'Ground-breaking' ceramic reflector developed

Posted on 08 Jan 2018 and read 228 times
'Ground-breaking' ceramic reflector developedA ceramic reflector for the world’s most powerful laser system has been developed and manufactured by Rugby-based Morgan Advanced Materials’ Technical Ceramics business.

It will be used in a ‘ground-breaking’ new laser system that will achieve ultra-short pulses with energies in excess of 1.5kJ, at a rate of one a minute.

The reflector has been specially engineered for National Energetics in the USA, which is building the laser system for the Extreme Light Infrastructure Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic.

Intended to further the understanding of astrophysical phenomena and investigate new physics at previously unattainable light intensities, the laser system is currently on track for delivery in 2018.

Morgan’s (www.morganadvancedmaterials.com) contribution to the project consists of two types of reflector assembly (of different sizes), each with five precision ceramic components.

To provide the optimum solution for each part in the assembly, Morgan used three of its high-purity alumina grades, each with ‘unique’ properties offering electrical insulation, mechanical strength and superior reflectivity.

In mainstream flash-lamp laser systems, designers typically choose between ceramic or gold-coated metal reflectors.

In addition to being more economical than gold-coated parts for the size of reflector required, Morgan’s engineered ceramic reflector has been proven to provide an improved reflectivity performance, reflecting almost 100% of light with wavelengths between 500 and 2,000nm.

This high reflectivity prevents the ceramic from absorbing the lamp energy and heating up.

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