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15 January 2007 Limits of performance: CW laser damage
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High performance optical coatings are an enabling technology for many applications - navigation systems, telecom, fusion, advanced measurement systems of many types as well as directed energy weapons. The results of recent testing of superior optical coatings conducted at high flux levels have been presented. Failure of these coatings was rare. However, induced damage was not expected from simple thermal models relating flux loading to induced temperatures. Clearly, other mechanisms must play a role in the occurrence of laser damage. Contamination is an obvious mechanism-both particulate and molecular. Less obvious are structural defects and the role of induced stresses. These mechanisms are examined through simplified models and finite element analysis. The results of the models are compared to experiment, for induced temperatures and observed stress levels. The role of each mechanism is described and limiting performance is determined.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rashmi S. Shah, Justin J. Rey, and Alan F. Stewart "Limits of performance: CW laser damage", Proc. SPIE 6403, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2006, 640305 (15 January 2007);

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