Abstract

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

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