Omega Optical, a Vermont, US-based manufacturer of custom thin-film interference filters and coatings, has acquired Rugate Technologies, a research and development company focused on the design, process development, and manufacturing of optical thin films.
Formed in 1996 and based in the United States, Rugate Technologies has expertise in the fabrication of narrow notch infrared filters, dual-band infrared coatings, and spectral control filters for high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic devices.
New capabilities already developed through this collaboration include athermal NIR narrow bandpass filters for lidar and freespace optical communications, and ultra-narrowband (sub-nanometre) bandpass filters for UV through MIR wavelengths. Omega Optical has presented papers on these new developments at recent SPIE and OSA conferences.
As part of the acquisition, Rugate Technologies co-founder Thomas D Rahmlow, Jr has joined Omega Optical in the role of senior scientist, bringing 30 years of experience in thin-film coating design and fabrication to Omega’s engineering team. Omega also added an E-Beam/Ion-Assist coating chamber specifically configured to MWIR and LWIR coatings.
'By bringing Omega’s custom and production capabilities to the IR, we’re able to offer high volume quantities and pricing to the market,' said Rahmlow. 'We are currently producing 3rd Gen far-infrared coatings and sputter-coated mid-IR bandpass filters in volume.'
This combined knowledge and experience will enhance the focus on new technologies and expand Omega’s technical capabilities, according to president and technical director Robert L Johnson, Jr 'Adding research and resources from Rugate Technologies to our high-volume production capabilities fulfills our long-term goal of offering more filters in the mid- and far-infrared.'