A method for forming optical parts used in laser optical systems such as high energy lasers, high average power lasers, semiconductor capital equipment and medical devices. The optical parts will not damage during the operation of high power lasers in the ultra-violet light range. A blank is first ground using a fixed abrasive grinding method to remove the subsurface damage formed during the fabrication of the blank. The next step grinds and polishes the edges and forms bevels to reduce the amount of fused-glass contaminants in the subsequent steps. A loose abrasive grind removes the subsurface damage formed during the fixed abrasive or "blanchard" removal process. After repolishing the bevels and performing an optional fluoride etch, the surface of the blank is polished using a zirconia slurry. Any subsurface damage formed during the loose abrasive grind will be removed during this zirconia polish. A post polish etch may be performed to remove any redeposited contaminants. Another method uses a ceria polishing step to remove the subsurface damage formed during the loose abrasive grind. However, any residual ceria may interfere with the optical properties of the finished part. Therefore, the ceria and other contaminants are removed by performing either a zirconia polish after the ceria polish or a post ceria polish etch.
STATEMENT OF RIGHTS OF INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.