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Proceedings Paper

Developing metal coated mesh filters for mid-infrared astronomy
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Paper Abstract

A metal mesh filter is appropriate to a band-pass filter for astronomy in the long mid-infrared between 25 and 40 μm, where most of optical materials are opaque. The mesh filter does not require transparent dielectric materials unlike interference filters because the transmission characteristics bare determined by surface plasmon-polariton (SPP) resonances excited on a metal surface with a periodic structure. In this study, we have developed the mesh filters optimized to atmospheric windows at 31.8 and 37.5 μm accessible from the Chajnantor site of 5,640 m altitude. First, mesh filters made of a gold film of 2 μm thickness have been fabricated. Four identical film-type filters are stacked incoherently to suppress leakages at stop-bands. The transmissions of the stacked filters have been measured to be 0.8 at the peaks and below 1 x 10-3 at the stop-bands at 4 K. The ground-based mid-infrared camera MAX38 has been equipped with the stacked filters and successfully obtained diffraction-limited stellar images at the Chajnantor site. The film-type mesh filter does not have sufficient mechanical strength for a larger aperture and for use in space. We have developed mesh filters with higher strength by applying the membrane technology for x-ray optics. The membrane-type mesh filter is made of SiC and coated with a thin gold layer. The optical performance of the mesh filter is independent of internal materials in principle because the SPP resonances are excited only on the metal surface. The fabricated membrane-type mesh filter has been confirmed to provide comparable optical performance to the film-type mesh filter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 84503V (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925768
Show Author Affiliations
Shigeyuki Sako, Institute of Astronomy, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Takashi Miyata, Institute of Astronomy, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Takafumi Kamizuka, Institute of Astronomy, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Tomohiko Nakamura, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Kentaro Asano, Institute of Astronomy, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Mizuho Uchiyama, Institute of Astronomy, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Takashi Onaka, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Itsuki Sakon, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
Takehiko Wada, Institute of Space and Astronomical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8450:
Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II
Ramón Navarro; Colin R. Cunningham; Eric Prieto, Editor(s)

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