Corner Cube Retroreflectors

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Corner Cube Retroreflectors

Examples of very small corner cube retroreflectors
ZYGO manufactures precision corner cube retroreflectors of the highest quality, down to the smallest details.
Key Features:

• Dihedral angles: 90° ± 0.20 arc sec, or "spoiled" (angles offset)

• Beam deviations to ≤ 1 arc sec

• Sizes: 10 mm to 100 mm (or larger)

• Quantities from single piece to high-volume OEM orders

(click for more specifications)

Retroreflectors, corner cubes, available in a wide range of sizes
ZYGO can make corner cube retroreflectors in wide range of sizes and face shapes.

Corner cube retroreflector, 100 mm face diameter

Size is not a limitation - ZYGO has extensive experience with very large precision optics.

A corner cube retroreflector, also known as a CCR or trihedral prism, is an optical structure that consists of three adjacent, mutually-orthogonal plane-reflecting surfaces which form the corner of a cube. The corner cube reflects an incident ray at a specific angle, independent of the prism and beam orientations.

Typical corner cube designs reflect the incident light at 180 degrees. Some applications require the reflected ray to return at a different angle. This type of design, known as a "spoiled" retroreflector, incorporates a precisely calculated offset of the dihedral surface angles.

A number of coating options are available for corner cube retroreflectors. The front face may have an antireflective (AR) coating applied, and the three reflecting faces may have a metallic or dielectric coating, or may remain uncoated.


Corner cubes are used in a wide variety of applications such as spectroscopy, battlefield technology and satellites. Corner cubes enable range finding for weapons systems and aid in performing other precise displacement and distance measurements. For example, a satellite in orbit around the earth requires monitoring of its position while it measures plate tectonics and ocean surface topography.

ZYGO Advanced Capabilities

When off-the-shelf catalog retroreflectors do not meet the needs of your application, contact us with your requirements. At ZYGO, we leverage more than 40 years of experience in fabricating, coating, and measuring the highest quality optics. Our skilled engineers, opticians and technicians specialize in fabricating the most challenging designs. All fabrication, coating, and testing is done in-house by ZYGO.

ZYGO master opticians and coating technicians routinely fabricate designs for the defense, aerospace, semiconductor, medical and other highly demanding industries. We frequently receive requests to test coatings on witness samples to meet military specifications for adhesion, salt fog, humidity, temperature and more. Our testing and inspection teams ensure each corner cube's performance meets or exceeds our customers' expectations.

We recognize that each corner cube retroreflector design is unique, with specifications offering various benefits and tradeoffs. The specifications outlined here are an overview of what ZYGO typically offers. Contact us with your design requirements.

ZYGO Corner Cube Retroreflectors – Typical Specifications
Material BK7, Fused Silica, Germanium, Silicon and more

Diameter 10 mm to larger than 100 mm

Dihedral Angles 90° ± 0.20 arc second or "spoiled" (angles offset)

Beam Deviation ≤ 1 arc second, coating dependent

Clear Aperture (CA) ≥ 90% central area (typical)

Surface Flatness λ/40 - λ/8, wavelength and CA dependent

Surface Roughness < 10 Å RMS (typical) to <5 Å RMS

Bevels ≤ 0.25 mm face width

Surface Quality 60/40 (typical) to 20/10 per MIL-PRF-13830B

Coatings Protected metal, dielectric, antireflective or uncoated

Custom Designs

Depending on their complexity, retroreflector designs may incorporate a number of customized specifications. Designs submitted to ZYGO typically involve special requests for one or more of the specifications noted below. Contact us to discuss the specifications applicable to your system requirements.

• Substrate material

• Diameter

• Height

• Beam deviation and angle tolerance

• Laser damage threshold

• Design wavelength reflectance requirement

• Clear aperture

• Maximum beam diameter

• Surface flatness (PV or RMS)

• Surface quality (scratch/dig)

• Bevels and edge finishing

• Coating adhesion and other environmental considerations

ZYGO Quality Assurance

All ZYGO retroreflectors are manufactured and tested to the same high standard of excellence that the optics industry expects from ZYGO. The performance of every retroreflector is measured and verified for dihedral angle error, beam deviation, and transmitted wavefront quality using industry-standard ZYGO laser interferometer systems.
Inquiry/Quote Form – Corner Cube Retroreflectors
Please use this form to tell us about your corner cube retroreflector needs. You may send any additional information, including specifications and/or prints, to:

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Learn more about corner cube testing techniques... click here to download the application manual.
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