Absolute Measurement of Thermophysical and Optical Thin-Film Properties by Photothermal Methods for the Investigation of Laser Damage1

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Perspectives and limits of the application of the photothermal technique are given for the measurement of absorption, thermal, and thermoelastic properties in thin films. The peculiarities of this technique in the frequency and time domains are discussed in some detail, and selected important results with respect to laser damage studies in optical coatings are pointed out. Emphasis is placed on the absolute measurement of both optical and thermophysical properties in dielectric materials in thin-film form and, also, on the influence of both absorption and changed thermal properties in thin films on their thermally induced laser damage resistance.

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