Ultrafast laser stress figuring for accurate deformation of thin mirrors



Fabricating freeform mirrors relies on accurate optical figuring processes capable of arbitrarily modifying low-spatial frequency height without creating higher-spatial frequency errors. We present a scalable process to accurately figure thin mirrors using stress generated by a focused ultrafast laser. We applied ultrafast laser stress figuring (ULSF) to four thin fused silica mirrors to correct them to 10-20 nm RMS over 28 Zernike terms, in 2-3 iterations, without significantly affecting higher-frequency errors. We measured the mirrors over a month and found that dielectric-coated mirrors were stable but stability of aluminum-coated mirrors was inconclusive. The accuracy and throughput for ULSF is on par with existing deterministic figuring processes, yet ULSF can scale to higher throughput using mature laser processing technologies. ULSF offers new potential to rapidly and accurately shape freeform mirrors.
Date made available2022
PublisherOptica Publishing Group

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