A highly efficient Talbot array illuminator for single-shot, laser-induced-damage test measurements of optical thin-film coatings is proposed. With a periodic binary phase grating, a laser beam is transformed into an ensemble of Gaussian-like spots, which are known as the Fresnel image of the grating. For this purpose hexagonal phase gratings were fabricated and analyzed. With a peak fluence distribution of ∼1 order of magnitude, the damage threshold of thin films can be deduced by use of the data from only a single shot.
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