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We have been engaged in a technology development program to design and fabricate advanced metal mesh reflectors for ISO, SIRTF, and other NASA missions. Sophisticated microelectronic fabrication techniques allow us to create very smooth free-standing meshes, with high precision lithography and thickness independent of mesh geometry. Performance of these meshes in Fabry-Perot etalons have exceeded those of the best commercially available meshes.
We are currently extending this new technology for use in mid- to far-infrared narrow-band interference filters. We present a model developed to predict mesh and filter performance. This model is useful for Fabry-Perot etalon and narrow-band filter design, and will be available at this meeting for evaluation. We will also present laboratory measurements showing actual mesh performance, and compare these results with the model predictions. Designs for prototype narrow-band filters will be discussed; fabrication of such filters for SIRTF applications is currently underway.
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