Improve/develop metrology for VLA (very low absorption) Coatings

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: F33615-03-M-5701
Agency Tracking Number: 022-0065
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Metastable Instruments, Inc.
5988 Mid Rivers Mall Drive - Suite 236, St. Charles, MO, 63304
DUNS: 091932926
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 George Dube
 Principal Investigator
 (636) 447-9555
 gdube@metastableinstruments.com
Business Contact
 Samuel Bross
Title: Maner of New Products
Phone: (636) 447-9555
Email: sbross@metastableinstruments.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
"Minimizing the optical absorption of thin films is crucial to producing low loss, high laser damage threshold coatings for mirrors, windows and other optical components. Determining absorption by measuring the loss of power in a reflected or transmittedlight beam is not practical because the single pass absorption is often only a few parts per million. Existing procedures illuminate the coating with a powerful light beam and use another light beam (mirage effect), photoacoutics or calorimetry to relatethe observed thermal phenomena to the absorption of the film. We propose a 100-fold enhancement in the sensitivity of all techniques by changing the illumination from near normal incidence to internal reflection beyond the critical angle. The resultingattenuated total internal reflection (ATR) increases the absorption of most coatings by more than three times. An additional 10 to 100-fold increase is available if the internally reflected beam is routed to experience multiple internal reflections, as incommercially available (ATR) plates. In combination, these changes increase the sensitivity of absorption measurements by 100 times or more. The technique can be used on the actual substrate, as the coating is being applied in a vacuum chamber and/or ona separate monitoring plate. Real time monitoring of absorption as coatings are being deposited will allow coaters to optimize coating processes and designs to produce improved coatin

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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