Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Brian Fleming

Second Advisor

John Cumalat

Third Advisor

Ioana Fleming


This thesis presents the design, theory of use, and calibration of a semi-automated vacuum ultraviolet reflectivity chamber. This chamber will be used to establish the initial reflectivity and track the degradation of enhanced lithium fluoride (eLiF) protected aluminum mirror coatings. LiF provides the highest throughput of heritage dielectric coatings in the Lyman UV (912-1216 \AA{}). Due to the hygroscopicity of LiF and the absorption of UV light by water, we have developed a means of capping the eLiF with another dielectric layer so thin that it protects the eLiF from degrading without adversely affecting the LUV reflectivity. These protected eLiF coated mirrors are held in humidity controlled chambers and measured periodically to track degradation. Their performance and environmental resistance will be compared to other dielectric coatings to prove their space-worthiness. We designed and fabricated a reflectivity chamber to take measurements rapidly and with minimal oversight, increasing lab efficiency for high cadence and high accuracy vacuum UV reflectivity measurements.