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News

Optics Handling & Cleaning

  • Author:Jessica
  • Release on :2017-06-12

Great care should be taken when handling infrared optics. Please note the following precautions:
Always wear powder-free finger cots or rubber/latex gloves when handling optics. Dirt and oil from the skin can severely contaminate optics, causing a major degradation in performance.
Do not use any tools to manipulate optics -- this includes tweezers or picks.
Always place optics on supplied lens tissue for protection.
Never place optics on a hard or rough surface. Infrared optics can be easily scratched.
Bare gold or bare copper should never be cleaned or touched.
All materials used for infrared optics are fragile, whether single crystal or polycrystalline, large or fine grained. They are not as strong as glass and will not withstand procedures normally used on glass optics.

Step 1 - Mild Cleaning for Light Contamination (dust, lint particles)
Use an air bulb to blow off any loose contaminants from the optic surface before proceeding to the cleaning steps. If this step does not remove the contamination, continue to Step 2.

Step 2 - Mild Cleaning for Light Contamination (smudges, fingerprints)
Dampen an unused cotton swab or a cotton ball with acetone or isopropyl alcohol. Gently wipe the surface with the damp cotton. Do not rub hard. Drag the cotton across the surface just fast enough so that the liquid evaporates right behind the cotton. This should leave no streaks. If this step does not remove the contamination, continue to Step 3.

Step 2 (alternative method) “Drop and Drag” - Mild Cleaning for Light Contamination
(Note: The “Drop and Drag” method is not a preferred cleaning method of us.)
Lay the lens tissue on the optic’s surface. Using an eyedropper, squeeze a few drops of acetone onto the lens tissue, wetting the complete optic’s diameter.
Without lifting the lens tissue, drag the lens tissue across the optic just fast enough so that the liquid evaporates behind the tissue. This should leave no streaks. If this step does not remove the contamination, continue to Step 3.

Step 3 - Moderate Cleaning for Moderate Contamination (spittle, oils)
Dampen an unused cotton swab or cotton ball with white distilled vinegar. Using light pressure, wipe the optic’s surface with the damp cotton. Wipe excess distilled vinegar with a clean dry cotton swab. Immediately dampen a cotton swab or cotton ball with acetone. Gently wipe the optic’s surface to remove any acetic acid. If this step does not remove the contamination, continue to Step4.

Step 4 - Aggressive Cleaning for Severely Contaminated Optics (splatter)
Caution: Step 4 should NEVER be performed on new or unused laser optics. These steps are to be done only on optics that have become severely contaminated from use and have no acceptable results yielded from Steps 2 or 3 as previously noted.