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21 September 2017 Atomic layer deposition and etching methods for far ultraviolet aluminum mirrors
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High-performance aluminum mirrors at far ultraviolet wavelengths require transparent dielectric materials as protective coatings to prevent oxidation. Reducing the thickness of this protective layer can result in additional performance gains by minimizing absorption losses, and provides a path toward high Al reflectance in the challenging wavelength range of 90 to 110 nm. We have pursued the development of new atomic layer deposition processes (ALD) for the metal fluoride materials of MgF2, AlF3 and LiF. Using anhydrous hydrogen fluoride as a reactant, these films can be deposited at the low temperatures required for large-area surface-finished optics and polymeric diffraction gratings. We also report on the development and application of an atomic layer etching (ALE) procedure to controllably etch native aluminum oxide. Our ALE process utilizes the same chemistry used in the ALD of AlF3 thin films, allowing for a combination of high-performance evaporated Al layers and ultrathin ALD encapsulation without requiring vacuum transfer. Progress in demonstrating the scalability of this approach, as well as the environmental stability of ALD/ALE Al mirrors are discussed in the context of possible future applications for NASA LUVOIR and HabEx mission concepts.
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John Hennessy, Christopher S. Moore, Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, April D. Jewell, Christian Carter, Kevin France, and Shouleh Nikzad "Atomic layer deposition and etching methods for far ultraviolet aluminum mirrors", Proc. SPIE 10401, Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems, 1040119 (21 September 2017);

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