7 February 2006 A summary of recent damage-initiation experiments on KDP crystals
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We summarize recent investigations of the density and morphology of bulk damage in KDP crystals as a function of pulse duration, temporal profile, wavelength, and energy fluence. As previously reported by Runkel et al.1, we also find that the size of bulk damage sites varies roughly linearly with pulse duration for pulses between 1 ns and 9 ns. However this trend no longer applies at pulse durations below 1 ns. Experiments measuring the damage density and size distribution as a function of wavelength confirm many previous works which indicated a strong dependence of damage density with wavelength. However, we also find that the size of damage sites is relatively insensitive to wavelength. Further we see damage due to Flat-In-Time (FIT) pulses has different pulse length and fluence dependence than Gaussian pulses. We demonstrate that a simple thermal diffusion model can account for observed differences in damage densities due to square and Gaussian temporally shaped pulses of equal fluence. Moreover, we show that the key laser parameter governing size of the bulk damage sites is the length of time the pulse remains above a specific intensity. The different dependences of damage density and damage site size on laser parameters suggest different absorption mechanisms early and late in the damaging pulse.
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C.W. Carr, C.W. Carr, M.D. Feit, M.D. Feit, A.M. Rubenchik, A.M. Rubenchik, J.B. Trenholme, J.B. Trenholme, M.L. Spaeth, M.L. Spaeth, "A summary of recent damage-initiation experiments on KDP crystals", Proc. SPIE 5991, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2005, 59911Q (7 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.638829; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.638829

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