White Paper | July 10, 2008

White Paper: Optimization Of Spectralon Through Numerical Modeling And Improved Processes And Designs

Source: Labsphere, Inc.

The demand for progressively more powerful lasers has caused those employing side-pumped laser designs to become acutely aware of pumping efficiency and performance. Additionally, precision applications demand beam stability and uniformity for the lifetime of the laser flash lamp. The use of highly diffuse, high reflectance pump chamber reflectors such as Spectralon® have been shown to amplify overall power and performance. Spectralon is used in a wide range of side-pumped applications for its superior optical characteristics and design flexibility but stated damage thresholds of approximately 4 J/cm2 have limited it to lower power applications. To increase energy tolerances, initial damage thresholds are defined through mathematical simulation. A general form of the heat equation is studied numerically to develop a theoretical model of Spectralon's damage threshold. The heat equation is discretized using the Euler method. Secondly, process modifications are performed to test for increased material durability and to physically reproduce initially defined theoretical parameters.