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Proceedings Paper

Developing magnetorheological finishing (MRF) technology for the manufacture of large-aperture optics in megajoule class laser systems
Author(s): Joseph A. Menapace
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Paper Abstract

Over the last eight years we have been developing advanced MRF tools and techniques to manufacture meter-scale optics for use in Megajoule class laser systems. These systems call for optics having unique characteristics that can complicate their fabrication using conventional polishing methods. First, exposure to the high-power nanosecond and sub-nanosecond pulsed laser environment in the infrared (>27 J/cm2 at 1053 nm), visible (>18 J/cm2 at 527 nm), and ultraviolet (>10 J/cm2 at 351 nm) demands ultra-precise control of optical figure and finish to avoid intensity modulation and scatter that can result in damage to the optics chain or system hardware. Second, the optics must be super-polished and virtually free of surface and subsurface flaws that can limit optic lifetime through laser-induced damage initiation and growth at the flaw sites, particularly at 351 nm. Lastly, ultra-precise optics for beam conditioning are required to control laser beam quality. These optics contain customized surface topographical structures that cannot be made using traditional fabrication processes. In this review, we will present the development and implementation of large-aperture MRF tools and techniques specifically designed to meet the demanding optical performance challenges required in large aperture high-power laser systems. In particular, we will discuss the advances made by using MRF technology to expose and remove surface and subsurface flaws in optics during final polishing to yield optics with improve laser damage resistance, the novel application of MRF deterministic polishing to imprint complex topographical information and wavefront correction patterns onto optical surfaces, and our efforts to advance the technology to manufacture largeaperture damage resistant optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 December 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7842, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2010, 78421W (3 December 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.855603
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph A. Menapace, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7842:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2010
Gregory J. Exarhos; Vitaly E. Gruzdev; Joseph A. Menapace; Detlev Ristau; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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