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Proceedings Paper

Physical mechanisms of femtosecond-pulse-induced damage in dielectric thin films
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Paper Abstract

Laser induced breakdown of a high-quality mirror consisting of alternating (lambda) /4 layers of Ta2O5 and SiO2 and a single 500-nm thin film of Ta2O5 were studied with amplified and unamplified femtosecond pulses. The experimental data can be fitted with a model taking into account multiphoton absorption, impact ionization, and local intensity enhancements due to interference effects in the films. The results indicate that state of the art, high- quality thin films show a damage behavior that is similar to bulk materials. Defects and impurities play a negligible role. Incubation effects are found to reduce the damage threshold when the coatings are damaged with multiple pulses from a femtosecond oscillator. Time-resolved pump-probe reflection and transmission experiments indicate a decay of the excited electron plasma with characteristic time constants of 4 ps, 60 ps, and 700 ps.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4347, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2000, (12 April 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.425032
Show Author Affiliations
Jayesh C. Jasapara, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Vasudevan A. V. Nampoothiri, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Wolfgang G. Rudolph, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Detlev Ristau, Laser Zentrum Hannover eV (Germany)
Kai Starke, Laser Zentrum Hannover eV (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4347:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2000
Gregory J. Exarhos; Arthur H. Guenther; Mark R. Kozlowski; Keith L. Lewis; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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