Dispersing prism is an essential part in most ultrashort pulse laser systems. These prisms are used intracavity to compensate dispersion of fixed cavity optics, such as active gain medium. But in most cases it is used as an extra-cavity element to manipulate pulse characteristics.
Three materials with different dispersive properties are available. For the highest group velocity dispersion dense SF10 is used. Prisms made of SF10 feature GVD of ~1600 fs²/cm. GVD is equal to ~350 fs²/cm in case of fused silica. For intermediate GVD vales (600 fs²/cm) LaKL21 prisms are also available.
Standard prisms feature high surface quality and flatness and only high purity optical materials are used for production. Prisms are designed in a way to satisfy condition of minimum loss due to entrance and exit at Brewster’s angle.