Degradation of thin films in Low earth orbit and comparisons with laboratory simulation

Blaine R. Spady, R. A. Synowicki, Jeffrey S. Hale, M. J. Devries, N. Ianno, William A. McGahan, John A. Woollam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Low earth orbit exposes space materials simultaneously to atomic oxygen and ultraviolet light. Numerous materials were sputtered, e-beam evaporated, and CVD deposited. Experiments with these samples aboard the NASA (USA) 1992 and 1993 space flights STS-46 and STS-51 are discussed, and comparisons made with laboratory studies in an oxygen plasma environment. Multiple samples of thin films of Al, diamondlike carbon, diamond, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, and solar concentrator multilayer stacks were prepared. These were characterized both before and after flight by spectroscopic ellipsometry, spectrophotometry, interferometry, Auger spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 4 1994
EventOptical Interference Coatings 1994 - Grenoble, France
Duration: Jun 5 1994Jun 10 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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