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Advanced Thin Films Wins 2013 OIC Manufacturing Challenge

July 18, 2013, Boulder, CO - Advanced Thin Films (Precision Photonics / ATFilms) optical designers, Darren Berns and Zach Gerig, were acknowledged recently for achieving the best result in the 2013 Optical Interference Coatings Conference Manufacturing Problem Contest.  The objective of the contest was to provide valuable insight into the present state-of-the-art in the design and manufacturing of thin film optical coatings.

Measurements were performed by two independent laboratories and a specified merit function was utilized to calculate how closely the measurement results compared to the target spectral profile. These merit function results were then compared against 14 other teams from around the world and Advanced Thin Films’ design was tied for the best result with two other companies.

“At Advanced Thin Films, we find that design is rarely the limiting factor. The challenge is to produce a spectral result that closely matches the design.  This is done by considering all of the possible process variations at the design stage and by continuously improving our process control in the manufacturing stage in order to generate the expected spectral response in every coating run,” stated Bob Hallock, VP of Operations.

The winning design consisted of a two-sided filter profile consisting of just over 100 layers, an ~ 7 micron thick coating that was intentionally limited in layer count and layer thickness to make it easier to manufacture. Leveraging Advanced Thin Films’ in-house optical monitoring system for in-situ measurement and optimizing uniformity and repeatability enabled the result to most accurately represent the design.   

A recent blend of ATFilms and Precision Photonics, Advanced Thin Films is a Unit of IDEX Optics & Photonics and based in Boulder, CO.  They manufacture high power laser mirrors, optical assemblies and custom coatings for the most demanding applications using the highest level of engineering expertise available in the field today. Advanced Thin Films’ innovative thin film coatings are made possible by combining modern ion-beam sputtering techniques with proprietary volume manufacturing technology.

For additional information about the company and its products, visit

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