Z-Link Laser Attenuator

Z-Link Laser Attenuator



U.S. Pat., 4,664,484


      This is a device to protect people working in high-energy laser labs, by varying the angle of incidence of the polarized laser beam on a non-metallic material.  The four joints in the “Z” pattern mechanism keep the output beam in line with the input beam.  

     The device makes use of the variable reflectivity of a dielectric material (glass, fused silica, etc.) at different angles.  At Brewster’s angle (≈56° from normal (perpendicular), for glass) the reflectivity of polarized light is zero.  As that angle increases, the reflectivity increases to 100% at grazing incidence.  
      In order to compensate for the 2X-speed effect of a mirror, half-speed, ball-bearing assemblies are used at each joint (similar to a Lazy-Susan).  The slowly rotating mirror causes reflected light to follow the arm that is rotating twice as fast as the mirror.  


Hines’ notebook entry:
p. 37


      HinesLab is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology.  This is not a product being offered for sale to end users.  To discuss licensing, please contact Steve Hines at:



ph. 818-507-5812