19 August 1996 Laser application for optical glass polishing
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Abstract
The development of new optical glass polishing methods that improve the production efficiency of standard components is of key interest for the optical industry. Laser polishing is a very attractive method since it requires no mechanical abrasives or surface-adapted polishing tools. Moreover, it can be applied to surfaces of very complicated topography that are difficult or even impossible to polish using more traditional techniques and provides the possibility of automatic processing. We demonstrate rapid generation of large area polished optical surfaces by high power CO2 laser irradiation. Results focus on glasses with high expansion coefficients conventionally used in the optical industry such as TRC-33. The technique is applied to preheated glass samples with initial rms roughness up to 500 nm. To find out the conditions for successful and reliable use of the proposed laser polishing method, the laser-driven heating process is monitored by means of the surface and depth temperature distributions. Whereas the former is determined in-situ from the IR radiation emitted by the glass surface, the latter is obtained by comparison of the IR radiation emitted by the bulk sample with a theoretical model. Laser polishing of 5000 mm2 glass surfaces is reported and processes involved in the surface modification of irradiated samples are described and discussed.
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Ferran Laguarta, Nuria Bas Lupon, Fidel Vega, Jesus Armengol, "Laser application for optical glass polishing", Proc. SPIE 2775, Specification, Production, and Testing of Optical Components and Systems, (19 August 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.246797; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.246797
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