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We measure the mechanical response of optical multilayer dielectric (MLD) diffraction gratings, geometries which are constrained in only one transverse direction but free in the other, using nanoindentation. The results are explained using a stress-strain model, which reveals a uniaxial yield stress of 4.1- 4.6 GPa and predicts a similar dependence of yield stress on loads for both fully-elastic and fully-plastic solutions. Following R. Hill’s model of an expanding cavity under internal pressure, we show that the indentation response of the high-aspect ratio “pillar” geometry can be expressed in terms of uniaxial yield stress rather than material hardness.
We characterize “blisters”, defects observed in multilayer dielectric (MLD) coatings after exposure to acid cleaning procedures. Nanoindentation is used to make site-specific indentations across blisters to measure the mechanical response, especially their compliance under different conditions of loading. Two regions of statistically different mechanical response are identified within a blister defect and compared to the undisturbed regions of the MLD coating. The indentation response of blisters can vary across samples, and we suggest reasons for this variation.
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