Abstract

We have demonstrated that single point diamond turning can be used to generate high optical quality finished surfaces on a new organic nonlinear crystal, L-arginine phosphate (LAP). The proper choice of cutting conditions can produce surfaces with <5-Å rms local roughness. Local softening or melting near the cutting tool tip may play a key role in the machining process by ensuring that material is removed by ductile cutting rather than brittle fracture. At the same time, the low melting temperature of LAP makes lubrication and cooling especially important to prevent extensive melting and tool fouling. In spite of the presence of a weak cleavage plane in LAP, the surface quality is relatively insensitive to crystallographic orientation. Tool wear is apparently negligible, so that surface flatness is governed by the stability of the diamond turning machine. These results suggest that it may be possible to fabricate large aperture LAP harmonic converters for use in inertial confinement fusion lasers.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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