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Multilayer dielectric gratings (MLDGs) are crucial for pulse compression in picosecond–petawatt laser systems. Bulged nodular defects, embedded in coating stacks during multilayer deposition, influence the lithographic process and performance of the final MLDG products. In this study, the integration of nanosecond laser conditioning (NLC) into different manufacturing stages of MLDGs was proposed for the first time on multilayer dielectric films (MLDFs) and final grating products to improve laser-induced damage performance. The results suggest that the remaining nodular ejection pits introduced by the two protocols exhibit a high nanosecond laser damage resistance, which remains stable when the irradiated laser fluence is more than twice the nanosecond-laser-induced damage threshold (nanosecond-LIDT) of the unconditioned MLDGs. Furthermore, the picosecond-LIDT of the nodular ejection pit conditioned on the MLDFs was approximately 40% higher than that of the nodular defects, and the loss of the grating structure surrounding the nodular defects was avoided. Therefore, NLC is an effective strategy for improving the laser damage resistance of MLDGs.
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