Time-resolved imaging of material response following laser-induced breakdown in the bulk and surface of fused silica

Rajesh N. Raman, Raluca A. Negres, Paul DeMange, Stavros G. Demos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Optical components within high energy laser systems are susceptible to laser-induced material modification when the breakdown threshold is exceeded or damage is initiated by pre-existing impurities or defects. These modifications are the result of exposure to extreme conditions involving the generation of high temperatures and pressures and occur on a volumetric scale of the order of a few cubic microns. The response of the material following localized energy deposition, including the timeline of events and the individual processes involved during this timeline, is still largely unknown. In this work, we investigate the events taking place during the entire timeline in both bulk and surface damage in fused silica using a set of time-resolved microscopy systems. These microscope systems offer up to 1 micron spatial resolution when imaging static or dynamic effects, allowing for imaging of the entire process with adequate temporal and spatial resolution. These systems incorporate various pump-probe geometries designed to optimize the sensitivity for detecting individual aspects of the process such as the propagation of shock waves, near-surface material motion, the speed of ejecta, and material transformations. The experimental results indicate that the material response can be separated into distinct phases, some terminating within a few tens of nanoseconds but some extending up to about 100 microseconds. Overall the results demonstrate that the final characteristics of the modified region depend on the material response to the energy deposition and not on the laser parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventHigh Energy/Average Power Lasers and Intense Beam Applications IV - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2010Jan 26 2010


OtherHigh Energy/Average Power Lasers and Intense Beam Applications IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Bulk damage
  • Damage initiation
  • Fused silica
  • Microscopy
  • Surface damage
  • Time-resolved imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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