SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Investigation and Modelling of Laser Damage Properties of Fabry-Perot Filters


The electric field distribution within a fabry-perot etalon is readily variable by changing the angle of incidence or the thickness of the etalon. The laser damage threshold (LDT) of Fabry-Perot etalons was measured as a function of electric field distribution, monitored through the transmittance. Two types of etalon were used — thin film Fabry-Perot devices with high finesse were investigated at 1.064μm, and a simple dielectric slab etalon (Germanium) was investigated at 10.6μm.

In the latter case the results show a correlation between the LDT and the inverse square of the calculated peak electric field (1/E2) in the sample. For the thin film Fabry-Perot, the correlation is between the LDT and 1/E2 at the spacer boundaries. Subsequent sample analysis also suggests that damage was initiated at spacer boundaries.

It is concluded that the laser damage properties of such etalons are in agreement with theoretical expectations, and that their damage behaviour can be described by a single parameter.

Author Information

McInnes, A
MacDonald, CM
Gibson, DR
Wilson, AD
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Developed by Committee: E13
Pages: 471–483
DOI: 10.1520/STP26514S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5157-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-4478-1