SPIE/SIOM Pacific Rim Laser Damage, a new forum for scientists and engineers working in high power/high energy lasers, materials and thin films, durability, properties modeling, testing, and component fabrication, ran 6-9 November at the Blue Palace Hotel in Shanghai, China.
Above, attendees of the first-ever SPIE/SIOM-sponsored Pacific Rim Laser Damage meeting pose outside the Blue Palace Hotel in Shanghai.
Following opening remarks and introductions by Hongbo He (Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics) on Monday 7 November, the event's 90 attendees filled the plenary room to hear three featured presentations.
In "Research progress in laser-induced damage of optics for SG laser project," Wanguo Zheng (China Academy of Engineering Physics) discussed efforts to mitigate laser-induced damage in large-aperture optics. He detailed the use of UV laser treatment to remove impurities and defects in optical materials and the use of CO2 lasers to heat and melt damage sites to prevent further damage growth.
Of particular interest was the use of subwavelength antireflection microstructure coatings to resist dust and contamination. Zheng's research team has found that such microstructure coatings provide damage resistance measurably superior to that provided by conventional thin film coatings.
Koji Sugioka's (RIKEN) presentation entitled "3D microstructuring inside glass by ultrafast laser" described the use of femtosecond lasers in the fabrication of hollow 3D microstructures with integrated micro-optical components in a single glass chip.
Sugioka detailed a fascinating application of the technology termed a "nanoaquarium," a microfluidic structure designed to observe micro-organisms. The confined nature of the nanoaquarium and the integrated optical components allow researchers to observe micro-organisms in far less time than with the use of optical microscopes and petri dishes.
Sugioka's team was able to observe the gliding of Phormidium to seedling roots, a process instrumental in the acceleration of plant growth, in only 50 minutes. With a petri dish and microscope, observing this process can take two days or longer.
Jianda Shao (Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics) explained the history and future of inertial confinement fusion in China in his presentation, "Progress of optical materials for high-power lasers in China."
Shao paid particular attention to China's Shenguang-III laser facility, set to begin operation in 2012. The laser will have 48 beams, a 400mm aperture, and will produce 100 kilojoules of energy. This and other lasers of such high energy will require numerous high-quality optical components with exceptionally high laser-induced damage thresholds. Shao explained how innovations in coatings and crystal development will help meet those requirements.
Above, Hongbo He, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM), welcomes attendees on behalf of the event sponsors.