Infrared astronomical instruments require absorptive coatings on internal surfaces to trap scattered and stray photons.
This is typically accomplished with any one of a number of black paints. Although inexpensive and simple to apply,
paint has several disadvantages. Painted surfaces can be fragile, prone to shedding particles, and difficult to clean. Most
importantly, the vacuum performance is poor. Recently a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process
was developed to apply thick (30 μm) diamond-like carbon (DLC) based protective coatings to the interior of oil
pipelines. These DLC coatings show much promise as an infrared black for an ultra high vacuum environment. The
coatings are very robust with excellent cryogenic adhesion. Their total infrared reflectivity of < 10% at normal incidence
approaches that of black paints. We measured outgas rates of <10-12 Torr liter/sec cm2, comparable to bare stainless steel.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.