The first large Fabry-Perot etalon (Ø35 cm) of the VTF instrument was coated successfully using IBS technique. The High Reflective (HR) coatings need to meet the reflectivity specifications (95 +/- 1%) over the entire wavelength range 520-870 nm and the entire aperture (Ø25 cm) and also preserve the plate's flatness and airgap uniformity between the two platesto be better than 3 nm RMS. The change of the figure error of the individual faces after HR coating was exceptionally small: For plate 1 (upper) it changed from 1.7nm RMS before coating to 2.12 nm after coating, no change at all for plate 2 (lower).
The Visible Tunable Filter (VTF) is a diffraction-limited narrowband tunable instrument for imaging spectropolarimetry in the wavelength range between 520 and 860 nm. It is based on large-format Fabry Perot. The instrument will be one of the first-light instruments of the 4m aperture Daniel K. Inoue Solar Telescope (DKIST). To provide a field of view of 1 arcmin and a spectral resolution λ/Δλ of about 100.000, the required free aperture of the Fabry Perot is 250mm. The high reflectivity coatings for the Etalon plates need to meet the specifications for the reflectivity over the entire wavelength range and preserve the plate figure specifications of better λ/300, and a micro roughness of < 0.4 nm rms. Coated surfaces with similar specifications have successfully been made for reflecting mirrors on thick substrates but not for larger format Fabry-Perot systems. Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) based coatings provide stable, homogeneous, and smooth coatings. But IBS coatings also introduce stresses to the substrate that influence the plate figure in our case at the nm level. In a joint effort with an industry partner and a French CNRS research laboratory, we developed and tested processes on small and full size substrates, to provide coated Etalon plates to the required specifications. Zygo Extreme Precision Optics, Richmond, CA, USA, is polishing and figuring the substrates, doing the metrology and FE analysis. LMA (Laboratoire Matériaux Avancés, Lyon, France) is designing and making the IBS coatings and investigating the detailed behavior of the coatings and related processes. Both partners provide experience from manufacturing coated plane optics for gravitational wave detection experiments and EUV optics. The Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Freiburg, Germany is designing and building the VTF instrument and is leading the coating development. We present the characteristics of the coatings and the substrate processing concept, as well as results from tests on sample size and from full size substrate processing. We demonstrate that the tight specifications for a single Etalon can be reached.
We have systematically studied femtosecond-laser fabrication of optical waveguides in an Er-Yb doped phosphate glass.
Waveguides were written using the IMRA America FCPA μJewel D-400 femtosecond fiber laser system with pulse
repetition rates ranging from 250 kHz to 2.2 MHz. At every pulse repetition rate a series of waveguides was written
while varying scan speeds from 50 μm/s to 100 mm/s and pulse energies from 80 nJ to 320 nJ. The optical quality of the
waveguides was evaluated by measuring the waveguide mode profile as well as the optical loss. Laser-induced defects
and structural changes in the glass were characterized using confocal fluorescence and Raman microscopy.
Waveguides were written in soda lime silicate glasses with a composition of xNa2O xCaO (1-2x)SiO2, where x = 15 and 20, using an amplified femtosecond laser. The waveguides formed around, not inside the exposed regions. This is similar to the waveguide behavior our group first observed in a phosphate glass, Schott IOG-1, and is distinctly different from fused silica in which the waveguides are inside the exposed regions. This data supports the rapid quenching theory, i.e. that the exposed regions cool rapidly, locking in a glass structure with a high fictive temperature, with the dependence of the refractive index on the glass cooling rate determining the qualitative behavior of the waveguides.