Abstract

The design and fabrication of large-area, high-efficiency metallic gratings for use in high-power laser systems is described. The gratings exhibit a diffraction efficiency in excess of 95% in the m = −1 order (Littrow mount) and have a high threshold for laser damage. Computations and experimental measurements are presented that illustrate the effect of grating shape and polarization on efficiency. A simple theory for optical damage to metallic diffraction gratings is developed and compared with experimental measurements of the laser-damage threshold over the pulse range from 400 fs to >1 ns.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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