DSI is unique in the world in having four different coating technologies in-house, each with its own complementary capabilities and features. This “full toolbox” allows DSI to address our customers’ products and processes with tools that are well suited to the particular nature of that product...
DSI’s core technology is the development, manufacture and product applications of optical thin film coatings. Since its inception DSI has been committed to the development of new coating processes and technologies with the capability to provide improved products to diverse industries. DSI is unique in the world in having four different coating technologies in-house, each with its own complementary capabilities and features. This “full toolbox” allows DSI to address our customers’ products and processes with tools that are well suited to the particular nature of that product. At DSI, “one-size” doesn’t have to fit every problem; we combine our experience with the technology best suited to a particular product or application to provide higher performance products.
The four coating process that DSI uses in manufacture are:
MicroDyn® Reactive Sputtering
IsoDyn™ Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD)
IsoDyn™ Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (PCVD)
The following is a brief description of the key attributes, capabilities, and applications of these processes. For more detailed technical information, click on the name of the process.
MicroDyn® Reactive Sputtering – The MicroDyn process is a short throw reactive sputtering process that is proprietary to DSI and is the subject of a number of patents. The process is highly flexible, with capability to deposit metal oxides, nitrides, mixed materials with fixed or graded compositions, metals, ITO, and semiconductor materials. The coatings are highly durable, with capability to operate at temperatures as high as 1100°C, and can withstand the thermal shock of direct transition from liquid nitrogen to boiling water. Coatings by MicroDyn have essentially zero wet-to-dry shifts. The process is capable of highly precise filters, including narrow bandpass and other filters for telecom applications. The MicroDyn process can be operated at temperatures as low as 100°C, and is capable of deposition on engineering plastics and fiber optic cables. Coatings can be applied even to highly convex and concave surfaces such as lamp burners and reflectors with no loss of durability or performance. MicroDyn coatings, including complex filters, can be patterned using both masking and photolithography techniques.
IsoDyn™ LPCVD – The LPCVD process is a thermally driven organo-metallic process that is currently configured to deposit multi-layers of silicon dioxide, tantalum oxide, and titanium dioxide as needed. The LPCVD process is useful for coating almost all optical glasses, crystalline materials, ceramics, and metals, but due to the process temperatures of about 500°C, cannot be used for plastics or other low temperature materials. The unique aspect of the LPCVD process is its capability to uniformly coat all surfaces of even the most complex shapes with a high quality multi-layer optical coating. Like the MicroDyn process the IsoDyn LPCVD process provides coatings with service temperatures as high as 1100°C, with high resistance to thermal shock. The LPCVD process is fully automated and is capable of manufacture of complex filters.
IsoDyn™ PCVD - DSI’s PCVD process uses a high intensity microwave source to drive the plasma that provides deposition. The PCVD process is capable of a depositing metal oxides and nitrides, and semiconductors. The unique aspect of the PCVD process is that it allows deposition on the inside (or outside) surface of a tube or cylinder. As with the MicroDyn and LPCVD processes, the coating produced are capable of operating at temperatures as high as 1100°C, and withstanding severe thermal shock.
Evaporation – Although a mature technology, evaporation is still the method of choice for products that require performance in the long wave infrared (LWIR, ? > 5 um). The evaporation process is best used for products that have no or at most very slight curvature. At DSI evaporation is used for military and aerospace products that require specialized materials for LWIR performance.