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Proceedings Paper

Damage Resistant Plastics: Widened Application Possibilities
Author(s): A. B. Romberger; T. T. Saito; K. E. Siegenthaler; B. W. Mullins; A. A. Shaffer; J. F. Hilbing; C. D. Adams
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Paper Abstract

The low energy laser damage resistance of plastics, especially low energy multiple-shot damage threshold, has been a significant barrier to its applications for pulsed lasers. Applications of plastics include bulk material for optics (e.g., lenses and windows), hosts for Q-switches, and blast shields in laser fusion experiments. We review recent work evaluating the damage threshold of commercial and specially fabricated plastics. Our former work has concentrated on PMMA. We also review some of the other literature reporting damage resistance better than glass! The commercial grade PMMA demonstrated a damage threshold of 41 J/sq. cm. for a 1.06 micrometer wavelength pulse of 8 nsec duration. Improvement in PMMA has been small for single-shot damage but significant for multi-shot damage. For example, the 1,000 shot at 1 pulse per second rate threshold was reached at 75% of single shot threshold for our fabricated PMMA. We never reached a 1,000 shot threshold for commercial PMMA even though we illuminated at 6% of single-shot damage threshold. We also report our recent results of the benefits of distillation (both vacuum and atmospheric) and/or filtration of the starting monomers and uv and thermal polymerization methods of fabricating PMMA. Copolymer and plasticized polymer considerations will also be discussed. In addition, polymers other than PMMA are being investigated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 December 1984
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0505, Advances in Optical Materials, (26 December 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.964649
Show Author Affiliations
A. B. Romberger, USAF Academy (United States)
T. T. Saito, USAF Academy (United States)
K. E. Siegenthaler, USAF Academy (United States)
B. W. Mullins, USAF Academy (United States)
A. A. Shaffer, USAF Academy (United States)
J. F. Hilbing, USAF Academy (United States)
C. D. Adams, USAF Academy (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0505:
Advances in Optical Materials
Solomon Musikant, Editor(s)

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