Weatherable, low cost, front surface, solar reflectors on flexible substrates would be highly desirable for lamination to solar concentrator panels. The method to be described in this paper may permit such reflector material to be fabricated for less the 50$CNT per square foot. Vacuum deposited Polymer/Silver/Polymer reflectors and Fabry-Perot interference filters were fabricated in a vacuum web coating operation on polyester substrates. Reflectivities were measured in the wavelength range from .4 micrometers to .8 micrometers . It is hoped that a low cost substrate can be used with the substrate laminated to the concentrator and the weatherable acrylic polymer coating facing the sun. This technique should be capable of deposition line speeds approaching 1500 linear feet/minute<SUP>2</SUP>. Central to this technique is a new vacuum deposition process for the high rate deposition of polymer films. This polymer process involves the flash evaporation of an acrylic monomer onto a moving substrate. The monomer is subsequently cured by an electron beam or ultraviolet light. This high speed polymer film deposition process has been named the PML process- for Polymer Multi- Layer.
Large-optics coating facilities and processes at Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) that were used to develop large-area high-performance laser mirrors for SDIO are now being used to fabricate a variety of optical components for commercial clients, and for novel applications for other DoD clients. Emphasis of this work is on technology transfer of low-cost coating processes and equipment to private clients. Much of the technology transfer is being accomplished through the CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) process funded by the Department of Energy (DOE).