Abstract

HF-based (hydrofluoric acid) chemical etching has been a widely accepted technique to improve the laser damage performance of fused silica optics and ensure high-power UV laser systems at designed fluence. Etching processes such as acid concentration, composition, material removal amount, and etching state (etching with additional acoustic power or not) may have a great impact on the laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) of treated sample surfaces. In order to find out the effects of these factors, we utilized the Taguchi method to determine the etching conditions that are helpful in raising the LIDT. Our results show that the most influential factors are concentration of etchants and the material etched away from the viewpoint of damage performance of fused silica optics. In addition, the additional acoustic power (0.6  W·cm2) may not benefit the etching rate and damage performance of fused silica. Moreover, the post-cleaning procedure of etched samples is also important in damage performances of fused silica optics. Different post-cleaning procedures were, thus, experiments on samples treated under the same etching conditions. It is found that the “spraying + rinsing + spraying” cleaning process is favorable to the removal of etching-induced deposits. Residuals on the etched surface are harmful to surface roughness and optical transmission as well as laser damage performance.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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