Particle Beam Figuring — An Ideal Tool for Precision Figuring of Optics?
Since several years Carl Zeiss manufactures high tech aspheric optical elements quite successfully by means of a CNC polishing mashine. Nevertheless mechanical finishing methods of surfaces find their limits in modelling the edges of the workpieces, in the amount of subsurface damage as well as contaminations of the surface with abrasives and in poor convergence values. One approach to overcome these limits is the use of a particle beam as a tool. Parameters like removal function and removal rate now are tunable almost independently. Convergence values as high as ten or more seem to be within reach. The Carl Zeiss experimental set-up will be presented and first results will be discussed with respect to those of the Computer Controlled Polishing.
KeywordsParticle Beam Subsurface Damage Removal Function Sublimation Energy Current Density Level
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