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Proceedings Paper

How to clean surfaces
Author(s): Jean M. Bennett
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Paper Abstract

Various cleaning methods are available depending on the sizes of the parts, mounted or unmounted, and purpose of the cleaning. Dust and other particle contamination affect scattering and act as nuclei for defects in optical coatings. In some cases, these defects can initiate laser damage. Noncontact cleaning methods to eliminate particle contamination include blowing large particles from surfaces with an air bulb, "canned air," or a nitrogen gas jet, for a gentle cleaning and CO2 snow for more aggressive particle removal. Laser assisted particle removal is a new high tech method. A strip coating material applied to the surface and subsequently removed will remove large fresh particles and often fingerprints. Contamination films affect the quality and adherence of optical coatings. These are usually removed (from unmounted optics) by cleaning the surface in a detergent and water bath followed by extensive rinsing and non-contact drying. Alternate methods when immersion in water is not possible are drag wiping, or spraying or squirting organic solvents over the surface. Before cleaning, surfaces must be visually inspected to determine the type and location of the contamination, to decide if cleaning is necessary, and what type of cleaning technique to use. Finally, bad cleaning is much worse than no cleaning! Illustrations of the cleaning methods described above will be given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5273, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2003, (10 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.530002
Show Author Affiliations
Jean M. Bennett, Naval Air Warfare Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5273:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2003
Gregory J. Exarhos; Arthur H. Guenther; Norbert Kaiser; Keith L. Lewis; M. J. Soileau; Christopher J. Stolz, Editor(s)

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