Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) research has historically been a driver in the development of high performance, high damage threshold optical coatings. This is particularly the case now as the ICF community develops plans for a proposed 1.8 mega-joule solid state (Nd+3-phosphate glass) laser system. The new system, the National Ignition Facility, is possible in part due to advances in optical coatings technology including the laser-conditioning of multilayer dielectrics and broadened applications for room-temperature deposited coatings. Sol-gel AR coatings are the standard for large, high-power laser optics and sol-gel HR coatings are being developed. For mirror and polarizer coatings, e-beam-deposited dielectrics continue to provide the highest damage threshold coatings, but their laser damage thresholds and optical performance are limited by micrometers -scale defects and poor control over layer thickness, respectively. More energetic deposition techniques such as IAD and IBS, now popular in the commercial market, offer both advantages and disadvantages in this high-damage- threshold coatings market.© (1994) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.