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27 May 1996 Ultrashort-pulse optical damage
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Abstract
Advances in high peak power short-pulse laser systems are currently limited by laser-induced damage to optical components by the intense short pulses. We have investigated the damage thresholds and mechanisms of pure dielectrics, and gold and multilayer-dielectric mirrors and diffraction gratings, with pulses ranging from 1 ns down to 0.1 ps. Theoretical modeling of the damage process is in quantitative agreement with measurements for both metals and dielectrics. In the dielectrics, we find a change in pulse width scaling of the threshold fluence near 20 ps, below which the excited electrons generated by multiphoton and avalanche ionization have insufficient time to couple their energy to the lattice during the pulse. For the shortest pulses the damage process becomes dominated by multiphoton ionization, leading to a very strong dependence on the electric field strength (extremely localized ablation) and a relative insensitivity to sample defects.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Brent C. Stuart, Michael D. Feit, Steve M. Herman, Alexander M. Rubenchik, Bruce W. Shore, and Michael D. Perry "Ultrashort-pulse optical damage", Proc. SPIE 2714, 27th Annual Boulder Damage Symposium: Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1995, (27 May 1996); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.240404
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