This section provides an overview for prism mirrors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 8 prism mirror manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A prism mirror is a glass device in the shape of a triangular pyramid called a prism that is coated to reflect light on two sides of the prism, one on the slope and the other at right angles.
Slope-coated prism mirrors can shorten the time required for optical-axis adjustment when the prism mirror is installed at a 45° tilt.
The right-angled configuration coated on two right-angled surfaces can invert and reflect incoming light.
It is also necessary to select the coating (e.g., broadband dielectric or metal) and the base glass material according to the purpose.
Slope-coated types are used when you want to reflect light at a 45° tilt. Although this can be achieved with a flat mirror, it reduces the time required for optical axis adjustment and is used, for example, in measurement instruments such as spectrophotometers.
The right-angle configuration surface coated type is used for high-speed image inversion and for reflection parallel to the optical axis of incoming light in interferometers, for example. They are also used as mirrors to let in light in sunlight harvesting.
Prism mirrors with broadband anti-reflective (BBAR) coatings are used in a wide range of low-power laser line applications.
Right-angle configurational surface coated types can also function to disperse (spectrally) light into different wavelengths by utilizing the refractive index difference between air and glass.
A key feature of prism mirrors is that they are more resistant to external mechanical stress (less deformation) than mirrors, making them suitable for applications where acoustic or inertial loads are severe.
Metal coatings can be applied to prism mirrors, such as ultraviolet-resistant aluminum and infrared-resistant gold, which are used for general mirrors.
For the base material prism, BK7 is used when light transmission is not required, N-BK7 for precision shapes, and synthetic fused silica when transmission in the ultraviolet region is required. Glass materials with a low coefficient of linear expansion can also be used if the prism needs to be resistant to temperature changes.
When bonding and fixing prisms, attention should be paid to the difference in the coefficient of linear expansion. If the difference in linear expansion coefficient is large, there is a risk that the prism will crack when the temperature is raised or lowered. This can be avoided by using a flexible adhesive, but in this case, care must be taken because the flexibility of the adhesive also creates the risk of poor stability during bonding.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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