Magnetron sputtering – a newly discovered technology for the deposition of high-precision optical coatings on 3D components

Coated aspherical plane/convex lenses.
© Fraunhofer IST, Chris Britze
Coated aspherical plane/convex lenses.

Challenge 

Future applications will require far more complicated coatings that can no longer be achieved through classic processes. Magnetron sputtering offers excellent layer quality; the desired layer distributions are, however, not achieved. The EPIC-Lens project is exploring possibilities for the intelligent control and monitoring of coating distributions.  

Solution 

The problem was solved by developing a technology with which arbitrary layer-thickness gradients can be deposited on 2D and 3D components. In order to achieve this, intelligent, automated control of the coating process was undertaken in combination with appropriate in-situ monitoring and control of the coating.

Added value 

As a result, more precise gradient layers can be created on planar and curved surfaces with the desired optical function. In subsequent steps, the technology is being transferred into production engineering so that rapid industrial implementation can take place.

Further information

Schematic diagram of a LIDAR system.
© Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg
Schematic diagram of a LIDAR system.
Representation of the silicon dioxide lens mask, the lenses and the monitor substrate with the respective rate profiles on the surfaces. In the illustration, the targets, the main rotation of the system and the sub-rotation of the lenses are marked.
© Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg
Representation of the silicon dioxide lens mask, the lenses and the monitor substrate with the respective rate profiles on the surfaces. In the illustration, the targets, the main rotation of the system and the sub-rotation of the lenses are marked.
Transmission of a modified bandpass for the angles of incidence of 0° and 37° with an unpolarized light beam. The transmission spectrum for an angle of incidence of 0° is shown for a thickness of 100%. The transmission spectra for an angle of incidence of 37° are shown for a thickness of 100% and 106.8%.
© Fraunhofer IST
Transmission of a modified bandpass for the angles of incidence of 0° and 37° with an unpolarized light beam. The transmission spectrum for an angle of incidence of 0° is shown for a thickness of 100%. The transmission spectra for an angle of incidence of 37° are shown for a thickness of 100% and 106.8%.
Measured relative rate of tantalum pentoxide in relation to the center of the lens. For an optimal layer thickness gradient, the lens must be rotated on an orbit with a radius of 545 mm.
© Fraunhofer IST
Measured relative rate of tantalum pentoxide in relation to the center of the lens. For an optimal layer thickness gradient, the lens must be rotated on an orbit with a radius of 545 mm.

Funding reference

 

 

The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the EPIC-Lens project (FKZ 13N14583).

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