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It is axiomatic that even low concentrations of defects or impurities can control the damage behavior of transparent solids. Following the observation, reported in the 1985 Symposium, of strikingly different damage properties in two apparently similar samples of crystalline quartz, a study of several grades of quartz has been made to determine the influence of impurities and structural defects on their damage resistance. Data were taken at 1064 nm and 532 nm using a Q-switched YAG laser.
It has been found that considerable differences in single and multiple pulse damage “thresholds” exist among quartz samples of varying quality. These variations do not correlate with the concentrations of the most common impurities, Al and OH, but they appear to correlate with the density of coarsely spaced defects such as inclusions or etch channels (dislocations). These results tend to rule out damage mechanisms involving point-like defects, emphasizing instead the importance of larger impurities, even if submicroscopic.
aluminum, bulk damage, impurity, inclusion, multiple pulse damage, quartz
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
Hendrix College, Conway, AR