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AF093-204: Increased Durability of Infrared (IR) Materials for Long Endurance, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Applications

Award: Phase I

Hard Oxide-based materials were characterized and deposited to the surface of Zinc Sulfide (ZnS) substrates as an anti-reflection protection layer.  The performance of the hard oxide thin film design was compared to DLC coated ZnS.  Spectrally, the hard oxide coating showed far superior performance over the DLC design in that the AR design could be tuned to the proper index matching for ZnS.  MIL-Spec environmental testing showed both sample types passing after adhesion, severe abrasion, humidity, and thermal testing.  Sand and water testing resulted in inconclusive data, as both sample types showed some failure in the uncontrolled testing conditions.  The result was that properly characterized and deposited hard oxide material designs can rival the protection of DLC coatings, with the added benefit of having control over index matching.

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