Inrad updates coating processes

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Inrad Optics has installated a plasma-assisted e-beam vacuum deposition system.  

The system employs high-density plasma technology to enhance the quality of thin films by improving a wide variety of mechanical and optical properties.  Its large 96-inch chamber also increases Inrad Optics’ capacity and allows the company to handle parts up to a metre in diameter.

George Murray, vice-president of sales and marketing at Inrad Optics, said: 'This new plasma assisted coatings system represents a significant step up for Inrad’s coatings services. It will eliminate production bottlenecks to dramatically improve lead-times, while improving our process control.  

'Access to this level of technology in-house rounds out our turnkey custom optics services and is a springboard for delivering some of the industry’s most advanced coatings services.'

Plasma assisted deposition represents an evolution of the ion assisted e-beam process that Inrad has employed for years. Like ion assist, the new plasma-based deposition process relies on electron beams to evaporate coating materials prior to deposition on a substrate.

Unlike its predecessor, however, plasma assist combines reactive ions and evaporated coating materials within high-density DC plasma. The resulting thin films are of a higher quality than previous processes.