Abstract by Kenan Fronk
Physics and Astronomy
Determining Decay Models and Lifetimes of Aluminum Fluoride Thin Films in Relation to Temperature
Recently, NASA has been preparing to send new telescopes into space with the capacity to see into the extreme ultra-violet spectrum. Many materials lose their reflectance the farther into the UV that they go, but aluminum is a prime candidate good reflectance in the far UV. As such, mirrors with aluminum bases and protective layers are being researched as candidates for the thin film mirrors needed on future telescopes. Prior to sending telescopes into space, many components are placed in storage for extended periods of time. Thin film mirrors are subject to degradation and these need to be studied in order to find the models of decay, the rate of decay, and the effective lifetime of samples. The work conducted focuses on how a constant high temperature affects the protective aluminum fluoride layers.