18 July 2014 Minimizing the bimetallic bending for cryogenic metal optics based on electroless nickel
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Abstract
Ultra-precise metal optics are key components of sophisticated scientific instruments in astronomy and space applications. Especially for cryogenic applications, a detailed knowledge and the control of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the used materials are essential. Reflective optical components in IR- and NIR-instruments primarily consist of the aluminum alloy Al6061. The achievable micro-roughness of diamond machined and directly polished Al6061 does not fulfill the requirements for applications in the visible spectral range. Electroless nickel enables the reduction of the mirror surface roughness to the sub-nm range by polishing. To minimize the associated disadvantageous bimetallic effect, a novel material combination for cryogenic mirrors based on electroless nickel and hypereutectic aluminum-silicon is investigated. An increasing silicon content of the aluminum material decreases the CTE in the temperature range to be considered. This paper shows the CTE for aluminum materials containing about 42 wt% silicon (AlSi42) and for electroless nickel with a phosphorous content ranging from 10.5 to 13 %. The CTE differ to about 0.5 × 10-6 K-1 in a temperature range from -185 °C (LN2) to 100 °C. Besides, the correlations between the chemical compositions of aluminum-silicon materials and electroless nickel are shown. A metrology setup for cryo-interferometry was developed to analyze the remaining and reversible shape deviation at cryogenic temperatures. Changes could be caused by different CTE, mounting forces and residual stress conditions. In the electroless nickel layer, the resulting shape deviation can be preshaped by deterministic correction processes such as magnetorheological finishing (MRF) at room temperature.
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Jan Kinast, Enrico Hilpert, Nicolas Lange, Andreas Gebhardt, Ralf-Rainer Rohloff, Stefan Risse, Ramona Eberhardt, Andreas Tünnermann, "Minimizing the bimetallic bending for cryogenic metal optics based on electroless nickel", Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 915136 (18 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056271; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056271
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