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Proceedings Paper

Low Scatter Edge Blackening Compounds For Refractive Optical Elements
Author(s): Isabella T. Lewis; Arthur R. Telkamp; Arno G. Ledebuhr
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Paper Abstract

Perkin-Elmer's Applied Optics Operation recently delivered several prototype wide-field-of-view (WFOV), F/2.8, 250 mm efl, near diffraction limited, concentric refractive lenses to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In these lenses, special attention was paid to reducing stray light to allow viewing of very dim objects. Because of the very large FOV, the use of a long baffle to eliminate direct illumination of lens edges was not practical. With the existing relatively short baffle design, one-bounce stray light paths off the element edges are possible. The scattering off the inside edges thus had to be kept to an absolute minimum. While common means for blackening the edges of optical elements are easy to apply and quite cost effective for normal lens assemblies, their blackening effect is limited by the Fresnel reflection due to the index of refraction mismatch at the glass boundary. At high angles of incidence, total internal reflection (TIR) might occur ruining the effect of the blackening process. An index-matched absorbing medium applied to the edges of such elements is the most effective approach for reducing the amount of undesired light reflected or scattered off these edges. The presence of such a medium provides an extended path outside the glass boundary in which an absorptive non-scattering dye can be used to eliminate light that might otherwise have propagated to the focal plane. Perkin-Elmer and LLNL undertook a program to develop epoxy-based dye carrier compounds with refractive indices corresponding to the glass types used in the WFOV lens. This program involved the measuring of the refractive index of a number of epoxy compounds and catalysts, the experimental combination of epoxies to match our glass indices, and the identification of a suitable non-scattering absorptive dye. Measurements on these blacks showed Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Functions (BRDFs) between 1.4 and 3.1 orders of magnitude lower than Perkin-Elmer's most common edge-blackening technique. Specular reflectance off the surfaces coated with the optimized dyed epoxy compounds ranged from 3 to 5 orders of magnitude less than the Fresnel reflectance from an uncoated glass/air interface.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1165, Scatter from Optical Components, (2 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.962852
Show Author Affiliations
Isabella T. Lewis, Perkin-Elmer Applied Optics Operations (United States)
Arthur R. Telkamp, Perkin-Elmer Applied Optics Operations (United States)
Arno G. Ledebuhr, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1165:
Scatter from Optical Components
John C. Stover, Editor(s)

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