1987.0487.172 Texas Instruments Collection Object

Silicon Missile Dome
TI number: G00403

The nose dome of IR seeking missiles required a lightweight material that efficiently transmitted infrared waves. Silicon was one of the better materials available at the time. This item is an unfinished example of the dome used by Hughes on the Falcon missile.

In the 1959-61 period, the then Semiconductor-Components division developed the capability of growing these domes for the then Apparatus division where they were ground and polished and sold to Hughes. The dome was grown by lowering a rotating graphite mold of the inside of the dome into a molten charge of silicon. The controlled lowering and rotation was continued until the desired thickness of polycrystaline silicon was solidified in the mold. The dome was then pulled from the melt and cooled. The difference in expansion coefficients allowed the dome to separate from the mold. See C00404 for a finished dome.

Related material in collection: PG00073, C00404.
Texas Instruments (Werner Buyen, Harry Owens, Walt Runyan.)

Contact Nance L. Briscoe for further information

National Museum of American History

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