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Proceedings Paper

Mechanisms of contamination-induced optical damage in lasers
Author(s): Floyd E. Hovis; Bart A. Shepherd; Christopher T. Radcliffe; Henry A. Maliborski
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Paper Abstract

Studies at Litton Laser Systems Division (LLSD) and other laser vendors have found that in a hermetically sealed laser, trace levels of gas phase contaminants can lead to photo-induced optical damage. This damage has been shown to occur at power densities as low as 20 MW/cm2 on uncoated quartz substrates. Since contamination-induced optical damage can be a significant factor in reducing laser reliability and lifetime, it is important to understand the mechanisms by which it occurs. In this paper we will describe investigations performed at LLSD on the mechanisms of contamination-induced optical damage. The starting point for these studies is a simple test developed at LLSD to evaluate the potential of materials in sealed optical compartments to cause contamination-induced damage. A systematic study of the morphology, composition, chemical species dependence, and initiation time of contamination-induced optical damage allow a number of qualitative conclusions concerning the damage mechanism to be deduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2428, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1994, (14 July 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.213736
Show Author Affiliations
Floyd E. Hovis, Litton Systems, Inc. (United States)
Bart A. Shepherd, Litton Systems, Inc. (United States)
Christopher T. Radcliffe, Litton Systems, Inc. (United States)
Henry A. Maliborski, Litton Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2428:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1994
Harold E. Bennett; Arthur H. Guenther; Mark R. Kozlowski; Brian Emerson Newnam; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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