You’re evaluating and designing in a commercial mechanical shutter component for a system only to find the data sheet has less than half the information you need to qualify it. Questions arise, repeated inquiries to the factory, all delaying your effort. Then there’s no data available for a particular spec you require, so it is suggested you try it out, work back and forth with the manufacturer to develop a new spec. If you’ve been down this path you know a technical product that provides complete and thorough specs is a design engineer’s quick guide to performance evaluation and a reliability engineer’s early forecast of the potential to meet an OEM’s quality goals, machine life and periodic maintenance preferences. Best example? Think about data sheets for semiconductors, say a power FET. Everything you need to know is presented, including life data, temp de-ratings and safety precautions. You select with confidence and your project charges forward without delay.
If a mechanical shutter is a new technology to your team, you likely will not know all of the specs you will
need as you proceed with the design. This often forces a change of device and delays the project. Long established, quality manufacturers with primarily OEM equipment customers develop complete and thorough specs. Often, specs are revealed that the customer did not even realize was important to project success. Key specs are stated for each product, then intense knowledge of applications and physics allow the application sales engineer to support exotic or unusual cases with near immediate responses. So what are the key specs that you really need to get started? Below are the minimum to evaluate. For lasers, all apply. For optical shutters (low power), such as imaging, irradiation damage specs are not needed.
You need to get the beam thru it! With Gaussian beams typically the aperture is chosen about 3X the 1/e2 points to avoid diffraction rings from input/output aperture edges. But, when speed is more important, you may tolerate diffraction for a smaller aperture and fast switching.