What is it about?

The refractive index change of fused silica due to low energy density irradiation at 193nm strongly depends on the OH content of the glass. Because the competing effects - rarefaction and compaction - scale differently with OH, energy density and number of pulses the resulting wave front change is unique for each material composition and application scenario.

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Why is it important?

Special applications like optical microlithography rely on optical components without major aging effects. Since a projected lifetime of 10 years cannot be tested front up the different effects contributing to these changes require a sufficient understanding to allow for a reasonable extrapolation and material optimization.

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This page is a summary of: Compaction versus expansion behavior related to the OH-content of synthetic fused silica under prolonged UV-laser irradiation, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, November 2003, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2003.08.063.
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