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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 10 — May. 7, 2012
  • pp: 11561–11573

Extracting the distribution of laser damage precursors on fused silica surfaces for 351 nm, 3 ns laser pulses at high fluences (20-150 J/cm2)

Ted A. Laurence, Jeff D. Bude, Sonny Ly, Nan Shen, and Michael D. Feit  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 10, pp. 11561-11573 (2012)

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Surface laser damage limits the lifetime of optics for systems guiding high fluence pulses, particularly damage in silica optics used for inertial confinement fusion-class lasers (nanosecond-scale high energy pulses at 355 nm/3.5 eV). The density of damage precursors at low fluence has been measured using large beams (1-3 cm); higher fluences cannot be measured easily since the high density of resulting damage initiation sites results in clustering. We developed automated experiments and analysis that allow us to damage test thousands of sites with small beams (10-30 µm), and automatically image the test sites to determine if laser damage occurred. We developed an analysis method that provides a rigorous connection between these small beam damage test results of damage probability versus laser pulse energy and the large beam damage results of damage precursor densities versus fluence. We find that for uncoated and coated fused silica samples, the distribution of precursors nearly flattens at very high fluences, up to 150 J/cm2, providing important constraints on the physical distribution and nature of these precursors.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.3330) Lasers and laser optics : Laser damage
(160.2750) Materials : Glass and other amorphous materials
(160.4670) Materials : Optical materials
(160.6030) Materials : Silica

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: March 29, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: April 17, 2012
Published: May 4, 2012

Ted A. Laurence, Jeff D. Bude, Sonny Ly, Nan Shen, and Michael D. Feit, "Extracting the distribution of laser damage precursors on fused silica surfaces for 351 nm, 3 ns laser pulses at high fluences (20-150 J/cm2)," Opt. Express 20, 11561-11573 (2012)

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