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Materials challenges for the Starshot Lightsail

Atwater, Harry A. and Davoyan, Artur R. and Ilic, Ognjen and Jariwala, Deep and Sherrott, Michelle C. and Went, Cora M. and Whitney, William S. and Wong, Joeson (2018) Materials challenges for the Starshot Lightsail. Nature Materials, 17 (10). pp. 861-867. ISSN 1476-1122.

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The Starshot Breakthrough Initiative established in 2016 sets an audacious goal of sending a spacecraft beyond our Solar System to a neighbouring star within the next half-century. Its vision for an ultralight spacecraft that can be accelerated by laser radiation pressure from an Earth-based source to ~20% of the speed of light demands the use of materials with extreme properties. Here we examine stringent criteria for the lightsail design and discuss fundamental materials challenges. We predict that major research advances in photonic design and materials science will enable us to define the pathways needed to realize laser-driven lightsails.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Correction: 16 August 2018 ReadCube access - Publisher Correction: 16 August 2018 Correction: 12 October 2018 ReadCube access - Publisher Correction: 12 October 2018
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Davoyan, Artur R.0000-0002-4662-1158
Jariwala, Deep0000-0002-3570-8768
Sherrott, Michelle C.0000-0002-7503-9714
Whitney, William S.0000-0001-5269-2967
Wong, Joeson0000-0002-6304-7602
Additional Information:© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. Received: 14 August 2017; Accepted: 29 March 2018; Published: 07 May 2018.
Errata:16 August 2018: In the version of this Perspective originally published, the titles of the references were missing; all versions have now been amended to include them. 12 October 2018: In the version of this Perspective originally published, Fig.1 was missing the following credit line from the caption: ‘Background image from ESA/Hubble (A. Fujii).’ This has now been corrected in the online versions of the Perspective.
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180307-100751123
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85174
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:07 May 2018 17:07
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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