Abstract

Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> films are prepared on BK7 substrates with conventional electron beam evaporation deposition. The effects of SiO<sub>2</sub> protective layers and annealing on the laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) of the films are investigated. The results show that SiO<sub>2</sub> protective layers exert little influence on the electric field intensity (EFI) distribution, microstructure and microdefect density but increase the absorption slightly. Annealing is effective on decreasing the microdefect density and the absorption of the films. Both SiO<sub>2</sub> protective layers and annealing are beneficial to the damage resistance of the films and the latter is more effective to improve the LIDT. Moreover, the maximal LIDT of Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> films is achieved by the combination of SiO<sub>2</sub> protective layers and annealing.

© 2008 Chinese Optics Letters

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