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    Picosecond-Pulse Damage Studies of Diffraction Gratings

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    Diffraction gratings are frequently used in dye-laser cavities as wavelength-tuning elements. These gratings often limit the maximum laser output energy because of their low damage thresholds. We have measured the damage characteristics of both ruled and holographically produced gratings, under a variety of conditions. Using the single-shot-persite mode, the samples were irradiated by 30-ps, 1.064-μm pulses having a spot size of 0.5-mm radius.

    It was found that holographic gratings have damage thresholds from 1.5 to 5.0 times higher than similar ruled gratings. Thresholds for S-polarized light (E parallel to grooves) were higher by factors of 1.5 to 6. For the same type grating, gold coatings yielded higher thresholds than aluminum, although this is wavelength dependent. For holographic gratings, replicas have slightly higher thresholds than masters. Dependence upon groove spacing was weak.

    Data are presented to show a variety of comparisons between different types of gratings, including two different manufacturers and usage at higher orders of incidence.


    laser-induced damage, holographic gratings, ruled gratings, picosecond pulses, 1064 nm, polarization effect, metallic overcoat

    Author Information:

    Gill, DH
    University of California, Los Alamos, NM

    Newnam, BE
    University of California, Los Alamos, NM

    Committee/Subcommittee: F01.19

    DOI: 10.1520/STP23117S