Absorption loss in optical components, particularly in optical coatings, is a limiting factor in high-power laser applications. The uniformity of optical coatings becomes more and more important as large-diameter optical devices are used widely. In this paper, the photothermal detuning technique used for absorption uniformity measurement of optical thin films is developed for the first time. Experiments are conducted with a highly reflective coating used in 514 nm to measure the photothermal detuning signal and to evaluate the absorption at 514 nm by detecting the spectral shift with a probe beam at a wavelength of 632.8 nm. The relative absorption at different points on the sample surface can be measured by moving the sample two-dimensionally, and we use the measured data to make the absorption image. The results show that the designed experimental system can be used to analyze the absorption uniformity of optical coatings. The obtained images reflect the absorption uniformity of the sample well. The absorption uniformities of the two samples analyzed in this experiment are different. The film coated on fused silica is better. The research provides a powerful and convenient tool for absorption uniformity measurement of optical thin film.
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