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15 January 2007 Optical characterization in laser damage studies
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The development of high power lasers and optical micro-components requires optical characterization techniques for studying behavior of optical materials under illumination, laser damage phenomena and ageing. More usual optical characterization tools are based on measurements of absorption, scattering and luminescence; they are non destructive evaluation techniques. It is important to combine several tools which allow getting complementary information. Optical tools can be used in damage initiation studies or to characterize properties of damaged areas. Because defects involved in laser damage initiation are sub-micrometer sized, both high spatial resolution and high sensitivity are required to detect defects as small as possible. Furthermore optical tools have to be implemented in damage set-up and at the same wavelength for a detailed analysis of damage mechanisms. We present an overview of recent developments in the field of optical characterization in connection with laser damage. Especially, a high resolution photothermal deflection microscopy has been coupled with a damage set-up to detect nano-absorbing precursors of damage and to study their behavior under irradiation. Thus model defects such as gold inclusions of various sizes have been followed through irradiation and results are compared with numerical simulations. Optical characterization allows to get determining information if several techniques are associated with numerical simulations.
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Mireille Commandré, Jean Yves Natoli, Laurent Gallais, Frank Wagner, and Claude Amra "Optical characterization in laser damage studies", Proc. SPIE 6403, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2006, 64031D (15 January 2007);

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