Millijoule-energy femtosecond laser pulses at high repetition rates constitute major workhorses for nonlinear optics and ultrafast science. The evolution of dielectric multilayer mirror technology within last 15 years allows one to demonstrate low-loss and dispersion-controlled optics. Unfortunately, dispersive optics has lower laser damage threshold in comparison to standard quarter-wave stacks. Nevertheless only multilayer optics is able to support high energy laser pulses together with capability to impart almost any spectral or phase feature on the reflected light. There exist only a limited number of materials suitable for deposition of UV-Vis-IR mirrors. The highest damage threshold was demonstrated with alternating HfO2/SiO2 layers deposited by electron beam without ion-assistance. Utilizing performance of this materials pair we present a novel design approach that allows us to increase the damage threshold of dispersive UV-Vis-IR optics. It is based on the reduction of the electric field inside the multilayer stack.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.