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Proceedings Paper

Laser damage resistant anti-reflection microstructures for mid-infrared metal-ion doped ZnSe gain media
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Paper Abstract

Power scaling of mid-infrared laser systems based on chromium and iron doped zinc selenide (ZnSe) and zinc sulfide (ZnS) crystals is being advanced through the integration of surface relief anti-reflection microstructures (ARMs) etched directly in the facets of the laser gain media. In this study, a new ARMs texture fabrication process is demonstrated for polycrystalline ZnSe and ZnS material that results in a significant increase in pulsed laser damage resistance combined with an average reflection loss of less than 0.5% over the wavelength range of 1.9-3.0μm. The process was utilized to fabricate ARMs in chromium-doped zinc selenide (Cr2+:ZnSe) materials supplied by IPG Photonics and standardized pulsed laser induced damage threshold (LiDT) measurements at a wavelength of 2.09μm were made using the commercial testing services of Spica Technologies. It was found that the pulsed LiDT of ARMs etched in ZnSe and Cr2+:ZnSe can match or even exceed the level of a well-polished surface, a survivability that is many times higher than an equivalent performance broad-band thin-film AR coating. The results also indicate that the ARMs plasma etch process may find use as a post-polish damage mitigation technique similar to the chemical immersion used to double the damage resistance of fused silica optics. ARMs etched in Cr2+:ZnSe were also evaluated by IPG Photonics for survivability under continuous wave (CW) laser operation at a pump laser wavelength of 1.94μm. Catastrophic damage occurred between power levels of 400-500 kilowatt per square centimeter for both as polished and ARMs textured samples indicating no reduction in CW damage resistance attributable to surface effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 December 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8530, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2012, 85300P (4 December 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.2016402
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas S. Hobbs, TelAztec LLC (United States)
Bruce D. MacLeod, TelAztec LLC (United States)
Ernest Sabatino III, TelAztec LLC (United States)
Sergey B. Mirov, IPG Photonics Corp. (United States)
Dmitri V Martyshkin, IPG Photonics Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8530:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2012
Gregory J. Exarhos; Vitaly E. Gruzdev; Joseph A. Menapace; Detlev Ristau; M J Soileau, Editor(s)

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