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System Description | Hazards | Approved Users | Documentation | Controls | Recommended Practices | Maintenance | Emergency Procedures | Revision History

System Description

  • Manufacturer: Coherent, Inc.
  • Product Name: OPerA Solo
  • Model:
  • Serial Number: 11830
  • Date of Purchase: February 2011
  • Location: KEB 2135
  • Laser type: Optical Parametric Amplifier
  • Laser Classification: Depends on operational conditions
  • Wavelength: Depends on operational conditions
  • Repetition Rate: 1kHz
  • Pulse Duration:
  • Average Power (energy): 10-600 mW (10-600 mJ), Depends on operational conditions
  • Beam Diameter: approximately 3 mm


  1. Eye/vision:  Visible and/or invisible laser radiation. Avoid eye exposure to direct or scattered radiation. Direct eye contact with the output beam from the laser will cause serious damage and possible blindness.  Appropriate laser safety eyewear must be worn by all personnel present in laboratory while laser is operating
  2. Skin/burn hazard.  Even when not focused, the beam emerging from the laser can cause serious burns or damage wherever the laser is absorbed on stationary surfaces, including skin or clothing.

Approved Users

All users must have completed the mandatory Laser Safety training:


Further, all users must receive proper safety training from the PI, other authorized users, or Coherent service technician before operating the Libra.  The following are currently authorized users:

  • Kyowon Kim

When the laser is in use, a sign should be placed on the door, advising all visitors and laboratory personnel of the wavelengths in use.  All personnel entering the laboratory (whether or not they are using the laser) must wear the appropriate laser safety eyewear.


Hardcopy manuals for OPerA system is available in the laboratory. Users can find them on the wall shelf located front side of KEB 2135 lab. (Light Conversion – TOPAS series)


Sperian 119 filter is recommended for aligning. (OD6+ @ 766-860nm, can see orange-yellow colored signal)

When operating in visible wavelength, especially 532nm or shorter, Sperian 103 filter is recommended. (OD5+ @ 750-850nm, OD9+ @ 190-520, OD7+ @ 520-532)

Air current may cause unstable WLC light generation.

Recommended Practices

See OPerA manual (TOPAS series) for schematics and components locations inside system.

If OPerA is properly aligned and in working condition, and you need fundamental signal wavelength,

  1. Flip down mirror that controls Libra beam path (located next to Micra optional output periscope).
  2. Turn on Libra. (See Libra SOP.) Libra average output power should be about 3.5W.  Coherent Powermax power meter is recommended.
  3. On TOPAS program, type in desired wavelength and open shutter (Click shutter shaped button).

If you don’t see the beam, try following basic alignment procedure.

  1. Turn off pump beam (Single shot on SDG) and open OPerA cover. Place safety lock in place. Turn on pump beam and open shutter.
  2. Set output wavelength to 1300 nm on TOPAS program.
  3. Center the pump beam at apertures A0 and A1 using mirror right next to OPerA injection port and BRM1.
  4. Place a white card behind white light generator and check stable white light continuum (WLC). If you don’t see WLC, it’s usually pump beam that is not properly compressed. In this case, adjust Libra compressor motor to achieve short pulse duration. Carefully rotate variable neutral density filter to achieve stable and bright WLC.
  5. Once stable WLC is generated, place a white card in front of M5 to check 4-beam spots. (Sig, SFS, Pump, SFI) Place beam block in place to block SFS, Pump and SFI.
  6. Block pump beam (place a non-reflecting metal block between M9 and L8) and align signal beam by steering M5 and M6 using 5/64 hex driver. All beams should stay 25mm above bottom plate. Draw a line at 25mm from one edge on a white card and use it to check beam height. Make sure that signal beam pass through NC2 at the center and propagate parallel to the longitudinal direction of OPerA.
  7. Unblock and align the pump beam by steering M10 (near field) and DM2 (far field). Make sure that the pump and signal beam propagate collinearly. Once alignment is done, slightly adjust Delay2 by rotating hex key located outside OPerA (lower center of the side where you stand) until you see orange colored light.
  8. Signal beam may look like multiple spots with several different colors. Use M10 and DM2 to make signal beam looks like a single spot. Place a power meter at output port of OPerA and maximize the power by using M5, M6, M10, DM2 and Delay2.
  9. Type in wavelength you need on TOPAS program. You may need extra dichroic mirror sets or remove beam block depends on wavelength. (See manual) For near IR wavelength (1100nm and longer) you need a silicon window to filter out visible wavelength.


Pump beam delivery mirrors (One outside injection port and BRM1) need to be adjusted frequently to avoid significant beam drift.

Service log is kept in wall cabinet located in front side wall of KIM2135 lab. Check two black plastic boxes.

Emergency Procedures

In emergency, please contact:

  • Thomas E. Murphy (PI), ERF 1201J, 301-405-0030
  • Kyowon Kim (GRA), KEB 2140, 301-405-9614

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.

Revision History

  • Created:  10/29/2013 (Kyowon Kim)