OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 28 — Oct. 1, 2003
  • pp: 5706–5713

Wet-Etch Figuring for Precision Optical Contouring

Michael C. Rushford, Jerald A. Britten, Shamasunder N. Dixit, Curly R. Hoaglan, Michael D. Aasen, and Leslie J. Summers  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 28, pp. 5706-5713 (2003)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (1816 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Wet-etch figuring utilizes free surface flows driven by surface tension gradients (the Marangoni effect) to confine and stabilize the size and shape of an etchant droplet attached to the underside of a glass surface. This droplet, or wetted zone, is translated on the surface, etching where it contacts and leaving behind no residue, to facilitate an etching-based small-tool figuring process that is free of mechanical and thermal stresses. The optic needs no backing plate, and its back side is free for inspection by optical means. When transmissive optics is figured, the optical thickness between the front and the rear surfaces of the optic is measured interferometrically and used in real time to control the local dwell time of the etchant zone. This truly closed-loop figuring process is robust, environmentally insensitive, and fully automated. It is particularly suited for figuring patterns such as phase plates, corrective elements, and optical flats on very thin (≪1-mm) substrates that are difficult to figure with traditional abrasive polishing methods.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.7330) Diffraction and gratings : Volume gratings
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(140.3300) Lasers and laser optics : Laser beam shaping
(220.4610) Optical design and fabrication : Optical fabrication
(220.5450) Optical design and fabrication : Polishing

Michael C. Rushford, Jerald A. Britten, Shamasunder N. Dixit, Curly R. Hoaglan, Michael D. Aasen, and Leslie J. Summers, "Wet-Etch Figuring for Precision Optical Contouring," Appl. Opt. 42, 5706-5713 (2003)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. J. S. Taylor, “Precision non-contact polishing tool,” U.S. patent 5,591,068 (7 January 1997).
  2. P. C. Baker, “Advanced flow polishing of exotic optical materials,” in X-Ray/EUV Optics for Astronomy and Microscopy, R. B. Hoover, ed., Proc. SPIE 1160, 263–270 (1989).
  3. O. W. Fahnle, H. van Brug, and H. J. Frankena, “Fluid jet polishing of optical surfaces,” Appl. Opt. 37, 6771–6773 (1998).
  4. O. W. Fahnle and H. van Brug, “Fluid jet polishing: removal process analysis,” in Optical Fabrication and Testing, R. Geyl and J. Maxwell, eds., Proc. SPIE 3739, 68–77 (1999).
  5. S. D. Jacobs, W. Kordonski, I. V. Prokhorev, D. Gollini, G. R. Grodkin, and T. D. Strafford, “Deterministic magnetorheological finishing,” U.S. patent 5,795,212 (18 August 1998).
  6. D. Golini, W. I. Kordonski, P. Dumas, and S. J. Hogan, “Magnetorheological finishing (MRF) in commercial precision optics manufacturing,” in Optical Manufacturing and Testing III, H. P. Stahl, ed., Proc. SPIE 3782, 80–91 (1999).
  7. S. D. Jacobs, S. R. Arrasmith, I. A. Kozhinova, L. L. Gregg, A. B. Shorey, H. J. Romanofsky, D. Golini, W. I. Kordonski, P. Dumas, and S. Hogan, “MRF: computer-controlled optics manufacturing,” Am. Ceram. Soc. Bull. 78, 42–48 (1999).
  8. L. N. Allen and R. E. Keim, “An ion figuring system for large optic fabrication,” Selected Papers on Computer-Controlled Optical Surfacing, R. A. Jones, ed., Vol. 40 of SPIE Milestone Series(SPIE, Bellingham, Wash., 1991), pp. 348–363.
  9. T. W. Drueding, S. C. Fawcett, S. R. Wilson, and T. G. Bifano, “Ion beam figuring of small optical components,” Opt. Eng. 34, 3565–3571 (1995).
  10. D. J. Smith, “The development of ion etched phase plates,” LLE Review 74, 71–91 (1998).
  11. X. Ding, Y. Yasui, Y. Kawaguchi, H. Niino, and A. Yabe, “Laser-induced back-side wet-etching of fused silica with an aqueous solution containing organic molecules,” Appl. Phys. A 75, 437–440 (2002).
  12. H. P. Meissner and A. S. Michaels, “Surface tensions of pure liquids and liquid mixtures,” Ind. Eng. Chem. 41, 2782–2787 (1949).
  13. L. E. Scriven and C. V. Sternling, “The Marangoni effects,” Nature 187, 186–188 (1960).
  14. A. F. M. Leenaars, J. A. M. Huethorst, and J. J. van Oekel, “Marangoni drying: a new extremely clean drying process,” Langmuir 6, 1701–1703 (1990).
  15. J. Marra and J. A. M. Huethorst, “Physical principles of Marangoni drying,” Langmuir 7, 2748–2755 (1991).
  16. K. Wolke, B. Eitel, M. Schenkl, S. Rummelin, and R. Schild, “Marangoni wafer drying avoids disadvantages,” Solid State Technol. 39, 87–90 (1996).
  17. J. A. Britten, “A moving-zone Marangoni drying process for critical cleaning and wet processing,” Solid State Technol. 40, 143–148 (1997).
  18. A. W. Adamson, The Physical Chemistry of Surfaces (Wiley, New York, 1976), Chap. 1.
  19. J. Schwider, O. Falkenstorfer, H. Schreiber, A. Zoller, and N. Streibl, “New compensating 4-phase algorithm for phase shift interferometry,” Opt. Eng. 32, 183–1885 (1993).
  20. A. J. Bayramian, R. J. Beach, W. Behrendt, C. Bibeau, R. Campbell, S. N. Dixit, C. A. Ebbers, B. L. Freitas, V. K. Kanz, M. C. Rushford, S. A. Payne, J. Schmidt, K. I. Schaffers, K. M. Skulina, S. Telford, J. B. Tassano, A. DeWald, J. Rankin, and M. R. Hill, “Activation of the mercury laser, a diode-pumped, gas-cooled, solid-state slab laser,” in Advanced Solid-State Photonics, J. J. Zayhowski, ed., Vol. 83 of OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Series(Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 2003), pp. 268–272.
  21. S. C. Barden, A. Camacho, and H. Yarborough, “Post-polishing VPH gratings for improved wavefront performance,” in Specialized Optical Developments in Astronomy, E. Atad-Ettedgui and S. D’Odorico, eds., Proc. SPIE 4842, 39–42 (2003).
  22. R. D. Rallison, R. W. Rallison, and L. D. Dickson, “Fabrication and testing of large area VPH gratings,” in Specialized Optical Developments in Astronomy, E. Atad-Ettedgui and S. D’Odorico, eds., Proc. SPIE 4842, 10–21 (2003).
  23. G. A. C. M. Spierings, “Wet chemical etching of silicate glasses in hydrofluoric acid based solutions,” J. Mater. Sci. 28, 6261–6273 (1993).
  24. J. K. Lawson, D. A. Aikens, R. E. English, Jr., and C. R. Wolfe, “Power spectral density specifications for high-power laser systems,” in Specification, Production and Testing of Optical Components and Systems, A. E. Gee and J. House, eds., Proc. SPIE 2775, 345–356 (1996).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited