Abstract

An optical etching technique for producing small diffraction gratings, in which a thin metallic film set at an angle to the axis of a ruby laser cavity acted as a Q-switch in the operation of that laser, was previously reported. Here we report a comprehensive investigation of the formation of such etched gratings by the effect of laser light on a thin film external to the laser cavity. A time resolved investigation has been made of the development of such gratings in a number of metallic films, and the effect of film thickness, incident laser intensity, and angular orientation of the film has been studied.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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