Abstract

We measured bulk and surface dielectric breakdown thresholds of pure silica for 14ps and 8ns pulses of 1064nm light. The thresholds are sharp and reproducible. For the 8ns pulses the bulk threshold irradiance is 4.75±0.25kW/μm2. The threshold is approximately three times higher for 14ps pulses. For 8ns pulses the input surface damage threshold can be made equal to the bulk threshold by applying an alumina or silica surface polish.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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