Thorlabs Adds Crystalline Coating Capability

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Thorlabs has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business assets of Crystalline Mirror Solutions (CMS), a developer of substrate-transferred single-crystal optical coatings.

By combining advanced semiconductor microfabrication techniques with bulk optics technology, CMS has developed single-crystal GaAs/AlGaAs-based coatings that provide three improvements to IBS deposited dielectric multilayers: improved thermal noise performance, lower mid-IR absorption, and enhanced thermal conductivity, which the company says will allow it to meet the heat dissipation requirements sought after by high-power laser manufacturers.

The crystalline coatings developed by CMS typically have diameters ranging from 5 to 200 mm, but they can be any size or shape when bonding to planar, convex, or concave surfaces with radius-of-curvatures as tight as 10 cm. Thorlabs has stated that the coatings can be engineered with any center wavelengths from 900 to over 5000 nm. The single-crystal nature of these coatings provides orders-of-magnitude performance improvements that are attractive in a variety of applications such as trace gas detection, laser-based material processing, optical clock optimization, spatial sensing solutions, and quantum optics.

“We are pleased to participate in the continued advancement of laser-based manufacturing and precision optical metrology and instrumentation through the addition of these high-reflectivity optical coatings to the Thorlabs portfolio,” said Alex Cable, president and CEO of Thorlabs. “At the same time, we will seek to leverage this new competency to enhance our current product offering and development efforts.”

“We are thrilled to become part of the Thorlabs family,” said Garrett Cole, co-founder and CEO of Crystalline Mirror Solutions LLC. “Looking ahead, [we] see a bright future for substrate-transferred single-crystal interference coatings in applications requiring the ultimate levels of optical and thermo-mechanical performance.”

Thorlabs intends to maintain the crystalline coating business at its current facility in Santa Barbara, forming a new group, Thorlabs Crystalline Solutions (TCS), which will be part of Thorlabs’ Optics Business Unit in Newton, N.J.

Published: December 2019
optical coatings
Optical coatings are thin layers of materials applied to optical components, such as lenses, mirrors, filters, and prisms, to modify their reflective and transmissive properties. These coatings are designed to enhance the performance of optical systems by controlling the way light interacts with the surfaces of the components. The primary purposes of optical coatings include: Antireflection coating: This type of coating is designed to reduce reflections from the surfaces of optical...
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