14 May 2007 Reactive Atom Plasma (RAPTM) process for fabricating damage-free SiC optics
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Conventional mechanical grinding and lapping processes impart substantial sub-surface damage (SSD) in optical substrates. SSD is usually mitigated by subsequent grinding and lapping with progressively smaller grit size which removes the damage from the previous step but leaves behind SSD damage of its own. The last remnants of SSD are removed in the final polishing step, which ends up being the longest process step. For some high laser fluence glass optics, BOE etch is used as an intermediate step between the grinding steps in order to arrest further propagation of SSD. No such easily implemented wet-etch chemistry exists for silicon carbide (SiC) optics. Reactive Atom Plasma (RAPTM, a novel non-contact, atmospheric pressure plasma based process, has been shown to reveal and mitigate sub-surface damage in optical materials. Twyman stress tests on milled SiC substrates demonstrate RAP's ability to mitigate this stress. We will show how the RAP process can enhance and accelerate the fabrication of SiC optics.
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Yogesh Verma, Yogesh Verma, Peter S. Fiske, Peter S. Fiske, George J. Gardopee, George J. Gardopee, } "Reactive Atom Plasma (RAPTM) process for fabricating damage-free SiC optics", Proc. SPIE 10316, Optifab 2007: Technical Digest, 103160B (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718721; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.718721

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