In this study, we report on our recent progress in research of single layer mixed zirconia-silica and niobia-silica composite coatings prepared by Ion Beam Sputtering technique. All coatings of the same optical thickness were characterized in terms of reflection/transmission spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, atomic force and optical microscopy, optical back-scattering and optical resistance (laser-induced damage threshold - LIDT) in subpicosecond mode. The optical resistance, TIS and LIDT results reveal clear dependence on high refractive index material content in composite coating and its crystalline structure. The results are interpreted and discussed by the means of different models available in literature.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.