The influence of micron-sized nodules on the electric-field enhancement in the HfO2/SiO2 thin-film polarizers with non-quarter- wave layers at 1053nm and 56° is studied using the finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic modeling. The theoretical results show that the electric-field enhancements in HfO2 material are greater at s polarization than those at p polarization. Nodular defect originating from the large, shallow seed leads to the highest electric-field enhancement while that containing the small, deep seed leads to the lowest electric-field enhancement. The TFP coating designed with the electric-field peaks located in the SiO2 layers has no obvious advantage in decreasing the laser-induced damage than that designed with the electric-field peaks located in the HfO2 layers, once they have the similar nodular defects in them.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.