14 July 2015 Improving UV laser damage threshold of fused silica optics by wet chemical etching technique
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Fused silica is widely used in high-power laser systems because of its good optical performance and mechanical properties. However, laser damage initiation and growth induced by 355 nm laser illumination in optical elements have become a bottleneck in the development of high energy laser system. In order to improve the laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT), the fused silica optics were treated by two types of HF-based etchants: 1.7%wt. HF acid and buffer oxide etchant (BOE: the mixture of 0.4%wt. HF and 12%wt. NH4F), respectively, for varied etching time. Damage testing shows that both the etchants increase the damage threshold at a certain depth of material removal, but further removal of material lowers the LIDT markedly. The etching rates of both etchants keep steady in our processing procedure, ~58 μg/min and ~85 μg/min, respectively. The micro-surface roughness (RMS and PV) increases as etching time extends. The hardness (H) and Young’s modulus (E) of the fused silica etched for diverse time, measured by nano-indenter, show no solid evidence that LIDT can be related to hardness or Young’s modulus.
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Hui Ye, Hui Ye, Yaguo Li, Yaguo Li, Zhigang Yuan, Zhigang Yuan, Jian Wang, Jian Wang, Qiao Xu, Qiao Xu, Wei Yang, Wei Yang, } "Improving UV laser damage threshold of fused silica optics by wet chemical etching technique", Proc. SPIE 9532, Pacific Rim Laser Damage 2015: Optical Materials for High-Power Lasers, 953221 (14 July 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186007; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2186007

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