Design of a motorised plasma delivery system for ultra-precision large optical fabrication

Hui Zhou, Adam Bennett, Marco Castelli, Renaud Jourdain, Jiang Guo, Nan Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A unique plasma figuring (PF) process was created and demonstrated at Cranfield University for manufacturing extremely large telescopes. The atmospheric pressure processing is faster and more cost-effective than other finishing processes; thus, providing an important alternative for large optical surfaces. The industrial scale manufacturing of thousands of ultra-precision metre-scale optics requires a robust PF machine: this requirement is achieved by making the plasma delivery system (PDS) performance repeatable. In this study, a dedicated PDS for large optical manufacturing was proposed to meet the industrial requirement. The PDS is based on an L-type radiofrequency (RF) network, a power supply, and an inductively coupled plasma torch. However, the complexities of these technologies require an in depth understanding of the integrated components that from the PDS. A smart control system for the modified PDS was created. This novel control system aims to make the characterization process deterministic: by automating the tuning of critical electrical components in the RF network, which is achieved by the use of in-line metrology. This paper describes the main design aspects. The PDS was tested with a good correlation between capacitance and RF frequencies. The robust PDS design enables a stable discharge of plasma with a low deviation of RF signals during the total 15 hours' test.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045301
JournalInternational Journal of Extreme Manufacturing
Volume2
Issue number4
Early online date2 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Plasma delivery system
  • Plasma figuring
  • RF network

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