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In this work, 532-nm high-reflection (HR) coatings have been deposited at different deposition temperatures by electron-beam evaporation technology. The spectral performance, e-field distribution, surface roughness, stoichiometry, as well as the laser resistance of the prepared 532-nm HR coatings are investigated. Experimental results indicate that the LIDT of the 532-nm HR coatings can be greatly influenced by deposition temperature. A relatively high deposition temperature benefits the crystallization and oxidation, and improves the LIDT of the 532-nm HR coatings. In addition, the SiO2 overcoat layer is also demonstrated to be effective in suppressing the delamination damage morphology and improving the LIDT of the 532-nm HR coatings.
A vacuum chamber was designed to study the risk of laser-induced contamination (LIC) on optical payloads integrated on spaceflight missions. In this context, tests were performed with a nanosecond pulsed laser at 355 nm on fused silica substrates under toluene exposure with multiple laser irradiation. Specific experimental procedures are described in order to obtain repeatable results. Finally, series of tests were performed to investigate the onset of the LIC deposition process and its evolution over time. A slight antireflective effect is consistently observed at the onset of the deposition process. We suggest that this is an indication that the LIC deposition process in our experimental conditions starts with a nucleation layer consisting of small dense islands of deposit.
Laser damage measurements with multiple pulses at constant fluence (S-on-1 measurements) are of high practical importance for design and validation of high-power photonic instruments. Using nanosecond lasers, it was recognized long ago that single-pulse laser damage is linked to fabrication-related defects. Models describing the laser damage probability as the probability of encounter between the high fluence region of the laser beam and the fabrication-related defects are thus widely used. Nanosecond S-on-1 tests often reveal the “fatigue effect,” i.e., a decrease of the laser damage threshold with increasing pulse number. Most authors attribute this effect to cumulative material modifications operated by the incubation pulses. We discuss the different situations that are observed upon nanosecond S-on-1 measurements that are reported in literature and speak in particular about the defects involved in the laser damage mechanism. These defects may be fabrication related or laser induced, stable or evolutive, cumulative or of short lifetime.
In view of the fact that the weak laser damage resistance of HfO2 / SiO2 coatings at 355 nm hinders the observation of the fatigue effect, nanosecond single and multiple pulse laser damage studies on Al2O3 / SiO2 high-reflective coatings were performed at 355 nm. Relative to that at the long wavelength, the fatigue effect at 355 nm is very weak and complicated. The damage probability curves and the evolution of the laser-induced damage threshold under multiple irradiations reveal that the fatigue effect is affected by both laser fluence and shot number. As the laser fluence or number of shots increases, the fatigue effect becomes more apparent. The damage morphologies induced by single and multiple irradiations both manifest as micrometer-scale pits without plasma scalding around, with the characteristics of a high defect density and high absorption coefficient. In particular, the accumulation damage mechanism at 355 nm may be reflected not only in the newly created defects but also in the modification of the coating material around the damage precursors. Thus, the coatings at 355 nm “seem to” have no damage growth threshold, no matter what the laser fluence is; once damage occurs, the damage site will grow sharply under subsequent pulses finally resulting in catastrophic damage.