Abstract

Laser annealing via preexposure to laser pulses at sub-damage-threshold fluences is known to improve the resistance of KDP crystals to laser-induced damage. Using a specific damage-testing method, we investigate the laser annealing process as a function of fluence and number of preexposure pulses (at 355nm, 2.5ns). Our aim is to reveal the key laser parameters in order to devise a practical and efficient protocol for optimizing performance of the material for operation in laser systems in the near UV. Results suggest that a near twofold improvement to the laser-damage performance can be achieved with a limited number of preexposure pulses.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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