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On the 3ω part of the LIL laser many optical components will have to sustain fluences above 10J/cm2. Even if progress in silica substrate technology decreases the number of defects/cm2 which can induce a damage under such a laser flux, tens of damaged sites will appear on large surface optics. Knowing that these damaged sites grow exponentially with the number of laser shots, it is a necessity to stop the growth of these defects before the use of the optical component is impaired. In this paper we have used wet chemical etching as a way to circumvent the growth of laser-induced surface damages. SEM characterization of damages at all stages of the process has been carried out. We show that at a reduced damage creation fluence, the use of a highly concentrated HF acid leads to a 93% mitigation rate for those damaged sites that need mitigation. Due to the etching anisotropy, the HF acid concentration is more important than etch depth’s for the mitigation rate of laser induced surface damage in silica.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Philippe Bouchut, Pierre Garrec, and Catherine Pelle "Wet etching for the mitigation of laser damage growth in fused silica", Proc. SPIE 4932, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2002 and 7th International Workshop on Laser Beam and Optics Characterization, (30 May 2003);


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