Effects of micrometer-scale surface roughness on thermal infrared emittance spectra of silica glass

1Jeff A.Berger,2Sherry L.Cady,3Victoria E.Hamilton
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113868]
1NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA
2Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
3Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA
Copyright Elsevier

Surface roughness is known to decrease thermal infrared (TIR) absorption band intensity, but studies of the effect on geologically relevant samples are relatively limited. To determine the effect of surface roughness (with features smaller than ~2/3 of the wavelength) on TIR spectra, we investigated two glass compositions with prepared roughened surfaces: (1) high purity fused silica and (2) soda-lime glass (73 wt% SiO2). We roughened the surfaces of the glasses by sandblasting and polishing with grit paper. The surfaces were characterized with scanning electron microscopy and stylus profilometry. We then analyzed the roughened glasses with TIR emittance spectroscopy. Micrometer-scale roughness causes a decrease in TIR absorption band intensity, relative to a specular surface. No significant changes in band shape or shifts in wavelength were detected. As roughness increases, empirical results show a logarithmic decrease in TIR absorption band intensity. The logarithmic trends of the two glass compositions are different; empirical roughness calibrations do not translate across different compositions. A linear, least-squares spectral deconvolution using two endmembers, specular and blackbody, predicts model spectra of roughened glass surfaces with relatively low error. This is of consequence to orbital TIR measurements of poorly constrained targets, such as the Martian surface, because micrometer-scale roughness is adequately modeled by the addition of a blackbody spectrum to the deconvolution endmember matrix.

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