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14 July 2015 Producing fused silica optics with high UV-damage resistance to nanosecond pulsed lasers
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The laser induced damage to optics has been an issue of paramount importance in laser research community. The low damage threshold of fused silica surfaces predominantly restricts the development of high power and high energy systems. This paper is aimed at improving the surface damage threshold of fused silica substrates by researching the effect of mechanical and chemical defects on laser damage: cracks/scratches and metallic impurities. The cracks were found to close, at least in part, after thermal processing and the damage threshold of the indented region was little affected by the thermal processing. In contrast, the cracks were enlarged after chemical etching and the damage threshold was improved slightly. Concerning scratches, the damage threshold can be recovered significantly after different HF-based etching. The metallic contamination can be removed by HF-based etching and acid leaching. The etched surface shows that the damage threshold increased first to ~30J/cm2 and then decreased with etching time while the damage threshold stabilized at ~30J/cm2 for leaching >45min. The surface roughness may degrade after etching, from <1nm to 3~5nm RMS, but that is ~1nm after leaching. The leaching may be a potential method for dissolving metallic contaminants on the glass surface in order to get a smooth surface with high damage resistance.
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Jian Wang, Yaguo Li, Zhigang Yuan, Hui Ye, Ruiqing Xie, Xianhua Chen, and Qiao Xu "Producing fused silica optics with high UV-damage resistance to nanosecond pulsed lasers", Proc. SPIE 9532, Pacific Rim Laser Damage 2015: Optical Materials for High-Power Lasers, 95320H (14 July 2015);


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