Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) - The Process

IBS is the supreme discipline among all optical coating techniques and generates the most dense and compact coatings.

The high quality of the NANEO series is due to our manufacturing process, ion beam sputtering (IBS). No other coating process allows process parameters such as energy and growth rate to be set precisely and independently from one another. Using this process, the coating material (target) is bombarded with noble gas ions. The impinging ions sputter off particles of coating materials, which deposit on the substrates to be coated. By adding oxygen to the process, the deposition result is a perfect metal oxide. Due to their high kinetic energy, the sputtered atoms arriving at the objects surface are extremely mobile, whereby displacements occur and any defects in the accumulating particle film are eliminated. This results in extremely smooth and homogenous layers in regard to the optical properties of the product. Several 100 layers can be stacked using this method, thereby transforming the substrates into optical components with complex functionality and the highest quality standards. The advantage of ion beam sputtering compared to other coating processes lies in the extremely low intrinsic absorption of the layers, paired with a very high long-term stability of their optical properties. The optics absorb less light and have increased performance for the same complexity of the layer system (i.e. number of layers), or with comparable absorption and dispersion you can increase the optical functionality using more layers.