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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 22 — Nov. 4, 2013
  • pp: 26341–26351

Femtosecond laser damage threshold of pulse compression gratings for petawatt scale laser systems

Patrick Poole, Simeon Trendafilov, Gennady Shvets, Douglas Smith, and Enam Chowdhury  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 22, pp. 26341-26351 (2013)

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Laser-induced femtosecond damage thresholds of Au and Ag coated pulse compression gratings were measured using 800 nm laser pulses ranging in duration from 30 to 200 fs. These gratings differ from conventional metal-on-photoresist pulse compression gratings in that the gratings patterns are generated by etching the fused silica substrate directly. After etching, the metal overcoating was optimized based on diffraction efficiency and damage threshold considerations. The experiment on these gratings was performed under vacuum for single-shot damage. Single-shot damage threshold, where there is a 0% probability of damage, was determined to be within a 400–800 mJ/cm2 range. The damage threshold exhibited no clear dependence on pulse width, but showed clear dependence on gold overcoat surface morphology. This was confirmed by electromagnetic field modeling using the finite element method, which showed that non-conformal coating morphology gives rise to significant local field enhancement near groove edges, lowering the diffraction efficiency and increasing Joule heating. Large-scale gratings with conformal coating have been installed successfully in the 500 TW Scarlet laser system.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(140.3330) Lasers and laser optics : Laser damage
(320.5520) Ultrafast optics : Pulse compression
(240.6648) Optics at surfaces : Surface dynamics

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: August 30, 2013
Revised Manuscript: October 14, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: October 16, 2013
Published: October 25, 2013

Patrick Poole, Simeon Trendafilov, Gennady Shvets, Douglas Smith, and Enam Chowdhury, "Femtosecond laser damage threshold of pulse compression gratings for petawatt scale laser systems," Opt. Express 21, 26341-26351 (2013)

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