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  • Materion Breaks Ground on IR Wafer-Level Coating Cell
May 2013
WESTFORD, Mass., May 7, 2013 — Materion Barr Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings announced Monday that it has begun construction on a multimillion-dollar work cell that will enhance its capability in manufacturing low-defect, infrared, wafer-level coatings in high volume for the defense and consumer electronics markets.

The wafer-level coating cell, a 3000-sq-ft Class 1000 cleanroom outfitted with the latest infrared coating chambers, a 3-D photolithography deposition tool, semiconductor wet-etch and alignment processing tools and semiautomated inspection tools, is located at Materion's facility in Westford. It will have several custom-designed high-volume coating deposition chambers to handle 200-mm wafers, and is designed to serve current market requirements as well as future needs. The company said the investment will help decrease the cost of uncooled microbolometer detectors and ultimately facilitate major growth throughout the commercial infrared camera industry.

The work cell is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013. The initial work will include multiple volume production lines for the defense, commercial infrared and consumer electronics markets, while the company's long-range plan calls for a total of 20,000 to 40,000 wafers per year when fully built out.

The company said it will continue to refine processes and operations during the year after completion to maximize yields before ramping up to full capacity. It is also continuing to invest in coating technology for next-generation microbolometer devices (less than 12 µm), which it plans to unveil in 2014.

Materion Barr Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings provides optical filters and filter arrays, lens coatings and optical thin-film assemblies, among other products, to the commercial, defense, life sciences, thermal imaging, automotive, space and astronomy industries. It is a unit of Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Materion Corp.

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A light-tight box that receives light from an object or scene and focuses it to form an image on a light-sensitive material or a detector. The camera generally contains a lens of variable aperture and a shutter of variable speed to precisely control the exposure. In an electronic imaging system, the camera does not use chemical means to store the image, but takes advantage of the sensitivity of various detectors to different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. These sensors are transducers...
1. A device designed to convert the energy of incident radiation into another form for the determination of the presence of the radiation. The device may function by electrical, photographic or visual means. 2. A device that provides an electric output that is a useful measure of the radiation that is incident on the device.
optical filter
A device with characteristics of selective transmittance, capable of passing a certain part of the electromagnetic spectrum while being opaque to the other portions. Means of producing filters varies considerably. Color filters (for the visual) usually consist of glass, gelatin or plastic containing dyes or pigments. Band pass filters are found in signal processing and are commonly fabricated via electronics and complex circuitry and are designed to pass and reject parts of the spectrum based...
A lithographic technique using an image produced by photography for printing on a print-nonprint, sectioned surface.
thin film
A thin layer of a substance deposited on an insulating base in a vacuum by a microelectronic process. Thin films are most commonly used for antireflection, achromatic beamsplitters, color filters, narrow passband filters, semitransparent mirrors, heat control filters, high reflectivity mirrors, polarizers and reflection filters.
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