Coating the outside of a LiDAR spinner or freeform metal optic takes a specific skill set, optical design experience and the right coating equipment and personnel for the job at hand. Creating custom aluminum, silver or gold mirror coatings specifically for high reflective optics is a common request for the engineers at AccuCoat. Adding protective overcoating and even rehabbing older mirrors can be done by our capable coating team.

The Shape At Hand

If mirrors only needed to be flat and round, life would be easy. In today’s rapidly advancing world, optic substrates arrive into our facility daily in a wide array of shapes and substrate types and ship back out ready for applications in telescopes, scientific instrumentation, LiDAR, shutter blades, and range finders. They can be an ideal and low-cost solution for moving light. Mirrors are created with metal coatings on molded plastic, diamond-turned metal or glass substrate optics. 

optical mirror coatings

Perfectly Non-Standard Solutions

With custom design engineering available at our fingertips, we can create a mirror designed for your specific wavelength, substrate, size and application. Molded plastics, polygons, spinners, and freeform aluminum diamond-turned mirrors are precisely coated with various available pure metals. Understanding the intricacy of coating diamond-turned polymers and metals for a superior boost in reflectivity is one of our specialties.

Low reflector coatings for military applications can be requested using chrome or dark chrome alloy. These are popular for field use due to chrome’s adhesion, scratch testing and durability.

Reflection Needs Determine Metal Selection

Aluminum is requested frequently for visible and UV applications. Gold is best suited for applications using NIR (near-infrared) or IR (infrared). Silver lands in the middle and is commonly used for visible and shortwave IR applications that require high reflectivity.

The purity of the applied metals is the final key to success when creating high-reflective mirrors. AccuCoat only uses high-purity metals to ensure peak performance and reflectivity, especially notable with our aluminum mirror coatings.

Protecting Your Mirror With An Overcoat

Applying aluminum, silver or gold with an optional dielectric protected or enhanced layer overcoating will protect bare metal coatings by making them easier to clean and repel oxidation. Overcoats are highly desirable for field use in military and aerospace, where cleaning or degrading performance is not optional.

Protected coatings: Great for optics that need to be cleaned or meet Mil-Spec / ISO demands. Typically protected coatings will diminish the original coating reflectivity slightly.

Enhanced coatings: Reflection is increased with the application of dielectric layers. Enhancing performance may also be done by adjusting the design to shift a spectral profile or balance wavelength ranges in a single optic part.

Recoating Mirrors May Be An Option 

If you have a glass, plastic or metal-coated optic that is not performing like new, we can refurbish it. The coating is carefully stripped, the optic cleaned and then recoated by us, typically with no impact to the substrate. See our case study on Rehabbing Original FTIR Mirrors.

Have questions about your upcoming project? Contact AccuCoat and work with our engineering team