Abstract

The use of electrooptic beam deflectors as streak cameras is analyzed. Two basic designs employing linear electrooptic crystals are considered. One is constructed of pairs of prisms, and the other exploits a traveling focusing interaction created in the crystal by an electrical pulse propagating down a strip transmission line. We show that the transit time of the optical signal imposes a strict limit on the performance of the deflectors and necessitates a trade-off between the time resolution and the number of resolvable spots or range which can be achieved. The optimum geometry of these devices is determined assuming a specific electrical driving pulse, and schemes for multiple stage deflectors are presented and optimized. We also consider practical constraints and show that the low impedance inherent to these systems further restricts their performance. Estimates of the performance limits which can be achieved with present day high voltage switching technology are given.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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