Abstract

Silica glass exhibits a permanent anisotropic response, polarization-induced birefringence (PIB), when exposed to short-wavelength polarized light. This behavior has been correlated with the OH content of the glass. In this paper we describe polarized infrared studies of silica glasses of different OH content exposed with polarized 157nm laser light. Changes in the fundamental OH band as a consequence of exposure are shown. We find differential bleaching of a particular OH band where OH species that are oriented parallel to the incident exposing polarization undergo greater bleaching than those oriented perpendicular. The preferential bleaching as a function of exposure time correlates strongly with the evolution of PIB, leading to a bleaching model of OH that is causally linked to PIB.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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