What's it about?

There are many decisions to make when designing, specifying, manufacturing, and testing optical components for high-energy laser systems—each is a potential failure mechanism that must be understood and controlled.

Optical substrates and coatings can fail mechanically when exposed to laser radiation of sufficient energy. These failure mechanisms include laser-induced dielectric breakdown and/or effects caused by significant heating. Since the advent of the laser, there has been a great deal of effort put into improving the performance of optical components exposed to ever-increasing laser energies (see Fig. 1).