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Optatec 2024: LZH showcases ‘coating technologies of the future’

15 May 2024

…scia Systems presents solutions for coating and structuring based on ion beam and plasma techs.

At Optatec 2024, taking place this week in Frankfurt, Germany, Laser Center Hannover (LZH) and Cutting Edge Coatings (CEC) are showcasing what they call “new possibilities in coating technologies for the future of optics manufacturing.” The exhibition takes place from May 14th to 16th at Frankfurt Messe. LZH and CEC can be found on booth 627.

The Optical Components department of LZH is presenting its current research activities, as well as its service and product portfolio, at the international trade fair for Optical Technologies, Components, and Systems. This year, the institute is exhibiting together with CEC. Since its founding in 2007, the LZH spin-off has focused on the development and construction of ion beam sputtering coating systems.

Highlights of LZH and CEC

  • LZH presents innovative coating techniques including the production of complex optical filters using ion beam sputtering for coatings with the highest precision, as well as evaporation processes to expand material classes into the VUV range.
  • LZH’s Spatial ALD system with rotating atomic layer deposition concept enables seamless coating of freeform components and lattice structures. The institute is also showing its offerings for customized optical characterization, such as standard-compliant laser-induced damage threshold measurements from femtoseconds to CW range or calorimetric absorption measurements from UV to IR.
  • Cutting Edge Coatings is showcasing its latest developments in coating technologies for the future of optics manufacturing. These include advanced thin-film technologies that enable precise control of layer thickness and uniformity, as well as special material combinations that offer higher resistance to environmental influences.
  • In addition, CEC offers tailored solutions for specific requirements in photonics and other high-tech industries to support the next generation of optical systems.

scia Systems offers ion beam and plasma systems

Also at Optatec, this week, scia Systems, of Chemnitz, Germany, a developer of ion beam and plasma process equipment for microelectronics, MEMS, and precision optics industries, is exhibiting on booth 715 its latest process solutions for coating and structuring based on advanced ion beam and plasma technologies.

Applications include the production of high-reflective and anti-reflective coatings, form error correction for X-ray and telescope mirrors, and structuring optical gratings for augmented reality glasses; also ion beam-based manufacturing of slanted surface relief gratings for optical waveguides.

Among the most significant technological challenges associated with augmented reality and mixed reality glasses is the production of optical waveguide combiners. For both technologies, surface relief gratings are used as the in-couplers and out-couplers of the light into the near-eye displays.

For optimal coupling effect and high brightness, the SRG needs to be tilted, resulting in a so-called Slanted Grating. A tilt angle and etch depth variation are often necessary for advanced grating designs. The slanted gratings can be etched directly into the waveguide or a master stamp used to produce the AR/MR display by nanoimprint lithography.

Reactive Ion Beam Etching is ideally suited to create surface relief gratings with constant slant angles. Introducing reactive gases into the etching process makes it possible to control the selectivity of different surface materials or enhance the etch rate.

Besides RIBE, Reactive Ion Beam Trimming technology can be used to vary the slant angle and the etching depth across the substrate. Using RIBT technology, a focused broad ion beam scans over the surface while substrate tilt and etching dwell time are adjustable.

scia Systems offers industrial-approved solutions to meet customers' demand for high-quality waveguide or masterstamp patterning. Its systems are used for coating, etching, and cleaning processes with nanometer resolution and have been successfully implemented in various high-tech industries worldwide, including microelectronics, MEMS, and precision optics industries.

LaCroix Precision OpticsSPECTROGON ABCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Iridian Spectral TechnologiesHÜBNER PhotonicsECOPTIKBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation
© 2024 SPIE Europe
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