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Published March 1, 2021 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Toward high laser power beam manipulation with nanophotonic materials: evaluating thin film damage performance


Nanophotonic materials enable unprecedented control of light-matter interactions, including the ability to dynamically steer or shape wavefronts. Consequently, nanophotonic systems such as metasurfaces have been touted as promising candidates for free-space optical communications, directed energy and additive manufacturing, which currently rely on slow mechanical scanners or electro-optical components for beam steering and shaping. However, such applications necessitate the ability to support high laser irradiances (> kW/cm²) and systematic studies on the high-power laser damage performance of nanophotonic materials and designs are sparse. Here, we experimentally investigate the pulsed laser-induced damage performance (at λ ∼ 1 µm) of model nanophotonic thin films including gold, indium tin oxide, and refractory materials such as titanium nitride and titanium oxynitride. We also model the spatio-thermal dissipation dynamics upon single-pulse illumination by anchoring experimental laser damage thresholds. Our findings show that gold exhibits the best laser damage resistance, but we argue that alternative materials such as transparent conducting oxides could be optimized to balance the tradeoff between damage resistance and optical tunability, which is critical for the design of thermally robust nanophotonic systems. We also discuss damage mitigation and ruggedization strategies for future device-scale studies and applications requiring high power beam manipulation.

Additional Information

© 2021 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement. Received 2 Nov 2020; revised 13 Feb 2021; accepted 15 Feb 2021; published 23 Feb 2021. This work was funded through a Laboratory Directed Research and Development grant 19-FS-032 and performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. The authors would like to thank Antonio Barrios for help with sample preparation and Jae Hyuck Yoo for assistance with the laser damage setup. LLNL-JRNL-816061. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Attached Files

Published - oe-29-5-7261.pdf

Supplemental Material - 5096605.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023