In this work, we implemented a photothermal absorption technique based on thermal lens method to characterize the subsurface defects of fused silica optics. The pump beam is CW 532 nm wavelength laser. The probe beam is a He-Ne laser. They are collinear and focused through the same objective. When pump beam pass through the sample, optical absorption induces the local temperature rise. The lowest absorptance that we can detect is about the order of magnitude of 0.01 ppm. When pump beam pass through the sample, optical absorption induces the local temperature rise.
The photothermal absorption value of fused silica samples range from 0.5 to 10 ppm. The damage densities of the samples were plotted. The damage threshold of samples at 8J/cm2 were gived to show laser damage performance of fused silica.The results show that there is a strong correlation between the thermal absorption and laser damage density. The photothermal absorption technique can be used to predict and evaluate the laser damage performance of fused silica optics.