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Opt Express. 2009 Jul 6;17(14):11469-79.

Initiation of laser-induced damage sites in fused silica optical components.

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CEA LE RIPAULT, F-37260 Monts, France.


Significant improvement in the polishing process of fused silica optical components has increased their lifetimes at 351 nm. Nevertheless, for large laser facilities like the LaserMegaJoule (LMJ), zero defect optical components are not yet available. Therefore, a damage mitigation technique has been developed to prevent the growth of the laser-initiated damage sites. Because of the difficulty to produce mitigated sites with sufficiently large depth, the initial morphology of damage to mitigate is a critical issue. The aim of this work is to determine laser parameters (pulse duration, fluence) which permit us to initiate damage sites in accordance with our mitigation process. Confocal microscopy is used to observe damage sites that have sub-surface cracks and consequently to measure precisely the diameter and the depth of the area to mitigate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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