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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of contamination of thin-film aluminum filters by MMH-NTO plumes exposed to UV radiation
Author(s): Vaibhav Gupta; Seth Wieman; Leonid Didkovsky; Ralf Haiges; Yuhan Yao; Wei Wu; Mike Gruntman; Dan Erwin
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Paper Abstract

Thin-film aluminum filters degrade in space with significant reduction of their Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) transmission. This degradation was observed on the EUV Spectrophotometer (ESP) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s EUV Variability Experiment and the Solar EUV Monitor (SEM) onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. One of the possible causes for deterioration of such filters over time is contamination of their surfaces from plumes coming from periodic firing of their satellite’s Monomethylhydrazine (MMH) – Nitrogen Tetroxide (NTO) thrusters. When adsorbed by the filters, the contaminant molecules are exposed to solar irradiance and could lead to two possible compositions. First, they could get polymerized leading to a permanent hydrocarbon layer buildup on the filter’s surface. Second, they could accelerate and increase the depth of oxidation into filter’s bulk aluminum material. To study the phenomena we experimentally replicate contamination of such filters in a simulated environment by MMH-NTO plumes. We apply, Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy to characterize the physical and the chemical changes on these contaminated sample filter surfaces. In addition, we present our first analysis of the effects of additional protective layer coatings based on self-assembled carbon monolayers for aluminum filters. This coverage is expected to significantly decrease their susceptibility to contamination and reduce the overall degradation of filter-based EUV instruments over their mission life.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2015
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9604, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation VI, 960408 (21 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186812
Show Author Affiliations
Vaibhav Gupta, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Seth Wieman, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Leonid Didkovsky, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Ralf Haiges, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Yuhan Yao, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Wei Wu, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Mike Gruntman, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Dan Erwin, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9604:
Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation VI
Silvano Fineschi; Judy Fennelly, Editor(s)

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