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Influence of microstructure on laser damage threshold of IBS coatings

Description: Ion-beam sputtering (IBS) coatings were developed for the laser gyro industry to meet significantly different requirements than those of fusion lasers. Laser gyro mirrors are small (< 25 mm) and require low losses (< 30 ppm typical) and high stability with long exposures to low power laser energy. In contrast, fusion laser optics are large (< 1 meter), have significantly reduced loss requirements (< 5,000 ppm) and high damage thresholds (> 26 J/cm{sup 2} at 1,064 nm with 3-ns pulses). As part of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) coating development effort, IBS coatings are being studied to explore the possible benefits of this technology to NIF optics. As an initial step to achieving the NIF size and damage threshold requirements, the coating process is being scaled to uniformly coat a 20 x 40 cm{sup 2} area with reduced spectral, reflected wavefront, and laser damage threshold requirements. Here, multilayer coatings deposited by ion-beam sputtering with amorphous layers were found to have lower damage thresholds at 1,064 nm than similar coatings with crystalline layers. Interestingly, at higher fluences the damage was less severe for the amorphous coatings. The magnitude of the difference in damage thresholds between the two different microstructures was strongly influenced by the size of the tested area. To better understand the microstructure effects, single layers of HfO{sub 2} with different microstructures were studied using transmission electron microscopy, ellipsometry, and a photothermal deflection technique. Since the laser damage initiated at defects, the influence of thermal diffusivity on thermal gradients in nodular defects is also presented.
Date: January 5, 1996
Creator: Stolz, C.J.; Genin, F.Y.; Kozlowski, M.R.; Long, D.; Lalazari, R.; Wu, Z.L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department