A method of determining conditioning pulse parameters for an optical element includes directing a pump pulse to impinge on the optical element and directing a probe pulse to impinge on the optical element. The method also includes determining a first time associated with an onset of electronic excitation leading to formation of an absorbing region of the optical element and determining a second time associated with expansion of the absorbing region of the optical element. The method further includes defining a turn-off time for a conditioning pulse between the first time and the second time. According to embodiments of the present invention, pulse shaping of the conditioning pulse enables laser conditioning of optical elements to achieve improvements in their laser induced damage threshold.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.