Abstract

In this Letter we present a novel approach for increasing the nanosecond laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) of sapphire windows. It is shown that after direct dielectric barrier discharge plasma treatment at atmospheric pressure for 90 s the LIDT is increased by a factor of 1.5 with respect to untreated samples. Several possible underlying mechanisms are introduced. For instance, organic contaminants and residues from polishing agents were removed by the plasma as ascertained by XPS measurements.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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