Scientists of Fraunhofer FEP have developed a new high precision coating technology for complex surfaces of large optical components. The technology which has been developed for deposition of laterally graded optical layers on large 2D substrates is expected to be evolved for use on 3D substrates as well.
The primary aim of the research was to manufacture optical layer systems that are adapted to various viewing angles, for example in waveguides in holography, head-up displays, laser illumination, and laser processing systems. Importance was also given to adaptation of the coating technology for large areas owing to increased trends towards larger substrates with curved surfaces.
The success of the research enables the optical effect of coating systems to be better adjusted as per the customer requirements through local adaptation of the optical function. This allows the optical function to be adapted to the given angle of incidence of light. Through their joint research project, Fraunhofer FEP scientists, along with their partners, now have the ability to exert very precise temporal control over components such as precision drive, coating sources, and power supply. The extra interfaces were actualized in Ethercat, which accomplished a time resolution of the communication of the components of <1ms.
Further research has been planned on the technology to achieve the right coating processes for its corresponding thickness profiles. Additionally, the scientists are also looking to implement this technology in the future to coat 3D substrates such as large mirrors and lenses, including the existing planar coatings. The scientists are also looking forward to interested partners to discuss new specifications.