13 November 2017 Link between mechanical strength and laser damage threshold for antireflective coating made by sol-gel
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The MegaJoule Laser (LMJ) for inertial confinement fusion experiments is currently in operation at CEA-CESTA in France. All the lenses are coated by an antireflective (AR) layer to optimize the light power transmission. This AR layer is manufactured by sol-gel process, a soft chemical process, associated with a liquid phase coating technique to realize thin film of metal oxide. These optical components are hardened into ammoniac vapors in order to mechanically reinforce the AR coating and to make them more handling. This hardening induces a thickness reduction of the layer so an increase of the stiffness and sometimes a crazing of the layer. As these optical components undergo a high-power laser beam, so, it is important to verify if the AR properties (optical and mechanical) influence the value of the threshold laser damage. A series of coated samples have been manufactured having variable elastic moduli to discuss this point. In that purpose, a homemade Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) setup has been developed to test the layers under laser flux. We describe the used methods and different results are given. Preliminary results obtained on several coated samples with variable elastic moduli are presented. We show that whatever are the elastic stiffness of the AR coating, an overall decrease of the threshold appears with no noticeable effect of the mechanical properties of the AR coatings. Some possible explanations are given.
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J. Avice, J. Avice, H. Piombini, H. Piombini, C. Boscher, C. Boscher, P. Belleville, P. Belleville, G. Vaudel, G. Vaudel, G. Brotons, G. Brotons, P. Ruello, P. Ruello, V. Gusev, V. Gusev, } "Link between mechanical strength and laser damage threshold for antireflective coating made by sol-gel", Proc. SPIE 10447, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials 2017, 1044717 (13 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2280520; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2280520

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