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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 22 — Aug. 1, 2000
  • pp: 3940–3944

Carbon aerogel: a new nonreflective material for the infrared

Steven R. Meier, Michelle L. Korwin, and Celia I. Merzbacher  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 22, pp. 3940-3944 (2000)

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We present directional hemispherical reflectance (DHR) and bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) measurements of a carbon aerogel in the 2.5–14.3-µm infrared spectral region. The measured DHR is 1.0–1.2 ± 0.2% throughout the 2.5–14.3-µm infrared wavelength region. When the incidence angle is increased from 8° to 30° off normal, the DHR increases by only 0.2%; i.e., performance does not significantly degrade as a result of illumination by off-normal infrared radiation. BRDF measurements, obtained at a wavelength of 10.6 µm, indicate that carbon aerogel exhibits Lambertian behavior. The carbon aerogel’s BRDF value of 4 × 10-3 sr-1 is consistent with its measured DHR values. Gas adsorption and transmission-electron microscopy indicate a structure dominated by particles and pores of ≤10-nm dimension. Scanning-electron microscopy reveals surface roughness on a scale of tens of nanometers. The DHR and BRDF of carbon aerogel compare favorably with those of Martin Black and Rippey, two widely used nonreflective materials.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.2750) Materials : Glass and other amorphous materials
(160.4670) Materials : Optical materials
(160.4760) Materials : Optical properties
(290.5820) Scattering : Scattering measurements
(290.5880) Scattering : Scattering, rough surfaces

Original Manuscript: March 14, 2000
Revised Manuscript: April 21, 2000
Published: August 1, 2000

Steven R. Meier, Michelle L. Korwin, and Celia I. Merzbacher, "Carbon aerogel: a new nonreflective material for the infrared," Appl. Opt. 39, 3940-3944 (2000)

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