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4 December 2012 Laser damage testing of optical components under cryogenic conditions
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In this contribution we present a technology for deposition and testing of interference coatings for optical components designed to operate in power pulsed lasers. The aim of the technology is to prepare components for high power laser facilities such as ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) or HiLASE. ELI is a part of the European plan to build a new generation of large research facilities selected by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). These facilities rely on the use of diode pumped solid state lasers (DPSSL). The choice of the material for the lasers' optical components is critical. Some of the most important properties include the ability to be antireflection and high reflection coated to reduce the energy losses and increase the overall efficiency. As large amounts of heat need to be dissipated during laser operation, cryogenic cooling is necessary. The conducted experiments served as preliminary tests of laser damage threshold measurement methodology that we plan to use in the future. We designed a special apparatus consisting of a vacuum chamber and a cooling system. The samples were placed into the vacuum chamber which was evacuated and then the samples were cooled down to approximately 120K and illuminated by a pulsed laser. Pulse duration was in the nanosecond region. Multiple test sites on the sample's surface were used for different laser pulse energies. We used optical and electron microscopy and spectrophotometer measurements for coating investigation after the conducted experiments.
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Jindrich Oulehla, Pavel Pokorný, and Josef Lazar "Laser damage testing of optical components under cryogenic conditions", Proc. SPIE 8530, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2012, 85301T (4 December 2012);


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