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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary space environment tests of nematic liquid crystals
Author(s): Alan Graham; Greg A. Kopp; Carlos Vargas-Aburto; R. Uribe
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Paper Abstract

Nematic liquid crystals are used in a variety of applications including polarization interference filters, Fabry-Perot etalons, spatial light modulators, and polarimeters. Due to substantial interest in utilizing these devices in space, we have performed numerous tests to indicate the potential suitability of nematic liquid crystal components in a space environment. We report on liquid crystal survivability under extreme vacuum and temperature conditions, as well as their long term functionality after exposure to gamma, ultraviolet, and free electron radiation. The only damage occurred with UV exposure. No damage was observed due to a gamma radiation dose of 2.3 krad or from electron beam dose of 2 Mrad. We report on continued tests designed to determine damage thresholds of liquid crystals to radiation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 1996
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2811, Photonics for Space Environments IV, (18 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.254054
Show Author Affiliations
Alan Graham, Meadowlark Optics, Inc. (United States)
Greg A. Kopp, Meadowlark Optics, Inc. (United States)
Carlos Vargas-Aburto, Kent State Univ. (United States)
R. Uribe, Kent State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2811:
Photonics for Space Environments IV
Edward W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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