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20 December 2007 Laser damage metrology in biaxial nonlinear crystals using different test beams
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Laser damage measurements in nonlinear optical crystals, in particular in biaxial crystals, may be influenced by several effects proper to these materials or greatly enhanced in these materials. Before discussion of these effects, we address the topic of error bar determination for probability measurements. Error bars for the damage probabilities are important because nonlinear crystals are often small and expensive, thus only few sites are used for a single damage probability measurement. We present the mathematical basics and a flow diagram for the numerical calculation of error bars for probability measurements that correspond to a chosen confidence level. Effects that possibly modify the maximum intensity in a biaxial nonlinear crystal are: focusing aberration, walk-off and self-focusing. Depending on focusing conditions, propagation direction, polarization of the light and the position of the focus point in the crystal, strong aberrations may change the beam profile and drastically decrease the maximum intensity in the crystal. A correction factor for this effect is proposed, but quantitative corrections are not possible without taking into account the experimental beam profile after the focusing lens. The characteristics of walk-off and self-focusing have quickly been reviewed for the sake of completeness of this article. Finally, parasitic second harmonic generation may influence the laser damage behavior of crystals. The important point for laser damage measurements is that the amount of externally observed SHG after the crystal does not correspond to the maximum amount of second harmonic light inside the crystal.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Anne Hildenbrand, Frank R. Wagner, Hassan Akhouayri, Jean-Yves Natoli, and Mireille Commandre "Laser damage metrology in biaxial nonlinear crystals using different test beams", Proc. SPIE 6720, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2007, 672017 (20 December 2007);

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