Laser Components has recently commissioned an ion beam sputtering (IBS) system in order to provide customers with a more complete range of coatings for laser optics. Coatings produced through IBS feature compact and drift-free layers that are insensitive to variations in temperature. In addition, these coatings are 'cold coatings,' meaning that they are applied at low temperatures. This cold application makes it possible to apply coatings to temperature-sensitive materials such as laser crystals.
The layers produced through IBS feature very little scattering loss and are highly stable. The highest possible reflection values of R > 99.99 per cent can be achieved, which are required in laser gyroscopes.
In the IBS coater installed at Laser Components, the refractive indices can be varied during operation. This makes it possible to manufacture novel coatings and achieve, in particular, very high damage thresholds.