Ultra-precision shaping with plasmas and ions

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Freeform optical element made by Plasma Jet Machining
Plasmapolishing of fused silica

Process chain development for ultra-precision machining

The work focuses on the development and optimization of innovative plasma-based process chains for ultra-precision shaping depending on the material to be processed and the required surface specification and taking into account upstream and downstream process steps. Optionally, plasma processes can also be combined with laser beam processes or ion beam processes.

  • High rate etching processes with fluorine-containing atmospheric pressure plasma jets for shape generation (free forms, aspheres) on materials such as quartz glass, silicon, SiC, Ge, ULE, etc.
  • Robot-assisted polishing and smoothing
  • Plasma polishing of quartz glass
  • Laser-assisted plasma processing methods
  • Surface fine correction with subtractive and additive fine beam plasmas
  • Ion Beam Figuring of surfaces


Selected publications

  • Th. Arnold, G. Boehm, H. Paetzelt
    Precision asphere and freeform optics manufacturing using plasma jet machining technology Paper Nr. Proc. SPIE 10448, SPIE OPTIFAB 2017, Rochester, USA, 16.-19.10. (2017) 1044814
    DOI: 10.1117/12.2279786

  • Th. Arnold, G. Boehm, H. Paetzelt
    New Freeform Manufacturing Chains based on atmospheric Plasma Jet Machining
    J. Eur. Opt. Soc.-Rapid 11 (2016) 16002, 10.2971/jeos.2016.16002

  • Th. Arnold, G. Boehm
    Application of atmospheric plasma jet machining (PJM) for effective surface figuring of SiC
    Precision Engineering 36 (2012) 546-553