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7 February 2006 Evaluation of self-focusing influence on laser-induced damage threshold of anti-reflective coated windows
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For high intensity lasers it is very important to choose appropriate optical elements. Since invention of high power lasers laser-induced damage of optical coatings was subject of extensive investigations. At high laser intensities the self-focusing in optical elements appears and intensity at rear optics surface can be much higher than at the front surface. Due to this damage of rear-surface can be reached much faster than damage of the front surface. We investigated the influence of self-focusing on damage threshold in fused-silica windows with anti-reflective coatings on both sides. In our experiments we used titanium-sapphire chirped pulse amplification system (130 fs, 2 mJ, 1 kHz repetition rate pulses at 800 nm). We have tested 1 mm, 3 mm and 6 mm thickness fused-silica windows with identical anti-reflective coatings. The front surface of the samples was placed in the waist of focused beam. The experiments were performed for effective spot diameters on the front 145 μm, 95 μm and 43 μm respectively. The experiments showed the self-focusing of beam inside the fused silica window and self-focusing dependence on initial beam diameter. The damage behavior was dependent on irradiation history. Also we found quite strong nonlinear absorption in fused silica.
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T. Rakickas, V. Kudriašov, V. Sirutkaitis, R. Grigonis, and E. Gaižauskas "Evaluation of self-focusing influence on laser-induced damage threshold of anti-reflective coated windows", Proc. SPIE 5991, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2005, 59911J (7 February 2006);

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