The mechanism of the interaction of CO2 laser radiation with fused silica is determined by the absorption depth of the radiation in the material. The extinction coefficient of a number of high-purity fused silica samples has been measured by the transmission method by fabricating samples ≈30 μm in thickness. Results obtained agree with the latest reported values. In addition, samples were heated by an auxiliary CO2 laser and the extinction coefficient determined as a function of temperature for six CO2 laser lines. No significant difference in the extinction coefficient was observed for samples from different makers of the high-purity silica. Measurements were also conducted on a silica-rich glass Vycor and a significant difference was observed.
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