The quality and performance of optical components, and particularly their surfaces, are of crucial importance for the success of optical technologies in general. In this field, process plasmas represent an important tool for layer and surface property refinement.
Plasma assisted deposition of dense low-loss oxide coatings is being commercially introduced to the markets today. In contrast to this, plasma assistance during fluoride coating growth is still a problematical process. In recent years, considerable effort has been made to improve the situation.
The PluTO-project (coordinated by the Fraunhofer IOF) pursues the goal of combining plasma with coating technologies to generate a unique manufacturing chain.
The result is an improved understanding of physical mechanisms which are
responsible for the observed impact of plasma assistance on film properties. Additionally, optimized monitoring tools will be created.