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13 May 1997 Progress in optical coatings for the midinfrared
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There has been a growing interest in new laser systems for use at mid-IR wavelengths, driven by requirements for a number of diverse applications. Developments in mid-IR coating technology are following three major thrusts. In the first, the potential of ion-assisted process is being exploited and the technology is already becoming well established in the optical coating industry. In the second, the benefits of using gas-phase precursors are being explored, driven by the potential of avoiding the generation of second phase inclusion in the coatings with associated reduction in laser damage threshold.Research is also addressing the use of nanocomposite materials with an engineered microstructure to produce coatings with dielectric properties of choice. This paper presents a review of progress in some of these areas with special emphasis on the comparison of the properties of materials at DF laser wavelengths. Evidence is presented which suggests that laser damage thresholds at 3.8 micrometers are determined by residual hydroxyl-related absorption in the films. Ion- assisted processes do not necessarily provide the best way forward for the highest damage thresholds.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Keith L. Lewis, Andrew M. Pitt, M. Corbett, Richard Blacker, and John Simpson "Progress in optical coatings for the midinfrared", Proc. SPIE 2966, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1996, (13 May 1997);

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