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Optical Coating Technology And Equipment

Feb. 10, 2020

OEM optical thin film manufacturer to share with you: Optical film is the most important component of modern optical and optoelectronic systems. As a core component, technological breakthroughs often become the main reason for the accelerated development of modern optical and optoelectronic systems.

The technical performance and reliability of optical films directly affect the performance, reliability and cost of application systems. Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of using a narrow-band filter to modulate different communication channels in optical communication technology. Figure 2 shows the thin film components used in laser fusion systems.

With the continuous development of the industry, the precision optical system's requirements for the optical film's spectral control capabilities and accuracy are becoming higher and higher, and the demand for optical film devices from consumer electronics emphasizes the large-scale production scale and the ease of use and comfort of the general public. 

Optical Coating Technology And Equipment

Optical Element

Main technology and equipment progress:

Optical coating technology has made great progress in the past few decades, from boat evaporation, electron beam thermal evaporation and its ion beam assisted deposition technology to ion beam sputtering and magnetron sputtering technology. Major technological advancements in these deposition technologies and equipment in recent years include:

Intermittent direct light control (intermittent measuring method): Take Leybold Optics' OMS5000 system as an example. In the optical coating process, intermittent signal acquisition systems are increasingly used to directly monitor the product film during the coating process. Compared with the indirect light control and crystal control systems, the intermittent direct light control system is beneficial to reduce the film thickness distribution error on the actual product, which can further improve the product yield and reduce the process debugging time.

2 Rguate filter and Coater

Gradient refractive index structure thin film technology and equipment (Rguate filter and Coater): A lot of research work has confirmed that Rugate non-interface thin film structure and quasi-Rugate multiple refractive index thin film structure can strengthen the modulation refractive index distribution in the thickness direction of the film, which Designing very complicated spectral performance, (partly) eliminating the interface characteristics of the film, (partly) eliminating interface effects, such as higher density absorption centers and scattering of electromagnetic waves at the interface than inside the film, can also increase the mechanical stability of the film.

The optical coating supplier believes that the thin film structure can have a higher laser damage threshold compared to the traditional high and low refractive index optical film structure. Such as Rugate Filter design, its 1064 nm 10 ns 1000 chance of zero damage can reach more than 100 J / cm2.

During the ion beam sputtering coating process, the mixed sputtering target formed by splicing two materials can be accurately scanned to realize the gradient structure of refractive index. The optical film with (quasi) Rugate composite film structure can be prepared with high precision and low refractive index. Rate film structure with more complex spectral properties and better physical properties such as adhesion and stress.

3 Magnetron Sputtering

As represented by Leybold Helios and Shincron RAS, magnetron sputtering technology and equipment occupy an increasing share in the field of precision optics and consumer optoelectronic films. The deposition process of the magnetron sputtering thin film is simple to control, the particle energy is high, and the obtained thin film structure is dense and stable.

The basic structure and principle, it uses a very compact plate-type opening and closing structure, the space utilization of the vacuum chamber is very high, and the overall structure is very compact. It uses a planar dual-target magnetron sputtering cathode and a plasma source to realize the rapid deposition process of compound films. It can be used for dielectric interference filters (oxides, nitrides), co-sputtering (doped, mixed refractive index films). ), Metal film (Cr, Ag, Al ...) and metal dielectric interference filter. The card mounting system can quickly enter and exit the product when the vacuum chamber is under vacuum, laying an important foundation for the stability of the entire system. In general, this equipment is very suitable for coating small and medium-sized precision optical components.

China's optical and optoelectronic industries need a large number of high-end optical coating machines in capacity expansion and technology replacement. In the process of related component development, timely process innovation and corresponding equipment support are also the cornerstone of technological innovation and a basic strategy for sustainable development in the entire industry.

China has carried out a lot of research work in the fields of precision machinery, vacuum technology, optoelectronic technology and opto-electromechanical automation control. It has achieved considerable technological progress and formed a complete industrial cluster. These are important foundations for developing high-end optical film equipment.

If the field of optical coating equipment can lead to collaborative innovation in the fields of optoelectronics, vacuum machinery, and thin film technology, and jointly develop our own high-end optical coating machine, it will further accelerate the development of China's optical and optoelectronic industries. Therefore, it is also suggested that this area can get more attention and input from the country and local governments.

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