High-power laser technology has a number of applications, whether for the military (i.e., anti-missile weaponry) or for material processing, medical surgery, laser-induced nuclear fusion, and high-density data storage. However, external obstacles could cause a laser to problematically change its direction. Optical components such as mirrors already address this problem by deflecting a laser beam, but can be damaged easily due to the intensity of the laser. Therefore, this dissertation examines how to improve reliability of high power laser application systems by three signicant standards. First, we demonstrate that an atomic layer deposition (ALD) of Al2O3 can stabilize novel dielectric optical mirrors composed of SiO2 nanorods, whose porosity makes it attractive for use as a low refractive index material. Such a deposition can stabilize material properties in dry versus humid atmospheres, where both the refractive index and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) vary dramatically. This encapsulation ability is demonstrated in dielectric multilayers as a Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR). Second, we show that the difference in hydroxyl signatures of micromachined dielectric membranes can make detection of optical materials' laser damage more accurate. This signature difference, appearing as the decrease in post-laser absorption peaks associated with hydroxyl groups (OH), is measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and corresponds to regions of high infuence from a Nd:YAG laser. This detection technique will be useful to determine the lifespan of the optical components used in a high power laser. Third, we found that heterogeneous thermoluminescent (TL) multilayers composed of LiF:Mg,Ti and CaF2:Dy with Kapton as an interlayer can enhance reconstruction of laser heating events through thermal gradients that penetrate deep into a material, thereby preserving memory of the temperature history of the surface. Using the finite-difference time-domain method (FDTD) and the first order kinetics model of TL, we estimate dynamic heat transfer and then populate the final luminescent intensity. A thermal contact conductance between the critical layers is also introduced to better simulate experimental results, thereby resolving dynamic temperatures by hundreds of milliseconds.
Unversity of Minnesota Ph.D dissertation. Ph.D. March, 2013. Major; Electrical Engineering. Advisor: Joseph J. Talghader. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 96 pages, appendix A.
Kim, Sangho Sam.
Fabrication and characterization of micromachined dielectric thin fi lms and temperature sensors using thermoluminescence.
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