Coating micro-optics requires an elegant combination of tooling, orientation, and rotation within the coating chamber to apply a uniform film that conforms to every nook and cranny without filling in the low points. We can coat plastic or glass micro-optics with any of our standard coating types – from lenslet arrays, Fresnel structures, and diffusers to highly angled diffractive structures such as ruled gratings. By using relatively thin coatings (<0.5 µm) and the right fixtures and coating processes, we improve spectral performance without negatively impacting beam propagation. We can even apply different coatings on different facets, carefully designing the tooling to mask the appropriate area at each stage for precision application of AR, high reflector, or beamsplitter coatings to each location. No challenge is too small!
Spinners & Polygons
Optical coatings applied to spinners are used in critical laser guidance systems, bar code readers, land surveying, and LIDAR technology. At AccuCoat, we coat these multifaceted polygons and cylinders using a sophisticated system that enables rotation of parts around multiple axes simultaneously. This ensures we can deliver uniform high reflectivity and AR coatings, whether on injection molded plastic parts or high precision spinners for premium laser market applications.
Read our tech note on coatings used in LiDAR applications.
The OEM that came to us had been using a small triangular coated glass window at the end of a gunsight, but was seeing frequent cracking in the field due to the rough handling. They needed a drop-in replacement window in plastic that met both the needed optical performance and all environmental requirements (including chemical exposure and severe temperature cycling). Of the three suppliers who provided prototype optics in plastic, AccuCoat was the only one to pass the full suite of environmental tests.
Read our tech note on how we meet the demanding needs of the defense industry.
Hot Mirrors for Virtual Reality
Hot mirrors are used in virtual reality (VR) systems to reflect the IR light used by eye or positional tracking systems while passing the visible light. These heads-up display optics need to be lightweight, and thus are coated on plastic. Optical requirements for VR vary, but can include 80-90% reflection of 800-830 nm light or nonpolarizing beamsplitting of the laser and visible, both of which are possible using AccuCoat coatings on plastic substrates.
AR Coated Mylar Sheets
The laser instrumentation and diagnostics markets have a need for very thin (2 mil) mylar coated sheets. By adjusting coating processes and developing custom tooling to accommodate the thin, flexible material, current coating technology can achieve a uniform AR V-coat across the sheet without compromising pliability; the coated sheet can even be rolled up and flexed without cracking or crazing the coating.
Read our tech note on how we apply durable coatings to plastic and polymer substrates.