13 May 1997 Pyroelectricity and its role in optical damage of potassium titanyl phosphate crystals
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The origin of optical damage in potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) crystals has been vigorously investigated since its introduction as a nonlinear optical material in 1976. It is well known that this material exhibits a laser damage threshold that limits its use in many high average-power applications, especially frequency doubling of Nd-doped lasers. Both photochromic and electrochromic damage can be induced in KTP. Until recently, it was thought that these two types of damage were distinctly different, possibly involving different mechanisms; however, new data show that electrochromic-like damage can be induced in KTP by laser irradiation only, implying the existence of an internal electric field.We have recently observed bursts of light when heating KTP crystals at 0.1-1.0 K/s in the temperature range 8-675 K. The scintillations correspond to molecular nitrogen emission occurring during the electrical breakdown of air near the crystal surface, and imply the existence of pyroelectric fields in KTP exceeding 30 kV/cm. These fields wee induced by 10.6 micrometers laser irradiation. The observation of pyroelectric effects, heretofore not considered in KTP damage models, provides an important new insight into the possible cause of the recently observed 'electrochromic- like' photochromic damage in KTP.
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D. Wayne Cooke, D. Wayne Cooke, Bryan L. Bennett, Bryan L. Bennett, Ross E. Muenchausen, Ross E. Muenchausen, J. C. Thomas, J. C. Thomas, Nigel J. Cockroft, Nigel J. Cockroft, John R. Quagliano, John R. Quagliano, Roger R. Petrin, Roger R. Petrin, C. J. Maggiore, C. J. Maggiore, M. T. Paffett, M. T. Paffett, David M. Wayne, David M. Wayne, T. N. Taylor, T. N. Taylor, M. Hawley, M. Hawley, John C. Jacco, John C. Jacco, Michael P. Scripsick, Michael P. Scripsick, } "Pyroelectricity and its role in optical damage of potassium titanyl phosphate crystals", Proc. SPIE 2966, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1996, (13 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274280; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.274280

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