A study has been performed to determine the correlation among the microstructure, metallurgical processing, and optical surface finish of commercially available types of molybdenum (Mo) bar and plate and 0.5-mm thick Mo sheet. Specimens of bar and plate stock produced from low-carbon vacuum-arc-cast Mo or powder-metallurgy-processed Mo, as well as TZM (Ti-Zr-Mo) Mo alloy, were in the form of 3.86-cm diam disks. In addition, typical cross-rolled sheet specimens were produced from powder-metallurgy-processed Mo that had a very fine grain structure and a high degree of texture. Specimens were extensively characterized both optically and metallurgically. It was found that well-polished surfaces have surface topographies directly related to the microstructure and hence to the processing of the material. In sheet material having a well-developed texture, the polishability appeared to be independent of texture, and the grain size did not result in a lower scatter surface. It was concluded that the optimum type of Mo to use for smooth low-scatter mirrors is low-carbon vacuum-arc-cast plate or sheet material.
Jean M. Bennett, Shew M. Wong, and George Krauss, "Relation between the optical and metallurgical properties of polished molybdenum mirrors," Appl. Opt. 19, 3562-3584 (1980)