Laser Components has announced that it now offers coatings produced via ion beam sputtering (IBS) on its range of optics. The technique, says the company, is used for particularly difficult coatings where extremely accurate layer thicknesses are required, and where high reproducibility is also desired. The technology produces durable and coatings with high damage thresholds due to the high density of the materials, which are sputtered directly onto the substrate. This density also makes the coatings particularly impervious to water vapour.
Another advantage of the IBS process is that it produces smooth and optically homogeneous layers as a result of the high kinetic energy obtained during layer deposition. The deposition rate, which is significantly lower than the rate of other methods, also produces drift-free layers.