Development of high performance optical systems frequently requires the use of an interferometer to detect imperfections and ensure high precision performance. Most interferometers rely on beamsplitters as do other optical applications such as aeronautical and automotive heads up displays. However, an uncoated beamsplitter will often allow stray light to be reflected in addition to the beam reflecting off of the primary surface. To achieve the desired level of performance, beamsplitters are often used in conjunction with anti-reflective coatings to not only split a beam of light into two, but also to enhance the beamsplitter’s efficiency and prevent ghost reflections caused by stray light.
A light source, whether natural or man-made, typically emits a broad spectrum of wavelengths, including ultraviolet and infrared. In some applications, this full spectrum is acceptable or even desired. In others, however, it may be necessary to limit the wavelengths passing from the light source. This is where optical filters come in.
Every year, VisiMax Technologies holds a "Training Day" for all employees. Though the company's expert staff has thorough experience, the company recognizes the value of continued optical coating education. Chris Murphy, VisiMax Vice President, explains why the company takes the time to devote 100% of a day to training on processes, equipment, and safety.
In a complex industry that is constantly evolving, staying current on the latest developments is key to understanding customer needs and continuing to be a preferred partner in supply chains. As it is in other industries, continuous education is important to succeeding in optical coating. For VisiMax, investing in the skills and knowledge of its technical team leads to greater opportunities for the organization. This applies to the newest members of the team as well as seasoned thin film coating professionals.
April 29-May 4, VisiMax's technical team will attend Techcon, a technical conference hosted by the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), the global source for learning, applying, and advancing vacuum coating, surface engineering, and related technologies.
Optical filters are generally used to selectively transmit or reject a narrow wavelength band or a range of wavelengths. VisiMax can provide a variety of optical light filters; one area of application is filter coatings. VisiMax Process Color Filters selectively and accurately pass the light of a small range of colors while reflecting other colors. Our heat-resistant dichroic filter coating technology produces durable interference filters that render light with precise spectral control.
Optical coating is a complex process with critical details that can greatly impact the outcome of a project. Many times, thin film coating knowledge is an understanding of certain variables that is developed over time. Because large portions of the workforce are baby boomers who will retire in the near future, how do you train the incoming coating engineers in a field that simply requires experience?
Optical coating is a high-tech process that requires an incredible commitment to quality, particularly due to the sophistication of the customers’ applications. Mistakes in optical coating are expensive and can have tremendous supply chain consequences. For VisiMax and other coaters, the quality of our coating process is the single most important measure of our success.
Managing Risk in Optical Supply Chains
Trusting a single source with your company's entire optical coating needs speaks volumes to partner loyalty. But in an ever-evolving industry that is driven by rapid turnaround, a diversified supply chain is not only a safe business decision but a smart one. Diversification of suppliers opens up business opportunities that single source reliance cannot.