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Proceedings Paper

CVD diamond for optics applications in high heat flux environments
Author(s): Claude A. Klein
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Paper Abstract

Diamond has a cubic lattice structure and a very wide bandgap, which suggests that this material should exhibit excellent optical properties at wavelengths ranging from the far infrared to the near ultraviolet. Since diamond also exhibits unusually favorable properties in terms of mechanical strength, chemical stability, and thermal conductivity, there is considerable interest in using diamond for optics applications that involve adverse environmental conditions. The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated assessment of some of the issues that arise in connection with the use of chemically vapor- deposited diamond for applications such as missile system windows or domes, and for designing components that must function in the high photon flux of high-power lasers. Specifically, since the flight velocities of future air- intercept missiles are projected to far exceed those of contemporary systems, this raises the issue of how to access the capability of window/dome material candidates in an aero-thermal shock environment.In this context, it can be demonstrated that, compared to other candidate materials, diamond windows promise to deliver superior performances and should be able to meet any foreseeable requirement. Operation at high speeds, however, imposes limits on the tolerable window emittance to prevent 'blinding' the seeker, and this issue leads to the conclusion that diamond is intrinsically unsuitable for operation in the 3- to 5-micrometers spectral band. Concerning high-energy lasers, note that operational systems always include an optical train consisting of mirrors and windows, which must be capable of transporting and directing the beam without seriously degrading the nominal performance of the laser. In this regard, mirror-faceplate material candidates can be ranked on the basis of appropriate applications that require efficient cooling. Finally, we emphasize that the power- handling capability of diamond laser windows must be examined in the light of potential limitations arising from thermal lensing effects induced by unfavorable refractive index characteristics; edge-cooled configurations may operate at CW beam-power levels of up to 0.5 MW, which is substantial but orders of magnitude below earlier predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1996
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 2855, High Heat Flux Engineering III, (21 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259845
Show Author Affiliations
Claude A. Klein, c.a.k. analytics, inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2855:
High Heat Flux Engineering III
Ali M. Khounsary, Editor(s)

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