Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Ferris, C. Theoretical Modeling of Laser-Induced Absorption Phenomena in Optical Materials. Masters Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Electrical Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Natale Ianno. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Chris Ferris


For over five decades, laser-induced damage and breakdown in optical materials has been an active field of research. As laser systems continually advance, new opportunities to study laser/material interactions arise. This thesis begins by presenting the damage mechanisms and absorption phenomena that lead to laser-induced breakdown. An in depth understanding of these processes led to the development of rate equations that describe electron density growth in a material exposed to a strong electromagnetic wave. These rate equations laid the foundation for the construction of a theoretical model. By using variable laser and material parameter inputs, the model calculates the laser-induced electron density in a material in order to predict damage occurrence. Simulations are compared with experimental results to determine the accuracy of the model. The results show great promise, but additional work must be done to increase confidence. Future developments of the model will lead to better accuracy and additional capabilities.

Adviser: Natale J. Ianno