Nonlinear optical switching in thin film coatings in relation to the damage threshold
SPIE Laser Damage
We demonstrate a novel concept for an all-optical switch based on the optical Kerr-effect in thin film interference coatings. The switching between transmittance and reflectance relies on highly Kerr-active coating materials in combination with large internal intensity enhancement in thin film interference coatings. The paper investigates the switching performance as well as its relation to the laser induced damage threshold of these novel components. A modulation depth of 30 \% was achieved without damage to the component, which very promising for later applications as power limiters or mode locking components.