Abstract

Coronagraphs for detection and characterization of exosolar earthlike planets require accurate masks with broadband performance in the visible and near infrared spectrum. Design and fabrication of image plane masks capable of suppressing broadband starlight to 10−10 level contrast presents technical challenges. We discuss basic approaches, material choices, designs, and fabrication options for image plane masks with particular focus on material properties to obtain adequate spectral performance. Based on theoretical analysis, we show that metals such as Pt and Ni, and alloys such as Inconel, may be employed as promising mask materials that can meet broadband performance requirements.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. JPL web site on Planet Quest: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpflowbarindex.cfm.
  2. M. J. Kuchner and W. A. Traub, "A coronagraph with a band-limited mask for finding terrestrial planets," Astrophys. J. 570, 900-908 (2002).
  3. K. Balasubramanian, E. Sidick, D. W. Wilson, D. J. Hoppe, S. B. Shaklan, and J. T. Trauger, "Band-limited masks for TPF coronagraph," C.R. Phys. 8, 288-297, doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2007.03.001 (2002).
  4. K. Balasubramanian, D. J. Hoppe, P. G. Halverson, D. W. Wilson, P. M. Echternach, F. Shi, A. E. Lowman, A. F. Niessner, J. T. Trauger, and S. B. Shaklan, "Occulting focal plane masks for terrestrial planet finder coronagraph--design, fabrication, simulations and test results," in Proceedings of IAU Colloquium 200, Direct Imaging of ExoPlanets (Cambridge U. Press, 2006), pp. 405-409.
  5. M. J. Kuchner and D. N. Spergel, "Notch filter masks: practical image masks for planet-finding coronagraphs," Astrophys. J. 594, 617-626 (2003).
  6. J. T. Trauger, C. Burrows, B. Gordon, J. Green, A. Lowman, D. Moody, A. Niessner, F. Shi, and D. Wilson, "Coronagraph contrast demonstrations with the high contrast imaging testbed," Proc. SPIE 5487, 1330-1336 (2004).
  7. Canyon Materials, Inc., San Diego, Calif., USA, http://canyonmaterials.com.
  8. J. T. Trauger and W. A. Traub, "A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet," Nature 446, 771-773 (2007).
  9. D. W. Wilson, P. D. Maker, J. T. Trauger, and T. B. Hull, "Eclipse apodization: realization of occulting spots and Lyot masks," Proc. SPIE 4860, 361-370 (2003).
  10. V. Lucarini, J. J. Saarinen, K. E. Peiponen, and E. M. Vartiainen, Kramers-Kronig Relations in Optical Materials Research (Springer-Verlag, 2005).
  11. P. G. Halverson, M. Z. Ftaclas, K. Balasubramanian, D. J. Hoppe, and D. W. Wilson, "Measurement of wavefront phase delay and optical density in apodized coronagraphic mask materials," Proc. SPIE 5905, 59051I (2005).
  12. E. Sidick and D. W. Wilson, "Behavior of imperfect band-limited coronagraphic masks in high contrast imaging system," Appl. Opt. 46, 1397-1407 (2007).
  13. E. Sidick, "Requirements on optical density and phase dispersion of imperfect band-limited occulting masks in a broadband coronagraph," Appl. Opt. 46, 7485-7493 (2007).
  14. A thin film design software from Thin Film Center, Inc., Tucson, Ariz., USA.
  15. G. Hass and L. Hadley, Optical Properties of Metals (AIP Handbook, 1972), pp. 6-124.
  16. www.specialmetals.com; also, www.espi.com.
  17. W. V. Goodell, J. K. Coulter, and P. B. Johnson, "Optical constants of Inconel alloy films," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 185-188 (1973).
  18. E. Sidick and K. Balasubramanian, "Effects of optical-density and phase dispersion of an imperfect band-limited occulting mask on the broadband performance of a TPF coronagraph," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931C (2007).
  19. A. Schüler, V. Thommen, P. Reimann, P. Oellhafen, G. Francz, T. Zehnder, M. Düggelin, D. Mathys, and R. Guggenheim, "Structural and optical properties of titanium aluminum nitride films (Ti1−xAlxN)," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 19, 922-929 (2001).
  20. S. M. Aouadi, T. Maeruf, M. Sodergren, D. M. Mihut, S. L. Rohde, J. Xu, and S. R. Mishra, "Growth and characterization of nano-crystalline ZrN-Inconel structures," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 23, 998-1005 (2005).
  21. W. Daschner, P. Long, M. Larsson, and S. H. Lee, "Fabrication of diffractive optical elements using a single optical exposure with a gray level mask," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 13, 2729-2731 (1995).
  22. K. Balasubramanian, D. W. Wilson, R. E. Muller, B. D. Kern, and E. Sidick, "Thickness dependent optical properties of metals and alloys applicable to TPF coronagraph image masks," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66930Z (2007).
  23. D. C. Moody and J. T. Trauger, "Hybrid Lyot coronagraph masks and wavefront control for improved spectral bandwidth and throughput," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931I (2007).

2007 (6)

J. T. Trauger and W. A. Traub, "A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet," Nature 446, 771-773 (2007).

E. Sidick and K. Balasubramanian, "Effects of optical-density and phase dispersion of an imperfect band-limited occulting mask on the broadband performance of a TPF coronagraph," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931C (2007).

K. Balasubramanian, D. W. Wilson, R. E. Muller, B. D. Kern, and E. Sidick, "Thickness dependent optical properties of metals and alloys applicable to TPF coronagraph image masks," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66930Z (2007).

D. C. Moody and J. T. Trauger, "Hybrid Lyot coronagraph masks and wavefront control for improved spectral bandwidth and throughput," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931I (2007).

E. Sidick and D. W. Wilson, "Behavior of imperfect band-limited coronagraphic masks in high contrast imaging system," Appl. Opt. 46, 1397-1407 (2007).

E. Sidick, "Requirements on optical density and phase dispersion of imperfect band-limited occulting masks in a broadband coronagraph," Appl. Opt. 46, 7485-7493 (2007).

2005 (2)

P. G. Halverson, M. Z. Ftaclas, K. Balasubramanian, D. J. Hoppe, and D. W. Wilson, "Measurement of wavefront phase delay and optical density in apodized coronagraphic mask materials," Proc. SPIE 5905, 59051I (2005).

S. M. Aouadi, T. Maeruf, M. Sodergren, D. M. Mihut, S. L. Rohde, J. Xu, and S. R. Mishra, "Growth and characterization of nano-crystalline ZrN-Inconel structures," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 23, 998-1005 (2005).

2004 (1)

J. T. Trauger, C. Burrows, B. Gordon, J. Green, A. Lowman, D. Moody, A. Niessner, F. Shi, and D. Wilson, "Coronagraph contrast demonstrations with the high contrast imaging testbed," Proc. SPIE 5487, 1330-1336 (2004).

2003 (2)

M. J. Kuchner and D. N. Spergel, "Notch filter masks: practical image masks for planet-finding coronagraphs," Astrophys. J. 594, 617-626 (2003).

D. W. Wilson, P. D. Maker, J. T. Trauger, and T. B. Hull, "Eclipse apodization: realization of occulting spots and Lyot masks," Proc. SPIE 4860, 361-370 (2003).

2002 (2)

M. J. Kuchner and W. A. Traub, "A coronagraph with a band-limited mask for finding terrestrial planets," Astrophys. J. 570, 900-908 (2002).

K. Balasubramanian, E. Sidick, D. W. Wilson, D. J. Hoppe, S. B. Shaklan, and J. T. Trauger, "Band-limited masks for TPF coronagraph," C.R. Phys. 8, 288-297, doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2007.03.001 (2002).

2001 (1)

A. Schüler, V. Thommen, P. Reimann, P. Oellhafen, G. Francz, T. Zehnder, M. Düggelin, D. Mathys, and R. Guggenheim, "Structural and optical properties of titanium aluminum nitride films (Ti1−xAlxN)," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 19, 922-929 (2001).

1995 (1)

W. Daschner, P. Long, M. Larsson, and S. H. Lee, "Fabrication of diffractive optical elements using a single optical exposure with a gray level mask," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 13, 2729-2731 (1995).

1973 (1)

Appl. Opt. (2)

Astrophys. J. (2)

M. J. Kuchner and W. A. Traub, "A coronagraph with a band-limited mask for finding terrestrial planets," Astrophys. J. 570, 900-908 (2002).

M. J. Kuchner and D. N. Spergel, "Notch filter masks: practical image masks for planet-finding coronagraphs," Astrophys. J. 594, 617-626 (2003).

C.R. Phys. (1)

K. Balasubramanian, E. Sidick, D. W. Wilson, D. J. Hoppe, S. B. Shaklan, and J. T. Trauger, "Band-limited masks for TPF coronagraph," C.R. Phys. 8, 288-297, doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2007.03.001 (2002).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (1)

J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A (2)

A. Schüler, V. Thommen, P. Reimann, P. Oellhafen, G. Francz, T. Zehnder, M. Düggelin, D. Mathys, and R. Guggenheim, "Structural and optical properties of titanium aluminum nitride films (Ti1−xAlxN)," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 19, 922-929 (2001).

S. M. Aouadi, T. Maeruf, M. Sodergren, D. M. Mihut, S. L. Rohde, J. Xu, and S. R. Mishra, "Growth and characterization of nano-crystalline ZrN-Inconel structures," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 23, 998-1005 (2005).

J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B (1)

W. Daschner, P. Long, M. Larsson, and S. H. Lee, "Fabrication of diffractive optical elements using a single optical exposure with a gray level mask," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 13, 2729-2731 (1995).

Nature (1)

J. T. Trauger and W. A. Traub, "A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet," Nature 446, 771-773 (2007).

Proc. SPIE (6)

D. W. Wilson, P. D. Maker, J. T. Trauger, and T. B. Hull, "Eclipse apodization: realization of occulting spots and Lyot masks," Proc. SPIE 4860, 361-370 (2003).

E. Sidick and K. Balasubramanian, "Effects of optical-density and phase dispersion of an imperfect band-limited occulting mask on the broadband performance of a TPF coronagraph," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931C (2007).

K. Balasubramanian, D. W. Wilson, R. E. Muller, B. D. Kern, and E. Sidick, "Thickness dependent optical properties of metals and alloys applicable to TPF coronagraph image masks," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66930Z (2007).

D. C. Moody and J. T. Trauger, "Hybrid Lyot coronagraph masks and wavefront control for improved spectral bandwidth and throughput," Proc. SPIE 6693, 66931I (2007).

J. T. Trauger, C. Burrows, B. Gordon, J. Green, A. Lowman, D. Moody, A. Niessner, F. Shi, and D. Wilson, "Coronagraph contrast demonstrations with the high contrast imaging testbed," Proc. SPIE 5487, 1330-1336 (2004).

P. G. Halverson, M. Z. Ftaclas, K. Balasubramanian, D. J. Hoppe, and D. W. Wilson, "Measurement of wavefront phase delay and optical density in apodized coronagraphic mask materials," Proc. SPIE 5905, 59051I (2005).

Other (7)

A thin film design software from Thin Film Center, Inc., Tucson, Ariz., USA.

G. Hass and L. Hadley, Optical Properties of Metals (AIP Handbook, 1972), pp. 6-124.

www.specialmetals.com; also, www.espi.com.

Canyon Materials, Inc., San Diego, Calif., USA, http://canyonmaterials.com.

K. Balasubramanian, D. J. Hoppe, P. G. Halverson, D. W. Wilson, P. M. Echternach, F. Shi, A. E. Lowman, A. F. Niessner, J. T. Trauger, and S. B. Shaklan, "Occulting focal plane masks for terrestrial planet finder coronagraph--design, fabrication, simulations and test results," in Proceedings of IAU Colloquium 200, Direct Imaging of ExoPlanets (Cambridge U. Press, 2006), pp. 405-409.

JPL web site on Planet Quest: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpflowbarindex.cfm.

V. Lucarini, J. J. Saarinen, K. E. Peiponen, and E. M. Vartiainen, Kramers-Kronig Relations in Optical Materials Research (Springer-Verlag, 2005).

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