New hydrodynamic improvements have been developed in order to enable pulsed polishing with the HyDRa system. The operational parameters of the tool are not affected by these modifications, i.e., tool bias and the tool’s floating capability are not lost, and a linear erosion function is produced. The minimum removal is no longer ruled by maximum computer numerical control speed, allowing for high-precision removal that can be taken from zero to the maximum attainable of the tool, in minimum increments of 3.5 nm / ms. This modification also improves the convergence rate of the polishing process toward the desired surface. This development guarantees a high-speed, pulsed operation that enables the tool to be used in a variety of polishing modes, ranging from discrete pixel to continuous pulse width modulation (PWM) polishing. This new capability opens a wide range of applications that can now be tackled with the system, such as zonal and tessellated polishing. PWM capability also allows for simultaneous, multi-head polishing of large optical surfaces.
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