13 September 2012 Progress in UCO's search for silver-based telescope mirror coatings
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Abstract
We report on the on-going effort at University of California Observatories Astronomical Coatings Lab to develop robust protected-silver coatings suitable for telescope mirrors. We have identified a very promising recipe based on YF3 that produces excellent reflectivity at wavelengths of 340 nm and greater, has ~1.5% emissivity in the thermal IR, and does not contain problematic materials for the Mid-IR, such as SiO2 and Al2O3. The recipe holds up extremely well to aggressive environmental testing (80C and 80% RH; high-H2S atmosphere), and currently is being evaluated under real observatory conditions. This coating may satisfy the need for telescope mirror coatings that are long-lasting (~5 years or more) and have good reflectivity into the UV. We also evaluate and compare some other silver-based coatings developed elsewhere that should be useful in the same role. In addition, we describe recent upgrades to our coating facilities allowing us to deposit ion-assisted e-beam coatings on optics up to ~1m. This novel arrangement places the e-gun and ion source on a pivoting "swing-arm", allowing the position to move radially without changing the e-gun/ion source/ substrate geometry. Large substrates can be coated with good uniformity using single-axis rotation only. This technique is scalable to arbitrarily large substrate sizes.
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Andrew C. Phillips, Andrew C. Phillips, Joseph S. Miller, Joseph S. Miller, Michael Bolte, Michael Bolte, Brian DuPraw, Brian DuPraw, Matthew Radovan, Matthew Radovan, David Cowley, David Cowley, } "Progress in UCO's search for silver-based telescope mirror coatings", Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 84502G (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925502; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.925502
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