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Proceedings Paper

Destruction Of Optical Fibers Used In High Power Continuous 'Wave And Repetitive Pulsed Laser Systems Due To Defects And Surface Absorption
Author(s): J. R. Palmer
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Paper Abstract

It is not uncommon to find that a reasonably small power laser, the millijoule range, becomes a high power laser when the fluence or flux density down the fiber becomes very high. We seldom see damage in the fiber because the loss of flux density, or fluence, is small due to absorption along the pathway of the fiber optic. However, one does see extreme damage at the outcoupling end of the fiber due to poor surface quality, contamination, and subsequent melting of the cladding. In this paper we show the equations for evaluating the maximum absorption that can be allowed as a function of material and temperature rise at the outcoupled end. The equations will evaluate the thermal shock and temperature thresholds in the radial component for transient and steady state temperature gradients. Defects that are part of the manufacture of the optic and those that are imposed on the optic are sites for preferential absorption. The absorption sites can reduce the damage threshold of an optical fiber because of internal strain and imposed stress on the surrounding environment. Equations are set out for evaluating the amount of flux density, or fluence, that one may be able to anticipate for the particular design desired. Photographs of damage and theoretical curves are provided to allow evaluation of optical quality and diminution of contamination that may be allowed on the optical surface to precluded absorption. A system may be evaluated using the equations to determine the levels of absorption, surface quality, and contamination that must be maintained in order to avoid laser damage on the outcoupled end of the fiber optic.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 January 1990
PDF: 48 pages
Proc. SPIE 1085, Optical Fibres and Their Applications V, (30 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.953010
Show Author Affiliations
J. R. Palmer, University Of Alabama-Huntsville (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1085:
Optical Fibres and Their Applications V

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