Surfaces and coatings play a decisive role in the function and performance of optical components and systems. Through surface treatment and coating, new optical and functional properties can be realized precisely. We develop solutions to problems along the entire process chain, both in the laboratory and in cooperation with companies in the coating industry and end users.
Functional coatings and surfaces are essential components of optical systems. Extensive expertise exists in the design of optical coating systems, in the development of coating processes for different applications and in the characterization of surfaces and coatings. Highly reflective coating systems for optics in the EUV and X-ray range as well as the functionalization of plastic surfaces deserve special mention.
We can also offer outstanding experience in the following areas:
In order to effectively develop solutions for a wide range of applications and requirement profiles, especially in the field of optical components and systems, Fraunhofer IOF has a broad pool of coating processes at its disposal, ranging from commercially available industrial facilities to customized individual solutions.
The possible diameters of the components to be coated range from small microlenses with a few millimeters to large mirrors with diameters of up to 500 mm. The most important coating technologies currently are:
An essential prerequisite for these developments is a comprehensive pool of analysis and characterization methods as well as solid interfaces to the design and production of optical components and systems. Both commercial tools and special in-house developments are used. Our key focus areas are:
We develop and apply methods which are highly sensitive and allow maximum gain of knowledge. They should, however, also be economical and practicable. Additionally, we especially strive for standardization and resilient integration into certified process chains. We are an active member in VDI committees and in DIN/ISO TC 172/SC 9 “Laser and electro-optical systems”.
In addition, we develop customized scattered light-based measuring systems and sensors, which allow a highly efficient, contactless and fast determination of roughness and defects. The systems can be used in a wide range of applications - from machine components to optical surfaces and can be directly integrated into existing manufacturing processes.
Our solutions cover a wide range of applications from extreme UV to the infrared spectral range. Our key focus areas are among others:- Highly reflective and durable mirrors for astronomy and space applications
We also transfer our expertise in the field of optical components and systems to technical surfaces and vice versa. This fusion enables multifunctional surfaces that combine, for example, excellent optical properties with high scratch resistance and self-cleaning properties.