We report a technique for rapidly mapping absorbing defects in optical materials, which act as laser-induced damage precursors, based on full-field photothermal reflectance microscopy. An intensity-modulated pump beam heats absorbing defects in the optical sample, creating localized, modulated refractive-index variations around the defects. A probe beam then illuminates the defect sites, and the measured amplitude of the reflectance variation is used to map the distribution of defects in the medium. Measurements show that this method offers a faster defect mapping speed of about per minute and a detectivity of a few tens of nanometers comparable to that of conventional scanning photothermal deflection microscopy.
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