Abstract

We present a nondestructive method for estimating the depth of subsurface damage (SSD) in some single crystalline optical materials (silicon, lithium niobate, calcium fluoride, magnesium fluoride, and sapphire); the method is established by correlating surface microroughness measurements, specifically, the peak-to-valley (p–v) microroughness, to the depth of SSD found by a novel destructive method. Previous methods for directly determining the depth of SSD may be insufficient when applied to single crystals that are very soft or very hard. Our novel destructive technique uses magnetorheological finishing to polish spots onto a ground surface. We find that p–v surface microroughness, appropriately scaled, gives an upper bound to SSD. Our data suggest that SSD in the single crystalline optical materials included in our study (deterministically microground, lapped, and sawed) is always less than 1.4 times the p–v surface microroughness found by white-light interferometry. We also discuss another way of estimating SSD based on the abrasive size used.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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