17 September 1998 Improved cryogenic aluminum mirrors
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Abstract
Optical surface deformation of metal mirrors used at cryogenic temperatures is reduced through the use of a new process of plating amorphous aluminum on aluminum. The AlumiPlateTM process (produced by AlumiPlate, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN) plates a layer of 99.9+% high purity aluminum about 125 micrometers thick atop the substrate. Very good surface finishes are produced by direct diamond turning of the plating, with some samples below 40 angstroms RMS. Optical testing of a 175-mm diameter, 550-mm optical radius of curvature 6061-T651/AlumiPlateTM aluminum sphere was performed at 65 K to determine cryogenic optical surface figure stability. In five cycles from 300 to 65 K, an average optical surface change of 0.047 wave RMS (1 wave equals 633 nm) was observed. A total optical figure change of 0.03 wave RMS at 65 K was observed from the first to last cycle. The cause of this relatively small long-term change is not yet determined. The test mirror is bi-concave, with a semi- kinematic toroidal mount, and is machined from the axis of a billet. An `uphill quench' heat treatment consisting of five cycles from liquid nitrogen to boiling water temperatures is used to minimize residual stress in the test mirror. Initial diamond turning of the mirror by the Optical Filter Corp., Keene, NH, produced a 300 K unmounted optical surface figure of 0.380 wave peak-to-valley and 0.059 wave RMS. A second effort at diamond turning by II-VI, Inc., Saxonburg, PA produced a 300 K optical figure of 0.443 wave peak-to-valley and 0.066 wave RMS, with a surface roughness varying from 29 to 42 angstroms.
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Daniel Vukobratovich, Daniel Vukobratovich, Ken Don, Ken Don, Richard E. Sumner, Richard E. Sumner, } "Improved cryogenic aluminum mirrors", Proc. SPIE 3435, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII, (17 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.323735; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.323735
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