Center for Optical Coatings and Metrology opened

On May 30th, 2016, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. and the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik (IOF) opened up the Center for Optical Coatings and Metrology (COMET).

The inauguration event in Jena was the official kick-off of a strategic cooperation between the Laser Components Department of the LZH and the Optical Coatings Department of the IOF within the frame of the Center for Optical Coatings and Metrology. In that way, the cooperation partners pursue the goal of jointly addressing current issues in the field of optical coatings.

Joined expertise for new challenges

Thin-film technology is an integral part of optics and photonics. However, due to the continuous technical advances, the demands on optical components for both research and development as well as industrial applications keep increasing. Here, for example mirrors or filters with properties, such as high stability, minimal absorption and negligible scattering losses are needed. To meet these challenges, it is a crucial advantage to combine the expertise and the existing infrastructure of several research institutions in a joint-use partnership.

International leadership in thin-film research

Already now, the two departments of the LZH and the IOF are international pioneers. In modern thin-film research, their expertise sets them apart from the competition and represents a unique selling point. Concerning the LZH, ion beam sputtering (IBS) processes and characterization measurements according to ISO standards are the key topics where the institute contributes special know-how and experience. In addition, the IOF has special knowledge about optical functional layers and nanostructures on plastics as well as high-quality coatings for the DUV to EUV range. Through the cooperation sought in the COMET partnership, the two institutes complement each other. Thus, they cover the entire scientific and technological field of optical thin-film technology in a unique way. This includes both the physical fundamentals and knowledge about available materials but also the various existing manufacturing processes and characterization methods.

Solutions for the next generation

"By now, these extremely high demands and the resulting questions cannot be addressed by a single research provider anymore", summarizes Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann at the opening. "The economy and science expect us to join competencies. This is the only way to find solutions for the next generation."

Within COMET, the LZH and IOF have created an optimum cooperation to be able to fulfil even complicated and most difficult demands on the optical components of tomorrow.