Ion beam sputtering coating
ion beam sputtering deposition
Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH).
Research in cooperation with research institutes as well as independent further development are an important basis for permanent optimisation and improvement of our coating machines.
The participation of Cutting Edge Coatings GmbH (CEC) in the following projects shows the research area of our company.
Development of an in-situ uniformity measuring device and controller for an IBS process to improve coating thickness uniformity
The cooperation project aims to develop an in-situ uniformity measuring device that allows the continuous automated determination of the layer thickness distribution present in an IBS coating process during the process. This information is to be used to adjust the optimum configuration of the coating system for very good uniformity initially more quickly and then regularly during the process, monitor it live, and document it continuously.
In addition, a controller based on the measurement system is to be developed which allows the coating thickness distribution determined in the process to be influenced explicitly during coating by controlling existing, automatically movable degrees of freedom of the coating system (e.g. position of the optics to be coated, the position of distribution apertures, etc.) in such a way that the initially adjusted optimum uniformity can also be maintained over long process periods, ideally permanently.
The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Cutting Edge Coatings GmbH and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e. V.
The goal of this project was to develop a compact laser source capable of emitting >60 mW of continuous-wave radiation at 355 nm and with a total power consumption of less than 100W. The laser source will be used in analytical instrumentation technologies in life science and advanced measurement.
An extraction grid design for RF-driven ion sources with collinear grid hole arrangement was elaborated to mitigate contamination in the thin-film deposition process. An assistance ion source with optimized extraction was delivered to our project partner - Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH). A simulation software based on physical model algorithms was developed to investigate contamination effects of different grid hole geometries.
The development of a collinear grid hole arrangement turned out to be a complete success regarding the initial expectations. By implementing the new developed ion extraction grid system, it was possible to suppress contamination in the deposition process below the relevant limit of detection. A demonstration grid system has been integrated into the deliverable to LZH and evaluated concerning the overall performance and its contamination tendency. The project partners confirmed the successful implementation of the optimised system in their production environment. Furthermore, the computer simulation of different hole geometries was successful although the time expenditure was underestimated so that only selected geometries were investigated in simulation.
In our latest and ongoing research project, CEC is working on bonding arbitrarily coated and uncoated substrate materials in the controlled environment of our machine's vacuum. Bonding in this context means the formation of covalent bonds between the substrates which makes for a mechanically highly robust sample. During this process, no intermediate layer will form on the surfaces of contact, meaning no intermixing of the surface layers. This minimises the negative impact on the optical and thermal properties of the sample. Through this process, our machines will not only be able to do high-quality coatings but will also be capable of manufacturing complex optical systems, e.g. high-power laser media, in the near future.