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9 April 2002 Development of a photothermal microscope for multiscale studies of defects
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Photothermal deflection is widely used to study defects in optical coatings and role of these defects in laser damage. Because defects responsible for laser damage are probably submicrometer sized, both high spatial resolution and high sensitivity are required to detect defects as small as possible. In this work we theoretically and experimentally explore the capability of collinear photothermal deflection to give submicrometric resolution by reduction of the pump beam diameter to one micrometer. We have developed a microscope based on the photothermal deflection of a transmitted probe beam and well-suited for multiscale studies of defects in thin films. The pump and probe beams are collinear and focused through the same optics, which can be chosen in order to change the diameter at 1/e2 of the pump beam on the sample surface from 100 micrometers to 1 micrometers . We present our first results obtained on specially prepared absorption targets and show that a lateral spatial resolution lower than 1 micrometers is reached.
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Annelise During, Caroline Fossati, and Mireille Commandre "Development of a photothermal microscope for multiscale studies of defects", Proc. SPIE 4679, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2001, (9 April 2002);

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