Abstract

The effect of nanosecond laser pre-irradiation on the femtosecond laser-induced damage behaviors of 800 nm 0° AOI Ta2O5/SiO2 high reflectors fabricated by e-beam evaporation was explored. Laser pre-irradiation was carried out by Raster-scanning with scanning mode of 1-on-1 and scanning velocities timed such that there was a beam overlap at 70% of the peak fluence, utilizing 5 Hz 1064 nm 12 ns Nd:YAG fundamental lasers. Femtosecond laser damage was investigated by 1 kHz 800 nm 135 fs Ti: sapphire laser system with 1-on-1 mode test. The results indicated that nanosecond laser pre-irradiation did not promote the femtosecond laser-induced damage threshold of reflectors. Instead, the thresholds of all the samples with various fluence steps for pre-irradiation were reduced by about 20%. Furthermore, the damage morphologies were analyzed by optical microscope, SEM and AFM, which displayed deterministic field induced breakdown characteristics. To explain these phenomena, a theoretical model including photoionization, avalanche ionization, and decays of electrons was built to simulate the evolution of electron density in the conduction band. Field ionization mechanism was considered to dominate the femtosecond laser damage process, while the electronic defects induced by nanosecond laser pre-irradiation accelerated the femtosecond laser damage evolution.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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