Abstract

Photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass is a photosensitive multi-component silicate glass that is commercially used for the recording of volume holographic elements and finds many applications in advanced laser systems. Refractive index decrement in this glass is observed after UV exposure followed by thermal development. This procedure also causes the appearance of Ag-containing particles that can then be optically bleached by using the second harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser. Despite the broad usage of this method, its mechanisms are still unclear. In this paper, a systematic study of the short pulse laser-induced destruction of Ag-containing particles’ kinetics versus incident energy per pulse and dosage is presented. We show that no bleaching of Ag-containing particles occurs for an energy density in laser pulses below 0.1J/cm2 while above 1J/cm2, the efficiency of bleaching saturates. Efficiency of bleaching depends on the type of particles to be bleached (Ag, AgBr…). Using a simple model of short pulse laser interaction with nanoparticles embedded in glass, the temperature of the Ag-containing particles reached during the laser interaction is shown to be large enough to produce complete dissipation of these particles which is expected to be the main mechanism of short pulse laser-induced destruction of Ag-containing particles.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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