Update On Optical Crystal Technology
ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 15, 2009 – “There aren’t too many crystal growers out there,” says Andrew G. Timmerman of Fairfield Crystal Technology LLC. “It’s a small community.”
A small community with a big number of applications.
Fairfield, located in New Milford, Conn., is a developer and manufacturer of crystal products for the optical and semiconductor industries. The company’s current optical crystal products – calcium fluoride, barium fluoride, magnesium fluoride and zinc sulfide crystals – are transparent in a wide spectrum and are widely used in optical windows, lenses and prisms and operate in the IR and UV spectrums.
Crystals can be characterized in several ways, Timmerman said in his presentation at Optifab 2009: synchrotron x-ray topography, edge pit density analysis, AFM surface roughness analysis, cross-polarizer crystal analysis, birefringence analysis, laser damage testing and transmission testing. And the applications for optical crystals are many: They play a large role in high-tech industries, including semiconductors, lasers, solid-state lighting, microlithography, spectroscopy, and defense and detection systems.
The company also offers component manufacturing for designs and applications. Timmerman said the company’s component-fabrication team manufactures highly polished single-crystal lenses, prisms, wedges, waveplates and other optical components to customers’ specifications. Projects include contracts with the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NIST, US Army research labs and the US Air Force.
Laura S. Marshall