The mechanism of inclusion damage in laser glass is associated with the temperature rise of particles, or surface regions of particles, relative to the surrounding glass. The particles of greatest concern are metallic, although at very high-power levels ceramic inclusions containing large concentrations of highly absorbing ions can likewise result in failure. Solutions to the heat-flow problems of a perfectly conducting sphere in a medium of finite conductivity and of the infinite composite solid indicate that temperatures of metal particles subject to a 20-J/cm-2, 30-nsec laser pulse can exceed 10 000°K for a range of particle sizes. These high temperatures produce stresses in the glass adjacent to the particles which can exceed the theoretical strength of the glass, and result in failure. The effects on the breakdown condition of flux level and pulse time, as well as the size, shape, thermal expansivity, and spectral emissivity of the particle, and the heat capacity and thermal conductivity of particle and glass are specified. Observations of damage morphologies are reported and related to the results of the calculations. A fatigue phenomenon is anticipated under certain conditions, and the phenomenon of phase separation is not expected to affect significantly the process of inclusion damage. Likely sources of metallic inclusion particles in laser glasses are considered, and melting conditions most suitable for their avoidance are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)