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Durability assessment of PbTe/II-IV infrared filters (Space Shuttle 1st LDEF)

R Hunneman, J S Seeley, A Whatley

SPIE Proceedings, 401, Pages 55-59 (1983)


Residual stress having been further reduced, selected infrared coatings composed of thin films of (PbTe/ ZnS (or ZnSe) can now be made which comply with the durability requirements of MIL-48616 whilst retaining transparency. Such improved durability is due to the sequence:- i) controlled deposition, followed by ii) immediate exposure to air, followed by iii) annealing in vacuo to relieve stress. (At the time of writing we assume the empiric procedure "exposure to air/annealing in vacuo" acts to relieve the inherent stresses of deposition). As part of their testing, representative sample filters prepared by the procedure are being assembled for the shuttle's 1st Long Duration Exposure Facility (to be placed in earth orbit for a considerable period and then recovered for analysis). The sample filters comprise various narrowband-designs to permit deduction of the constituent thin film optical properties. The Reading assembly also contains representative sample of the infrared crystals, glasses, thin-film absorbers and bulk absorbers, and samples of shorter-wavelength filters prepared similarly but made with Ge/SiO. Findings on durability and transparency after exposure will be reported.