Qioptiq thin film research wins award for optical coatings

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Recent award-winning research generated by Qioptiq offers the optical industry a process for producing defect-free coatings of 193nm thickness. Dr Martin Bischoff was awarded the STIFT Prize (Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung Thüringen) for his doctoral thesis, which he prepared at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, as part of a joint project sponsored by the German State Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Bischoff has been an employee of Qioptiq in Göttingen since October 2009, working as a thin-film designer at the Coating Centre.

The process developed by Bischoff enables the manufacture of defect-free coatings at 193nm through optimisation of the plasma-assisted vapour deposition process. This optimisation enables metal fluoride thin films, with high packing density and minimal optical losses in the deep ultraviolet spectral range (DUV), to be manufactured even at low substrate temperatures.

Qioptiq in Göttingen will use the findings of this research for coatings, including those for longer wavelength ranges. The company states that this innovation will increase the efficiency of high-precision antireflection coatings on optical components with metal fluorides. These components are increasingly being deployed in extremely high definition photo and inspection object lenses.

Volker Brockmeyer, Qioptiq's executive vice president, commented: 'The Qioptiq location in Göttingen has distinguished itself, in particular, by developing excellent skills in the coating of optical components. The coating sector is one of our core competence areas, which we will continue to expand. We are delighted that Mr Bischoff is supporting our team of experts in Göttingen and congratulate him most warmly on the award for his doctoral thesis.'