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Exterior surface damage of calcium fluoride outcoupling mirrors for DUV lasers

Optics Express 17(10): 8253-8263

Autoren/Herausgeber: Bauer M
Bischoff M
Jukresch S
Hulsenbusch T
Matern A
Gortler A
Stark RW
Chuvilin A
Kaiser U
Erschienen: 2009

Damage of optical components due to laser irradiation reduces reliability and limits durability. Calcium fluoride (CaF2) is commonly used for deep UV laser optics because it shows a very low tendency of color center formation as, compared to other UV-X optical materials. Here, we report on the exterior damage of CaF2 UV-X optics due to radiation with high pulse-energy densities (80 mJ/cm(2)) from an ArF laser. At such high energy densities, damage occurs on the external resonator side. The damage is generated by a partial alteration of the CaF2 substrate to crystalline CaCO3 (calcite). The decomposition of CaF2 is mainly driven by photochemical processes in the presence of water vapor, which are induced by the UV-laser light and the elevated temperature within the beam profile. (C) 2009 Optical Society of America