Abstract

Optical-damage tests were performed on multilayer dielectric mirrors containing ZnS as one of the constituents. Tests were made by use of the 1.08-μm output of a continuously pumped, repetitively Q-switched Nd: YAlO3, laser. Two distinct types of coating damage were observed: (i) damage to the surface layer of the coating when that layer is ZnS; and (ii) damage to intermediate layers of ZnS. The damage threshold for the former is approximately 40 MW/cm2 and for the latter, 105 MW/cm2. Experimental evidence indicates that surface-layer damage is triggered by some change that takes place on the surface of the ZnS layer upon exposure to the atmosphere. Although the exact nature of the surface process was not determined, several methods were found for avoiding surface-layer damage.

© 1973 Optical Society of America

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