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Corner Cube Prisms

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A corner cube prism, also known as a retroreflector, a CCR, or a trihedral prism, is an optical prism  that sends an incoming beam of light directly towards its point of origin while translating it spatially. It does this regardless of the angle of entry, which makes it very useful for applications in spectroscopy, satellites, or battlefield technology. Corner cube prisms are also used in land surveying, laser resonator cavities, electronic distance measurement, and space vessel docking.

The corner cube retroreflector works through three internal reflections on three mutually orthogonal prism surfaces. This leads to a reflected beam which is parallel to the direction of the incident light. Accuracy is limited only by the surface orientation and the precision specifications of the the prism. The limits of precision possible with a corner cube prism is usually specified as an angular deviation, for instance, less than 3arcseconds.

Applications and Specifications

We realize that every situation is unique, and are able to customize our retroreflectors to fit your optical needs and minimize light scattering. Size, coatings, and precision specifications can all be customized as needed, and our design team can work with to design corner cube prisms that fit your application.  Every retroreflector is individually inspected with our state of the art ZYGO interferometer before it leaves our factory, and we guarantee that every piece fully meets posted standards.

Our standard corner cubes have very small beam deviation to provide precise reflection of light. We can provide protected metal coatings to reduce phase shifting wavefront aberrations, if needed.

For situations where weight or space is at a premium we can produce truncated retroreflectors.  The truncation does not affect light transmission, and these prisms still have the same precise beam deviation and transmitted wavefront as our non-truncated corner cube prisms.

When a lateral beam displacement, much larger than the clear aperture size, is needed, we can provide lateral transfer corner cubes. These prisms have one trihedral reflecting face at one end of the prism, and the two other trihedral reflecting faces form a roof at the opposite edge.

Our corner cube prisms are available in BK7 Grade A optical glass, Corning fused silica 7980, JGS1 UV grade fused silica, and JGS2 optical grade fused silica.

JGS1 UV grade silica is a high quality optical material with good thermal resistance, and it transmits well in the ultraviolet range. It is essentially free of bubbles and inclusions.  In the visible and UV range, down to approximately 215 nm, it will transmit approximately 90 percent without anti-reflection coatings. Between 215 and 150 nm this drops down to 0 % and light is effectively blocked. It has a relatively high OH concentration (1000 ppm), which causes an intensive OH absorption band between the 2600-2800 nm wavelength range.

JGS2 Optical grade silica is similar to JGS1 in optical properties, but larger prisms may include more bubbles and other irregularities. Transmission is about 90 % between 2 μm and 270 nm. This optical glass has a much lower OH concentration (less than 300 ppm).

Please contact us for more information about the corner cube prisms we have in stock or to request a custom order or optical design.





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