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Thin film laser resistance competition to advance state of the art at SPIE Boulder Damage Symposium 

Conference to observe its 40th year

SPIE Boulder Damage Symposium

BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 2 September 2008 - Results of a thin film laser damage competition at the SPIE-sponsored Boulder Damage Symposium this month will provide perspective on how the industry is doing with the development of high laser resistance coatings.

The annual event is marking its 40th year in 2008, and will be held 22-24 September at the National Institute of Standards and Technology facility in Boulder, CO, USA.

Conference Co-Chair Christopher Stolz of Lawrence Livermore National Lab will give a summary talk on the results of tests on 35 submitted samples of thin film laser damage. The samples, from companies in China, Japan, Germany, Lithuania, and the United States, are being evaluated by Spica Technologies.

"The results will show us how the industry is doing in developing high laser resistance coatings, and provide a report on the types of deposition technologies currently being made" Stolz said.

By using the same damage test setup and the same protocols for all samples, the damage competition allows a good direct comparison of the current state of the art, Stolz said. A high reflector multilayer coating type at a wavelength of 1064 nm at normal incidence was specified for the substrates submissions. A double-blind test assures sample and submitter anonymity. In addition to the laser resistance results, details of deposition processes, coating materials and layer count, and spectral results also will be shared in Stolz's summary talk.

The Boulder Damage Symposium is the leading forum for the exchange of information on the physics and technology of materials for high-power, high-energy lasers. The program features invited talks as well as poster and oral presentations by experts from around the world. For more information about the event, see spie.org/boulder-damage.xml.

The series of conference proceedings has grown to be a comprehensive source of information on optics for lasers and includes topics on materials and thin film preparation, durability, properties modeling, testing, and component fabrication. Papers from this year's conference will be published online in the SPIE Digital Library beginning immediately as approved after the meeting. For more information about the SPIE Digital Library, visit spie.org/x2836.xml, or access the library at spiedl.org.