20 April 1998 Effects of polishing, etching, cleaving, and water leaching on the UV laser damage of fused silica
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A damage morphology study was performed with a 355 nm, 8-ns Nd:YAG laser on synthetic UV-grade fused silica to determine the effects of post-polish chemical etching on laser-induced damage, compare damage morphologies of cleaved and polished surfaces, and understand the effects of the hydrolyzed surface layer and water-crack interactions. The samples were polished, then chemically etched in a buffered HF solution to remove 45, 90, 135, and 180 nm of surface material. Another set of sample was cleaved and soaked in boiling distilled water for 1 second and 1 hour. All the samples were irradiated at damaging fluences and characterized by Normarski optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope. Damage was initiated at micro-pits on both input and output surface of the polished fused silica sample. At higher fluences, the micro-pits generated cracks on the surface. Laser damage of the etched fused silica surface shoed that the real density of micro-pits decreased with etched thickness. SIMS analysis of the polished surface showed significant trace contamination levels within a 50 nm surface layer. Micro-pits formation also appeared after irradiating cleaved fused silica surfaces at damaging fluences. Linear damage tracks corresponding cleaving cracks were often observed on cleaved surfaces. Soaking cleaved samples in water produced wide laser damage tracks.
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J. M. Yoshiyama, Francois Y. Genin, Alberto Salleo, Ian M. Thomas, Mark R. Kozlowski, Lynn Matthew Sheehan, Ian D. Hutcheon, David W. Camp, "Effects of polishing, etching, cleaving, and water leaching on the UV laser damage of fused silica", Proc. SPIE 3244, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1997, (20 April 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.307041; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.307041

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