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Silicon Carbide Optical Bench

Photonics.com
Mar 2007
Poco Graphite Inc.Request Info
 
Supersic, Poco Graphite’s high-performance silicon carbide, is an ideal material for fabricating optical benches. Complex geometries are easily fabricated and then mated with silicon carbide mirrors for optimum performance. Poco’s unique silicon carbide manufacturing method allows complex machining to take place in the graphite precursor; this is important because silicon carbide is very difficult and inefficient to machine. Graphite parts are assembled and subjected to a chemical vapor conversion (CVC) process which produces a pure silicon carbide monolithic structure. During the CVC process there is growth across grain structure of the assembled parts, forming a homogeneous microstructure. To further meet performance specifications, the Supersic material system allows enhancements to the basic silicon carbide structure. Supersic exceeds the performance of legacy beryllium telescopes and offers greater system capability in demanding applications. The pictured optical bench was designed to hold five silicon carbide mirrors also produced from Poco Supersic. It was machined in four subcomponents, assembled and subjected to the CVC process to produce this pure, monolithic silicon carbide structure that would be near impossible to achieve by any other silicon carbide production method.


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GLOSSARY
mirror
A smooth, highly polished surface, for reflecting light, that may be plane or curved if wanting to focus and or magnify the image formed by the mirror. The actual reflecting surface is usually a thin coating of silver or aluminum on glass.
optical bench
A support for optical parts comprising a solid bed that permits precise longitudinal movement of one component relative to the others, and a number of sliders equipped with holders for lenses, lamps, apertures, eyepieces, ground glass, etc. Scales often are provided to measure the movement of the various sliders. Some special-purpose benches carry a nodal slide and flat-field bar with a microscope carriage for lens testing. Two-dimensional benches have appeared recently that consist of a...
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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