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Proceedings Paper

Design and fabrication of large-scale lightweight SiC space mirror
Author(s): Jianhan Zhang; Yumin Zhang; Jiecai Han; Xiaodong He; Wang Yao
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Paper Abstract

Silicon carbide is a new type of optics material developed in recent years because it offered some advantages over other traditional optical substrate materials such as low density, low thermal expansion coefficient, high thermal conductivity, big special heat, big modulus of elasticity and potential cost and schedule. So in this paper, the silicon carbide space mirror was fabricated by both reaction bonded (RB) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The green body of the space mirror was prepared by silicon carbide powder, carbon powder, dilution and solidified agent using slip casting method. The space mirror blank was prepared by green body and pure silicon powder. They were laid in vacuum sintering furnace and sintered at 1500°C. In this temperature, silicon was melting then infiltrated in SiC green body and reacted with carbon to generate the new SiC, at the same time, bonded original SiC powder, in the end, the nonporous SiC/Si space mirror blank was fabricated. The reaction bonded silicon carbide (RBSiC) was consistent with original SiC powder, new generated SiC and unreacted Si. Because RBSiC was SiC/Si two-phase structure, the hardness difference between SiC and Si made the space mirror difficult to achieve precision optical surface by grinding. So a full density SiC thin film was coated on the surface of space mirror blank with RBSiC by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The raw material was CH3SiCl3. The hydrogen (H2) was catalyst. The deposition temperature was 1300°C. The cooling rate could be controlled. The SiC space mirror was honeycomb open back lightweight structure. The honeycomb cellar could be triangle, rectangle, hexogen and sector. The biggest diameter of SiC space mirror blank which has been fabricated is approach one meter by forgoing process. In order to the forgoing process was feasible, a flat round SiC space mirror with 250mm diameter. The space mirror was composed of a 4mm thick round plane faceplate and hexagonal cellar honeycomb strengthen ribs. The 20μm thick SiC thin film was coated on the plate by CVD process. The microstructure of SiC was studied by metalogragh and scanning electronic microscope (SEM). X-ray diffraction showed that RBSiC was composed of α-SiC and Si, and the CVD-SiC was β-SiC.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 May 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6148, 2nd International Symposium on Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies: Large Mirrors and Telescopes, 61480U (30 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.674107
Show Author Affiliations
Jianhan Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology (China)
Yumin Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology (China)
Jiecai Han, Harbin Institute of Technology (China)
Xiaodong He, Harbin Institute of Technology (China)
Wang Yao, Harbin Institute of Technology (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6148:
2nd International Symposium on Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies: Large Mirrors and Telescopes

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