Abstract

Chemical etching is usually utilized to measure, reduce, and remove the subsurface micro-cracks in optical components, which makes it significant to study the surface evolution of optical components during the etching process. Etching experiments were carried out for glass with artificial cracks and micro-cracks under different etching conditions. The etching rate was obtained, which is linear with the hydrofluoric acid (HF) concentration and greatly affected by etching temperature. By measuring the surface roughness (SR) and morphology of glasses after etching, it is found that the crack width always increases with etching time, while the crack depth remains unchanged after the crack is completely exposed. Meanwhile, the SR increases sharply at first, then increases slowly, and finally decreases with the increase of etching time. Considering the influence of HF concentration, etching temperature, and the diffusion coefficient on the etching rate, simulation models were established for etching trailing indent cracks (TICs) to further analyze the evolution of SR and morphology. The simulation results were compared with the experimental ones, also indicating that the maximum SR (Ra) increases greatly with the crack’s aspect ratio and the model for analyzing the crack’s morphology evolution is more reasonable.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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