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07-27-2009, SCHOTT North America, Inc.

SCHOTT Unveils Three New Cutting-Edge Optical Technologies to Meet Market Demand

• Improves glass by applying functional layers to even larger surfaces
• Introduces “Lithosil” for lenses of up to 700 mm in diameter that is homogeneous and free from inclusions
• Supplies fire-polished glass rods that are only millimeters in thickness and up to 1000 mm long for efficient manufacturing of small lenses
July 27, 2009 (Duryea, Penn.) – SCHOTT’s Advanced Optics business, one of the world’s largest assortments of optical materials and filters, recently released three new advanced products to meet its consumers’ needs. The company announced last month the development of a megnetron sputtering system, which enables SCHOTT to cover larger format glass surface areas in dense hard coating. This new system will benefit the aviation, industrial sensor technology and medical sectors.

SCHOTT’s innovative technology has also been used to manufacture “Lithosil,” a synthetic fused silica glass that produces homogeneous, ultrapure and bubble-free blanks for large format lenses. SCHOTT’s unique expertise allows the company to form this glass to meet the specific needs of its customers, particularly customers in astronomy, lithography and conventional optics.

To address the increased demand for smaller and more precise lenses in optical applications, SCHOTT last month revealed its new miniature fire-polished rods. Now available in diameters of less than 1 mm and a length of up to 1000 mm, these small rods will be applicable for manufacturers of digital consumer, endoscopy, microscopy and telecommunications products.

SCHOTT improves glass by applying functional layers to even larger surfaces

SCHOTT Advanced Optics has released a mid-frequency megnetron sputtering system that allows the company to coat even larger format glass parts, which are in growing demand in fields like aviation, industrial sensor technology and medicine.

The new sputtering system uses high energy to catapult coating particles of metal or dielectrics against glass substrates of up to 590 mm x 730 mm to create an extremely dense and hard layer. SCHOTT’s system allows the thickness of the coating to be measured precisely and customized based on customer specifications.

As a result of SCHOTT’s sputtering system, layers of protective, anti-reflective, metallic, conductant, transparent or transparent conductive (containing indium tin oxide) coatings can be applied as “spray-deposit” on glass to meet the company’s customer demand for large coated specialized glasses. For example, SCHOTT now supplies scratch resistant and anti-reflective instrument displays for applications in aviation and large protected glass substrates for manufacturing microarrays in industrial sensor technology and medical technology.

Besides these enhanced coating technologies, SCHOTT’s Advanced Optics business offers a large portfolio of optical glass filters that spans more than 50 filters made of colored glass, as well as a wide variety of customer-specific interference filters. These are mainly put to use in the automotive and aviation fields, i.e. as contrast enhancement filters, as well as in classical optics to block or absorb specific wavelengths. An experienced application team supports the clients in selecting just the right solution for their application.

Homogeneous and free from inclusions: SCHOTT “Lithosil” for lenses of up to 700 mm in diameter

At last months “Laser – World of Photonics,” SCHOTT presented a large plate made of the synthetic fused silica “Lithosil” in a typical 1050 x 580 x 35 mm format to demonstrate the company’s expertise in manufacturing homogeneous, ultrapure and bubble-free blanks for large format lenses.

These products are now available on a standard basis in dimensions of up to 700 mm in diameter and 110 kg respectively. Furthermore, homogeneity of up to < 5 ppm is achieved and they are completely free of all types of inclusions or bubbles. These products are known for their extremely high transmission in the UV and VIS range, as well as extremely low stress birefringence.

The sample displayed at the conference was made of the synthetic fused silica “Lithosil” rounds off the portfolio of large format blanks that SCHOTT offers. At the same time, formats of up to 1000 mm in diameter can also be achieved using traditional optical glass types, such as N-BK7, LLF1 and others. Typical applications for large “Lithosil” blanks include astronomy and lithography, but also large format lenses for use in conventional optics.

“With these large formats, our unique expertise lies in customer-specific forming of shapes,” notes Peter Maushake, Product Manager at SCHOTT Advanced Optics for the “Lithotec” products. In addition to the dimensions presented here, a wide variety of different geometries are possible thanks to customer-specific slumping. “Our colleagues who work in sales and research and development support our customers in realizing their projects. Virtually anything is possible,” Maushake points out.

SCHOTT supplies fire-polished glass rods that are only millimeters in thickness and up to 1000 mm long for efficient manufacturing of small lenses

By offering low Tg glasses and optical materials in new shapes, SCHOTT supports miniaturization in optical applications. At “Laser – World of Photonics,” SCHOTT’s international technology group revealed their new fire-polished rods made of specialized glass in miniature proportions; less than 1 mm wide and up to 1000 mm long.

Smaller and smaller, ever more precise – these are the demands that are being placed on high-quality lenses for use in products such as digital cameras, cell phone and video cameras and mini projectors. Demand is also rising for spherical lenses, aspheres and discs with diameters of less than a millimeter in fields like endoscopy, microscopy and telecommunications.

To meet this demand and further support the miniaturization of optical applications, SCHOTT now offers glass rods with diameters of less than 1 mm and up to 1000 mm in length, in addition to its existing shapes. In addition, developments are underway to provide conical rods, prisms, tubes and right angle designs, as well as standardized round rods.

The products that are now being offered include rods made of optical glasses, like LASF 35, which has an extremely high index of refraction (nd = 2.02204; vd = 29.06), as well as low Tg glasses that are well suited for precision molding processes. Other types of glasses are available upon request.

The length of the rods enables considerably higher yields, while the smaller diameter results in less loss of material during manufacturing of smaller components. In fact, the fire-polished surface of the rods is already suitable for a variety of applications. After all, the new dimensions of the rod ensure easy processing and considerably reduce the processing time.

Besides the new shapes, SCHOTT has also expanded its portfolio of so-called low Tg glasses that have low transformation temperatures. These can be precisely shaped at temperatures of below 550°C and thus enable- mass production of extremely small optical components in an efficient manner.

In addition to the already well-established P and N glasses, the following glass types now successfully qualify for use in precision molding: N-KZFS2, N-KZFS4, N-KZFS5, N-KZFS8, N-LAF33, N-LASF46B and SF57. The glass type N-LASF46A has also been further developed. Effective immediately, the N-LASF46B type (nd = 1.90366; vd = 31.32) is available with considerably improved transmission inside the blue spectral range.

The listed glass types N-KZFS4, N-KZFS5, N-KZFS8 belong to the special short flint glasses that SCHOTT offers that are mainly characterized by a profound deviation of the partial dispertion from the normal line. They feature particularly high transmission within the blue-violet spectral range combined with a remarkable low fluorescence at an excitation wavelength of 365 nm.

The glasses that SCHOTT also refers to as “True Color” glasses are being used more and more frequently in the fluorescence microscopy because they are ideally suited for realizing correction apochromatic designs. Calcium fluoride is yet another material that SCHOTT Advanced Optics offers that is traditionally used for color correction.
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SCHOTT North America, Inc.
555 Taxter Rd
Elmsford, 10523
Phone: 914-831-2200
Fax: 914-831-2201
Further information
Brian Lynch