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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Hybrid sol-gel planar optics for astronomy

A. Ghasempour, A. M. P. Leite, F. Reynaud, P. V. S. Marques, P. J. V. Garcia, D. Alexandre, P. Moreira

Abstract
Hybrid sol-gel planar optics devices for astronomy are produced for the first time. This material system can operate from the visible (0.5 μm) up to the edge of astronomical J-band (1.4 μm). The design, fabrication and characterization results of a coaxial three beam combiner are given as an example. Fringe contrasts above 94% are obtained with a source with spectral bandwidth of 50 nm. These results demonstrate that hybrid sol-gel technology can produce devices with high quality, opening the possibility of rapid prototyping of new designs and concepts for astronomical applications.

Optics Express
Volume 17, Page 1970
February 2009

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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