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Proceedings Paper

Using notch filter masks for high-contrast imaging of extra solar planets
Author(s): John H. Debes; Jian Ge; Marc Kuchner; Michael Rogosky
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Paper Abstract

We present the first lab experiments using a notch filter mask, a coronagraphic mask that dims the light from an on-axis source while passing off-axis light unscathed. The notch filter mask is essentially an optimized Lyot coronagraph that diffracts all of the light from the central object into a small ring that can be blocked by a Lyot stop. Notch filter masks provide a high throughput, very high contrast alternative to traditional Lyot coronagraphs. These masks, like all methods for achieving high contrast, require a high amount of accuracy in design to be successful. Nanofabrication techniques can meet these design challenges; with the first notch filter mask prototype fabricated with .25 μm precision using an e-beam lithography machine. When placed in a test bed, initial results show that 10-5 contrast is achieved at 3λ/Δ and 10-6 at ~8λ/Δ with a throughput of 27%. The coronagraph rejects light from the point source's peak by at least 4 orders of magnitude despite leakage of light through the mask. We speculate on the "as-is" performance of such a mask in the Hubble Space Telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5170, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets, (19 November 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.505922
Show Author Affiliations
John H. Debes, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Jian Ge, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Marc Kuchner, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Michael Rogosky, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5170:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets
Daniel R. Coulter, Editor(s)

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