Conference paper Open Access
Nee, Soe-Mie F.; Johnson, Linda F.; Moran, Mark B.; Pentony, Joni M.; Daigneault, Steven M.; Tran, Danh C.; Billman, Kenneth W.; Siahatgar, Sadegh
Using conventional materials like fused silica and sapphire for critical window components in a high-power laser system can lead to intolerable thermal distortions and optical path difference effects. A new oxyfluoride glass is being developed which has the unique property of possessing a negative thermo-optic coefficient (dn/dT) in the near- and mid-wave infrared. Specifically, the refractive index (n) of oxyfluoride glass decreases as the temperature increases. The distortions caused by thermal expansion of the glass during laser irradiation are partly offset by the negative dn/dT. This paper specifically addresses optical properties and surface finishing of oxyfluoride glass compared to fused silica. Normarski micrographs and surface profiles were measured to inspect the surface quality since smooth surfaces are essential for suppressing surface scattering and absorption. The refractive index and thermo-optic coefficient were measured using null polarimetry near the Brewster angle. Low dn/dT is required for laser windows. Transmittance spectra were measured to deduce the extinction coefficient by comparing with the transmittance calculated from the refractive index and to screen for unwanted absorption from contaminants including hydrocarbon oils, polishing residue, and water or -OH groups. Total integrated scattering was measured for both surface and bulk scattering. All measurements were done on 1.0- and 1.5-inch-diameter witness samples.