Abstract

We report on the effect of organic molecular contamination on single shot laser induced damage density at the wavelength of 351nm, with a 3ns pulse length. Specific contamination experiments were made with dioctylphthalate (DOP) in liquid or gaseous phase, on the surface of fused silica polished samples, bare or solgel coated. Systematic laser induced damage was observed only in the case of liquid phase contamination. Different chemical and morphological characterization methods were used to identify and understand the damage process. We demonstrate that the contaminant morphology, rather than its physicochemical nature, can be responsible for the decrease of laser induced damage threshold of optics.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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