Utilizing thermal Mirage technique, UV laser damage resistivity studies on LaF3/MgF2, Al2O3/SiO2, and HfO2/SiO2 multilayer stacks have been performed at (lambda) equals 248 nm, (tau) equals 20 ns. Investigating these stacks by changing the number of (HL) pairs and the substrate material, optical and thermal coating properties were shown to be responsible for UV single-shot laser damage. Similarly, the damage threshold of selected samples is to be influenced by the deposition technique. Furthermore, multishot damage measurements on LaF3/MgF2 high-reflecting multilayer coatings reveal the accumulation of laser energy in the predamage range.© (1996) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.