Physical Review Special Topics-Accelerators and Beams
Interior surfaces of niobium cavities used in superconducting radio frequency accelerators are now obtained by buffered chemical polish and/or electropolish. Laser polishing is a potential alternative, having advantages of speed, freedom from noxious chemistry and availability of in-process inspection. We studied the influence of the laser power density and laser beam raster rate on the surface topography. These two factors need to be combined carefully to smooth the surface without damage. Computational modeling was used to estimate the surface temperature and gain insight into the mechanism of laser polishing. Power spectral density analysis of surface topography measurements shows that laser polishing can produce smooth topography similar to that obtained by electropolish. This is a necessary first step toward introducing laser polishing as an alternative to the currently practiced chemical polishing.
Zhao, L., Klopf, J. M., Reece, C. E., & Kelley, M. J. (2014). Laser polishing of niobium for superconducting radio-frequency accelerator applications. Physical Review Special Topics-Accelerators and Beams, 17(8), 083502.