While our hard-coated filters are considered “high-power laser quality” components, it is still possible to produce damage if sufficient light power is focused to a small enough spot on the filter. Most microscopy applications use relatively weak lasers with beams that aren’t tightly focused through the excitation path, so laser damage is rarely an issue. For user-specific applications, such as laboratory bench-top experiments or specialized microscopy setups, very high-power lasers or very tightly-focused beams can cause the optical power density on the filters to exceed the laser damage threshold (LDT) of the component. If you suspect that your optical setup produces unusually high power on your filters, calculations should be performed to determine if your optical system should be redesigned to reduce the optical power density incident on filter components to reduce the chance of laser damage.
You may call our applications engineering department for help in performing these calculations, or check out our Laser Damage Threshold technical note on our website, which contains a more detailed explanation of laser damage to filters, as well as the explicit formulas need to determine the likelihood of laser damage in your application.