(General Technical Inquiries)
(Administrative and Logistics)
(Laser Radiometry and Optical Fiber Power)
Please contact the technical staff before shipping instruments or standards to the address listed below.
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Figure 1. CW Sourcemap
Figure 2. Pulsed Sourcemap
|Service ID Number||Description of Services||Fee ($)|
|Laser Power and Energy Meter (or Detector) Calibrations at a (Single Standard Wavelength and Power) (See Table 2 for additional specifications)|
|42110C||CW Laser Power below 2 Watts, numerous wavelengths available, see Table 2||3786|
|42230C||Pulsed Laser Energy (Q-switched YAG) at 1064 nm, 532 nm, and 1574 nm||5308|
|42240C||High Power CW Laser Power at 1064 nm, 1070 nm, and 10.6 µm (2 Watts min, up to several KW, see Table 2)||6370|
|42250C||Pulsed Laser Energy (Excimer) at 248 nm and 193 nm||6068|
|42111C||Same as 42110C, Additional Powers (offered at discounted rates for the same meter) (See Table 2 for additional specifications)|
|CW Laser Power below 2 Watts, numerous wavelengths available, see Table 2||1663|
|Pulsed Laser Energy (Q-switched YAG) at 1064 nm, 532 nm, and 1574 nm||3451|
|High Power CW Laser at 1064 nm, 1070 nm, and 10.6 µm (2 Watts min, up to several KW, see Table 2)||4778|
|Pulsed Laser Energy (Excimer) at 248 nm and 193 nm||4267|
|42120M||Laser Power and Energy Measurement Assurance Program (MAP)||At Cost|
|42130C||Optical Fiber Power Meter (or Detectors Used with Lasers) Calibrations at a Single Wavelength and Connector Type (See Table 3)||3553|
|42131C||Same as 42130C, Additional Standard Wavelengths or Connector Types (See Table 3)||1291|
|42140M||Optical Fiber Power Meter Measurement Assurance Program (MAP)||At Cost|
|42150M||Low-Level Laser Measurement Assurance Program (MAP)||At Cost|
|42151C||Low-Level Laser Radiometer Calibration||At Cost|
|42155C||Calibration Service of Optoelectronic Frequency Response for Combined Photodiode/RF Power Sensor Transfer Standards||At Cost|
|42160S||Special Test for Frequency Response Measurements of Detectors Used with Lasers||At Cost|
|42161S||Special Test for Impulse Response Measurements of Detectors Used with Lasers||At Cost|
|42162C||High Accuracy Laser Power and Energy Meter Calibration Service||At Cost|
|42164C||Spectral Responsivity Measurements of Laser and Optical Fiber Power Meters (or Detectors Used with Lasers)||3185|
|42165S||Special Test for Spatial Uniformity of Laser and Optical Fiber Power Meters and Detectors Used with Lasers||At Cost|
|42166C||Calibration for Linearity Measurements of Optical Fiber Power Meters (or Detectors Used with Lasers)||2422|
|42167S||Special Tests for Linearity Measurements of High-Power Laser Power Meters (or Detectors Used with Lasers)||At Cost|
|42170S||Special Tests for General Laser Measurements, by Prearrangement||At Cost|
|42180S||Special Test for General Optical Fiber Power Measurements, by Prearrangement||At Cost|
|42190S||Special Test for Optical Fiber and Fiber Component Measurements (other than Fiber Power), by Prearrangement||At Cost|
|42210C||Spectral Responsivity Measurements with Curve Fitting of Laser and Optical Meters (or Detectors Used with Lasers)||4113|
Fees are subject to change without notice.
The NIST Applied Physics Division develops and maintains the U.S. national standards for the characterization of lasers, along with detectors and other optical and optoelectronic components used with lasers and in laser-based systems. These standards support applications of lasers in manufacturing, electronics, medicine, communications, and the military, among other fields, and are generally used to provide calibrations of instruments used in these areas.
For calibrating instruments used to measure the power or energy emitted by a laser, specially designed standards consisting of calorimeters, pyrometers, thermal radiometers and diode traps have been used for many years. Low-level laboratory standards are realized using solid-state photodetectors. In addition, the Division has developed an ultra-high accuracy laser power measurement capability using a Laser Optimized Cryogenic Radiometer (LOCR).
Well-characterized transfer standards (calibrated against the primary standards) are maintained as laboratory standards for calibrations and for use in divisional and Measurement Assurance Program (MAP) intercomparisons. The traceability to SI constants for all services is accomplished through thermal radiometers and electrical substitution techniques. In a continuing process, new standards are being developed and implemented to expand and improve service capabilities.
The laboratory standards allow the widest possible range of power and energy detectors to be calibrated in terms of power, linearity, spatial uniformity, and spectral responsivity. NIST can characterize many optical and optoelectronic components used with lasers and also maintains the capability of measuring other laser parameters. Because these measurements are generally less well defined than power and energy measurements, they are undertaken as Special Tests, after consultation with the customer.
Table 2. Laser Power and Energy Measurement Capabilities
|Primary Standard||Wavelength||PowerRange||Typical Relative Expanded Uncertainty k=2 (%)|
(Moderate Power CW)
|325 nm||100 nW to 10 mW||1 to 2|
|375 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|405 nm||1 µW to 20 mW||0.8 to 1|
|351 and 364 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|488 nm||1 nW to 1 W||0.5 to 1|
|514 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|543 nm||1 µW to .5 mW||0.8 to 1|
|532 nm||1 µW to 2 W||0.8 to 1|
|633 nm||1 µW to 20 mW||0.8 to 1|
|700 - 1300 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|830 nm||1 µW to 20 mW||0.8 to 1|
|1045 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|1064 nm||1 µW to 2 W||0.8 to 1|
|1319 nm||1 µW to 25 mW||0.8 to 1|
|1550 nm||1 µW to 100 mW||0.8 to 1|
|1700 - 2100 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
|1920 nm||1 µW to 1 W||0.8 to 1|
(High Power (Kilowatts) CW)
|1.064 µm||2 W to 300 W||1.6 to 2|
|1.070 µm||2 W to 5000 W||1.6 to 2|
|10.6 µm||2 W to 900 W||1.6 to 2|
|1574 nm (pulsed)||1 ul/pulse to 20 mJ/pulse
10 uW to 220 mW
|0.8 to 1.5|
|1070 nm (CW)||0.1 J - 10 J long-pulse 0.1 - 10 W||0.8 to 1.5|
|1064 nm (pulsed)||
36 pJ/pulse to 300 mJ/pulse
|0.8 to 1.7|
|532 nm (pulsed)||1 to 20 mJ/pulse
10 to 400 mW
|0.8 to 1.5|
|60 uJ/pulse to 300 mJ/pulse
3 mW - 15 W
|1.0 to 1.5|
|60 uJ/pulse to 30 mJ/pulse
3 mW - 3 W
|1.1 to 1.8|
Within the ranges listed in Table 2, NIST can perform calibrations at the power (or energy) and wavelength specified by the customer. These ranges are determined by the combined limits of our standards and available laser sources. Should a power or wavelength not listed be necessary do not hesitate to contact NIST staff to find a solution as additional resources not listed may be available. For these measurements, the instrument to be measured is sent to NIST, where it is then compared to the appropriate laboratory reference standard. Normally, the response of the detector is characterized but no physical adjustments are made to the test instrument. At the completion of the calibration measurements, the instrument and a calibration report are sent to the customer. The calibration report summarizes the results of the measurements and provides a detailed listing of the associated measurement uncertainties. The laboratory standards used as references for these measurements were designed and built at NIST and all their critical parameters (electrical calibration coefficient, absorptivity, window transmittance, etc.) have been evaluated for the laser wavelengths and energies for which they are used.
Laser power and energy measurements are accomplished using a calibrated beamsplitter arrangement in which both the standard and the test meter are exposed to the laser beam simultaneously or are exposed alternately with the beamsplitter providing a relative power monitor. Calibrated attenuators may also be used to obtain the lowest powers and energies. The laser sources used for these calibration measurements with the primary standards consist of the following types (subject to change): (1) Helium-Cadmium (325 nm) (2) Helium-Neon (632.8 nm), (3) Argon ion (488.0 nm and 514.5 nm), (4) Nd:YAG (532 nm, 1064 nm and 1319 nm CW, and 1064 532 nm and nm Q-switched), (5) laser diode (830 nm and 1550 nm), (6) Carbon dioxide (10.6 µm), (7) KrF excimer (248 nm), and (8) ArF excimer (193 nm).
The Measurement Assurance Program (MAP) is available at the wavelengths and powers listed in Table 2. The laser MAP intercomparisons are implemented by means of transfer standards, which have been evaluated and characterized relative to the national primary standards. The measurement system and primary standards discussed above are used to calibrate the transfer standards for the intercomparisons. The characteristics of these transfer standards are well understood, and their associated accuracies do not differ significantly from those associated with direct comparisons to the primary standards. For a specified wavelength and power or energy, the appropriate transfer standard is selected and sent from NIST to the MAP participant. The participant calibrates the NIST transfer standard using their measurement system and then returns both his data and the transfer standard to NIST. Before and after the NIST transfer standard is shipped to the participant, NIST performs calibration measurements on the detector to provide continuity during the intercomparison. At the completion of the intercomparison, NIST evaluates the participants' measurement results relative to the NIST calibration results on this same meter. A MAP intercomparison report summarizing the intercomparison and listing the associated measurement uncertainties is then submitted to the participant. Customers who have the capability and require higher accuracy may request MAP services using appropriate high-accuracy transfer standards such as the photodiode trap detectors.
Optical fiber power meters are calibrated using an automated calibration system in which the test meter and the laboratory standard are alternately exposed to a stable, monitored laser diode source. Table 3 summarizes the current capabilities of this system. The laboratory standard used for these measurements is an electrically calibrated pyroelectric radiometer (ECPR) that has been calibrated with a laser optimized cryogenic radiometer (LOCR) primary standard. Various laser diode sources are used to provide the available wavelengths. The calibrations can be accomplished with either a collimated beam or a connectorized fiber configuration. We can accommodate most commonly used fiber connectors (such as FC/PC, ST, biconic, SC, SMA, FC/APC, HMS-10 etc.).
Table 3. Measurement Capabilities of Automated Calibration System for Optical Fiber Power Meters
|Laboratory Standard||Wavelength Window (nm)||PowerRange (µW)||Typical Relative Expanded Uncertainties k=2 (%)|
|ECPR||670||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||780||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||850||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||980||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||1300||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||1480||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||1550||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||1625||10 to 200||0.5|
|ECPR||1650||10 to 200||0.5|
NIST maintains a set of calibrated transfer standards, which are available for MAP intercomparisons of optical fiber power meters. These transfer standards are calibrated at the wavelengths listed in Table 3 using the optical fiber power meter calibration system discussed above. If the MAP is to be conducted using a fiber with attached connector, then the customers are asked to provide the specific fiber and connector which is used in their laboratories. As in the laser MAP procedures listed above, measurements are made on the NIST transfer standard both before and after the MAP participant's measurements are conducted. At the conclusion of the MAP process, a calibration report that summarizes the measurements and associated uncertainties is sent to the participant.
A laser optomized cryogenic radiometer (LOCR) is available in our measurement laboratory for high accuracy calibrations of laser detector responsivity. Using this instrument as a reference, expanded (k=2) uncertainties as low as 0.02 % are achievable. The system uses vertically polarized, TEM00 laser beams with nominal 1/e2 intensity diameter of 2 mm. Calibrations are offered at a discounted rate once a year, at wavelengths of 515, 633, 1064, and 1550 nm with 0.1 or 1.0 mW of power; calibrations at other times, wavelengths, or power levels are provided at cost. These high accuracy measurements are appropriate only for certain transfer standards (such as photodiode trap detectors) that are capable of maintaining high accuracies. The system can also perform general special tests including precision attenuator measurement, and responsivity calibrations using transfer standards over a larger power range (with increased uncertainty).
Table 5. High Accuracy Calibration Service
|Service||Wavelength (nm)||Power (mW)||Typical Relative Expanded Uncertainty k=2 (%)|
|Absolute Responsivity using Laser Optimized Cryogenic Radiometer (LOCR) standard||1550||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|1064||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|633||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|529||0.1||0.03 - 0.05|
|515||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|502||0.1||0.03 - 0.05|
|497||0.1||0.03 - 0.05|
|488||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|477||0.1||0.03 - 0.05|
|458||0.1||0.03 - 0.05|
|375||0.1 - 1.0||0.02 - 0.04|
|Attenuator Measurement general special test||At any of the above wavelengths||0.1 - 2.0 depending on wavelength||0.2 - 1.5|
Spectral responsivity measurements on laser power meters and detectors used with lasers can be performed over the wavelength region 450 nm to 1700 nm. These spectral response measurements are accomplished using broadband light sources in conjunction with a scanning monochromator. These measurement results are not valid for measurement comparisons with fibers attached. High resolution spectral responsivity measurements can be performed over limited wavelength regions centered on 850 nm, 1300 nm, and 1550 nm using tunable laser diode systems (see for example 42130C).
Detector uniformity is measured using a specially designed system which provides a small beam of laser radiation which is scanned across the detector surface. Available wavelengths are shown in Table 6, the sources have multiple longitudinal modes. The scanning laser beam has an approximately TEM00 profile with 1/e2 intensity diameter of 0.5 or 1.0 mm, other sizes are available on request. The resulting detector output response is displayed graphically and analyzed statistically. This information is useful for characterizing the quality of a detector; identifying interference effects caused by, for example, windows with parallel surfaces; and to assess the uncertainty caused by detector misalignment. The system can also be used for measuring the spatial uniformity of window transmittance, as a general special test.
Table 6. Spatial Uniformity Calibration Service
|Service||Nominal Center Wavelength (nm)||Maximum Power (µW)||Typical Relative Expanded Uncertainty k=2 (%)|
|Special Test for Spatial Uniformity of Laser and Optical Fiber Power Meters||636||60||0.3|
|Window Transmittance Spatial Uniformity general special test||Any of the above wavelengths||Same as above||Same as above|
Linearity of optical fiber power meters and detectors used with lasers can be measured at the three nominal wavelength regions of 850 nm, 1310 nm and 1550 nm using automated NIST-designed measurement systems. These systems are based on dual beam superposition, in which the radiation from two optical paths is incident (both jointly and individually) onto the detector. The system can provide linearity characterizations covering a 60 dB to 90 dB power dynamic range. Various other wavelengths and powers are also available upon request.
Linearity of high-power laser power meters and detectors can be measured at 1064 nm and 10.5 µm using automated NIST-designed measurement systems. These systems are based on a set of specially designed reflective chopper wheels, where the chopper attenuation factor is measured at various power levels. The system can provide linearity characterizations covering a 2 W to 900 W power range.
The Applied Physics Division conducts research not described specifically above on a variety of problems in the characterization of optoelectronics components. Consequently, we are interested in discussing and working to support all measurements involving laser detectors, sources, components, and instrumentation. Examples of special measurement areas include precision optical chopper transmission, performance of power meters under vacuum, optical density or attenuation of material, and optical component polarization (retardance). We are currently exploring detector reflectance measurements. Bear in mind that owing to the non-standard nature of these tests we will need to discuss needs and the cost-capability-time trade space.
In support of instrumentation used with optical fiber power systems, various optical fiber power related measurements are available by request and prearrangement. These include power measurements at customer-selected wavelengths (in the ±20 nm regions around 850 nm, 1300 nm, and 1550 nm), optical attenuator characterization, high power measurements, and power meter measurements involving unusual connector or fiber types.
The Applied Physics Division conducts research in a variety of areas relating to the characterization of optical fibers and fiber components. Most calibration support is in the form of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). Occasionally, when support is needed in an area where an SRM is not available or cannot be used, we can perform special tests, by prearrangement.
NIST spectral responsivity measurements on laser power meters and detectors used with lasers can be performed over the wavelength region 450 nm to 1700 nm. A co-requisite for this service is three or more high resolution absolute responsivity measurements performed over limited wavelength regions near 670 nm, 850 nm, 1300 nm, and 1550 nm using tunable laser diode systems (see for example 42130C). The measurement results from the laser-based measurements are reconciled with measurements accomplished using broadband light sources in conjunction with a scanning monochromator over the wider wavelength region. Because of the necessary data analysis (curve fitting), these measurement results are provided at lower accuracy than those provided in 42164C, but are valid for meter comparisons with or without fibers attached.
Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement Results, Barry N. Taylor and Chris E. Kuyatt (1994)
References-Free Space cw Power Meter Measurements
cw Laser Power and Energy Calibrations at NIST, J. Hadler, C.L. Cromer, J.H. Lehman (2007)
High Power Laser Calibrations at NIST, X. Li, J. Hadler, C. Cromer, J. Lehman, M. Dowell (2007)
High-Accuracy Laser Power and Energy Meter Calibration Service, David Livigni (2007)
"Documentation of the NBS C, K, and Q Laser Calibration Systems" (NBSIR 82-1676 by William E. Case)
"Intramural Comparison of NIST Laser and Optical Fiber Power Calibrations," J.H. Lehman, I. Vayshenker, D.J. Livigni, J. Hadler, J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. 109, 291-298 (2004)
References-Optical Fiber Power Meter Measurements
Optical Fiber Power Meter Nonlinearity Calibrations at NIST , I. Vayshenker, S. Yang, X. Li, T. R. Scott, C. L. Cromer, NIST Spec. Publ. 250-56 (Aug. 2000).
Nonlinearity of Optical Power Meters, I. Vayshenker, S. Yang, X. Li, and T.R. Scott, Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Spec. Publ. 905, pp. 101-104, (1996).
Errors Due to Connectors in Optical Fiber Power Meters, I. Vayshenker, X. Li, D. Keenan and T.R. Scott, Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Spec. Publ. 905, pp. 49-52, (1996).
Automated measurement of nonlinearity of optical fiber power meters, I. Vayshenker, S. Yang, X. Li, and T.R. Scott, Proc. Int. Symp. IMEKO, Vol. 2550, San Diego, CA (July 11-12, 1995).
Optical Detector Nonlinearity: Simulation, S.Yang, I. Vayshenker, X. Li, M. Zander and T.R. Scott, Natl. Inst. of Stand. Technol. Tech. Note 1376, (May 19, 1995).
Accurate Measurement of Optical Detector Nonlinearity, S. Yang, I. Vayshenker, X. Li, and T.R. Scott, Proc. Natl. Conf. Stand. Lab. Workshop and Symp., Session 5A, 353-362, (July-Aug., 1994).
Optical Power Meter Calibration Using Tunable Laser Diodes, I. Vayshenker, X. Li, and T.R. Scott, Proc. Natl. Conf. Stand. Lab. Workshop and Symp., Session 5A, 362-372, (July-Aug., 1994).
Optical Detector Nonlinearity: A Comparison of Five Methods, S. Yang, I. Vayshenker, X. Li, and T.R. Scott, Digest, Conf. Precision Electromagnetic Measurements, pp. 455-456, (June-July 1994).
Calibrated Optical Fiber Power Meters: Errors Due to Variations in Connectors, Xiaoyu Li and R. L. Gallawa, Fiber and Integrated Optics, Vol. 7 (1988).
Calibration of optical fiber power meters: the effect of connectors, R. L. Gallawa and Xiaoyu Li, Appl. Opt. 26, 1170 (Apr. 1987).
Optical fiber power meters: a round robin test of uncertainty, R. L. Gallawa and Shao Yang, Appl. Opt.25, 1066 (Apr. 1986).
References-Relative Intensity Noise
Transfer Standard for the Spectral Density of Relative Intensity Noise of Optical Fiber Sources near 1550 nm, G. E. Obarski and J. D. Splett, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 18, 750 (2001).
Measurement Assurance Program for the Spectral Density of Relative Intensity Noise of Optical Fiber Sources near 1550 nm, G. E. Obarski, J. D. Splett, NIST Spec. Publ. 250-57 (2002).
References-Optical Fiber and Fiber Component Measurements (other than Fiber Power)
Measurement Assurance Program for Wavelength Dependence of Polarization Dependent Loss of Fiber Optic Devices in the 1535 nm to 1560 nm Wavelength Range, R. M. Craig, C. M. Wang, NIST Spec. Publ. 250-60 (2002).
Rotating-wave-plate Stokes polarimeter for differential group delay measurements of polarization-mode dispersion, P. A. Williams, Appl. Opt., 38, 6508 (1999).
Mode-field diameter of single-mode optical fiber by far-field scanning, M. Young, Appl. Opt., 37, 5605 (1998).
Mode-field diameter of single-mode optical fiber by far-field scanning: addendum, M. Young, Appl. Opt., 37, 8361 (1998).
Accurate Measurements of the Zero-Dispersion Wavelength in Optical Fibers, S. E. Mechels, J. B. Schlager, D. L. Franzen, NIST J. Res., 102(3), 333 (1997).
Optical Fiber Geometry: Accurate Measurement of Cladding Diameter, M. Young, P. D. Hale, S. E. Mechels, NIST J. Res., 98 (2), 203 (1993).