Abstract

It is shown that optical surfaces traditionally ground in conventional glasses with high coefficients of thermal expansion may be polished by irradiation with a space- and time-controlled uniform CO2 laser beam. Comparisons of a theoretical simulation model of the laser-driven heating process with the experimental results allow us to determine the conditions for successful and reliable use of this technique. The technique can be applied indiscriminately to preheated samples made of different glasses, with any topography, and, of any size in a limited range that depends only on the available laser power.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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