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13 May 1997 Toward predicting the laser damage threshold of large-area optics
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As the size of optics has increased, so has the difficulty in effectively measuring and defining their laser damage threshold. This is exemplified in the case of optical coatings being developed for the National Ignition Facility in the USA and the laser megajoules in France. Measuring the threshold on small witness samples rather than on the full aperture optic presents obvious advantages. In this article, the threshold of large-area components is being addressed in two general ways that both use experimental mapping data. First, a model based on the fruitful concept of the R-on-1 threshold distribution is shown to predict the threshold of a large optic with a high degree of confidence. At the same time, it is determined that the average R-on-1 threshold provides a reliable and accurate value to evaluate the coating improvements. To acquire the essential data, an automated damage test bench has been developed by the laboratory of 'Couches minces pour l'Optique' at the CEA. Secondly, the damage threshold has to be defined according to the final use of the component. To address this issue, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has defined a functional damage threshold to set limits on the maximum damage size. An empirical power law dependence of average damage size on peak fluence was found. This relation can be used to predict the damage behavior of large-aperture optics exhibiting the same damage morphology.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jean Hue, Francois Y. Genin, Stephen M. Maricle, and Mark R. Kozlowski "Toward predicting the laser damage threshold of large-area optics", Proc. SPIE 2966, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1996, (13 May 1997);

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