film splitters, they may be damaged under physical contact, and the wiping is the only cleaning method available. Since this cleaning method has the characteristics of no contact and no solvent, it should be the first step of cleaning as almost all of the optical elements.

WARNING: A 2 micron thick nitrocellulose membrane on the film splitter is particularly fragile and can be easily crushed by air pressure on the surface. If filling air is used for these optics, Optical Components it is necessary to ensure that the bottle is far enough to prevent damage to the film.

Warning: polished polished polished smooth surface is very subtle, if the blowing gas is too close to its surface will be destroyed.

Other cleaning methods

If the surface of the optical element is not enough, the following describes the other possible cleaning methods and materials. When cleaning an optical element, clean wipes and optical grade solvents are often used to prevent damage to other contaminants. Wipe the paper must be wet with a suitable solvent, do not dry use. Available wipes (for softness considerations) are coated with cotton (such as Webril wipes or cotton balls), lens paper, and cotton swabs.

Typical solvents used in the cleaning process are acetone, methanol, and isopropylacetone. Carefully use all of these solvents, since most solvents are toxic, flammable, or both. Optical Components Before using any solvent, please read the product data sheet MSDS table carefully

Clean the optical components

If approved by the manufacturer, fingerprints and large dust particles can be removed by soaking in distilled water and optical soap. The immersion time of the optical element should not be longer than the time required to remove the contaminants. Afterwards, clean the optical element with clean distilled water. Depending on the type of optical element, a spin-on paper (applicator) method can be selected to apply acetone, methanol, Optical Components or another rapidly drying solvent, such as TravelSAFE's precision optical cleaner, to the optical element to accelerate drying. Avoid cleaning the solvent during the drying process to form small water droplets, as this often leaves water stains on the optical surface.

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