Optical Engineering • Open AccessFundamental mechanisms of laser-induced damage in optical materials: today’s state of understanding and problems
Theoretical models of laser-induced damage mechanisms in optical materials are reviewed: inclusion-initiated thermal explosion (extrinsic mechanism) and impact ionization (II) and photoionization (intrinsic mechanisms). Different approaches to II theory based on quantum kinetic equation, Boltzman equations, and rate equations are briefly described. A relative contribution of II and photoionization predicted by these models at different laser pulse durations, including femtosecond-range, are discussed and compared with available experimental data. Basing on an analysis of published theoretical and experimental results, a today’s state of understanding fundamental laser damage mechanisms is concluded.