Abstract

Accurate threshold curves of laser-induced damage (7-ns single shot at 1.064 µm) are measured in bulk and at the surfaces of optical components such as substrates, thin films, multilayers, and liquids. The shapes and the slopes of the curves are related to the spot size and to the densities of the nanodefects that are responsible for damage. First, these densities are reported for bulk substrates. In surfaces and films the recorded extrinsic and intrinsic threshold curves permit the discrimination of the effects of microdefects and nanodefects. In all cases the density of nanocenters is extracted by means of a phenomenological approach. Then we test liquids and mixtures of liquids with controlled defect densities. The results emphasize the agreement between measurement and prediction and demonstrate the validity of the presence of different kinds of nanocenter as the precursors of laser damage.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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