Abstract

Laser damage in fused silica, particularly ultraviolet laser damage, is still a key problem limiting the development of high-power laser systems. In this Letter, a combined process of chemical etching and ${{\rm{CO}}_2}$ laser polishing was applied to ground fused silica. A super-smooth surface with a root-mean-square roughness of 0.25 nm was achieved through this combined process. Furthermore, the combined process can reduce the introduction of photoactive metal impurity elements, destructive defects, and chemical-structure defects, resulting in a 0% probability damage threshold nearly 33% higher than a conventional chemical mechanical polished sample for a 7.6 ns pulse at a wavelength of 355 nm.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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