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Cooled optical filters for Q-band infrared astronomy (15-40µm)

G J Hawkins, R E Sherwood, K Djotni, T M Threadgold

SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 26 June - 1 July (2016)


With a growing interest in mid- and far-infrared astronomy using cooled imaging and spectrometer instruments in high-altitude observatories and spaceflight telescopes, it is becoming increasingly important to characterise and assess the spectral performance of cooled multilayer filters across the Q-band atmospheric window. This region contains spectral features emitted by many astrophysical phenomena and objects fundamental to circumstellar and planetary formation theories. However extending interference filtering to isolate radiation at progressively longer wavelengths and improve photometric accuracy is an area of ongoing and challenging thin-film research. We have successfully fabricated cooled bandpass and edge filters with high durability for operation across the 15-30µm Q-band region. In this paper we describe the rationale for selection of optical materials and properties of fabricated thin-film coatings for this region, together with FTIR spectral measurements and assessment of environmental durability.

DOI: 10.1117/12.2231669