23-26 September 2012
NIST, Boulder, Colorado, USA
David W. Hahn, Plasma-particle Interactions in a Laser-induced Plasma -- The Path Toward Quantitative Analysis (PDF)
Rick Russo, Laser Ablation for Chemical Analysis: 50 Years (PDF)
More this year
Attendance and paper counts were up from last year at SPIE Laser Damage 2012, the 44th symposium on Optical Materials for High Power Lasers, held at the National Institute of Standards andTechnology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, 23-26 September. The event was co-sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Spica Technoloiges.
Above, attendees gather for a group photo before a wine- and cheese-tasting reception at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The warm-up: Surface vs. Bulk
A pre-symposium roundtable sunday evening on Surface versus Bulk Damage Mechanisms attracted a record high level of attendance over its four-year history. Discussion opened with talks by moderators Stavros Demos and Michael Feit (both from LLNL) of current experimental results and theoretical interpretations, and focused on identifying similarities and differences in important physical properties and localized conditions occurring during a damage event induced on the surface as compared to an event in the bulk. Although mostly excitation with nanosecond pulses was considered in this discussion, some similarities and differences when using ultrashort pulses were addressed.
A special feature of the presentation was the well-received introduction into the many basic aspects of laser-induced damage on surface and in bulk with special attention paid to the plasma, absorption wave, and contamination effects.
A welcome -- and awards!
Following opening and welcome remarks Monday morning by Detlev Ristau (Laser Zentrum Hannover), Jianda Shao (Shanghai University of Optics and Mechanics) gave an overview of the Pacific Rim Laser Damage meeting held last November.
Joseph Menapace (LLNL), at right in both photos below, presented the 2011 Best Presentation Awards:
Oral Presentation: Bärbel Rethfeld and Oliver Brenk (shown accepting the award), Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, "Electron dynamics in transparent materials under high-intensity laser irradiation."
Poster Presentation: C. Karras, Z. Sun, D. N. Nguyen, L. A. Emmert (shown accepting the award), and W. Rudolph of the University of New Mexico, "The impact ionization coefficient in dielectric materials revisited."
Mini-symposium on materials interactions
A mini-symposium featuring invited speakers David Hahn of the University of Florida (center) and Richard Russo of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (left) focused on the interaction of laser-induced plasma with solid state materials. Stavros Demos of LLNL (right) and Detlev Ristau (Laser Zentrum Hannover) chaired the mini-symposium.
The invited talks covered the underlying physics of the interaction of laser-induced plasmas and solid-state material.Plasma is formed during a laser damage event but its interaction with the material has been overlooked by many researchers in the damage field, largely because of its minor effects compared to those arising from the high temperatures and pressures. In chemical analysis with laser plasmas, the plasmas are used to vaporize materials and analyze their content based on their plasma emission characteristics, commonly referred to as LIBS. The plasma-material interactions processes involved in laser damage and LIBS are very similar.
Another talk, from LLNL described the use of plasma to mitigate damage sites, and served as a bridge between the laser damage talks presented at the conference and the plasma-materials interactions presented by the invited speakers of the mini-symposium.
Viewing the work
Technical presentations included oral as well as poster sessions (below) on Monday and Tuesday.
Attendees enjoyed evening social events at various venues including an open house hosted by ATFilms and Precision Photonics on Monday, and a reception on Tuesday at NCAR.
Serving as chairs
Conference chairs for 2012, from left above: M. J. Soileau (University of Central Florida Office of Research and Commercialization), Joseph Menapace (LLNL), Gregory Exharos (Pacific Northwest National Lab), Detlev Ristau (Laser Zentrum Hannover), and Vitaly Gruzdev (University of Missouri-Columbia).
Above it all, the Flatirons rise to more than 10,000 feet above Boulder.