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Proceedings Paper

Transmission and laser damage studies of fused silica and PMMA debris shields with picosecond light pulses
Author(s): James E. Andrew; Bedrich Rus; Jonathan Griffiths; Rob Heathcote; David Neeley
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Paper Abstract

Progress in building high-energy, short pulse laser systems with peak powers in the 100 to 1000 TW regime and applying them to plasma physics experiments has highlighted the need for debris mitigation solutions compatible with high intensity pulses [1]. Mitigation schemes ideally need to protect focusing optics for a number of laser pulses at reasonable cost without degrading beam quality. In this paper we describe preliminary experiments performed at the VULCAN laser facility to address some of these issues. The short pulse beam was passed through a thin optical shield at intensities up to 4 x 1012 W/cm2. The transmission of the shield was measured as a function of intensity along with the near and far field beam quality. Transmission losses occurred at the highest intensities used and these were related to the start of laser damage of the shield. The morphology of the damage features on the surface and in the bulk material was studied by a combination of white light interferometry as well as optical and scanning electron microscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5647, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2004, (21 February 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.584476
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Andrew, Atomic Weapons Establishment Plc (United Kingdom)
Bedrich Rus, Institute of Physics (Czech Republic)
Jonathan Griffiths, Atomic Weapons Establishment Plc (United Kingdom)
Rob Heathcote, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
David Neeley, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5647:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2004
Gregory J. Exarhos; Arthur H. Guenther; Norbert Kaiser; Keith L. Lewis; M. J. Soileau; Christopher J. Stolz, Editor(s)

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