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  • scia Systems to present high-precision ion beam and plasma technologies for processing high tech optics at Optatec 2024

    scia Trim 200

    scia Systems GmbH, the industry leader in advanced ion beam and plasma process equipment for microelectronics, MEMS, and precision optics industries, will exhibit at Optatec 2024. From May 14 to 16, 2024, the company will present its latest process solutions for coating and structuring based on advanced ion beam and plasma technologies at the exhibition in Frankfurt am Main. The applications include the production of high-reflective and anti-reflective coatings, form error correction for X-ray and telescope mirrors, and structuring optical gratings for augmented reality (AR) glasses.

    Ion beam-based manufacturing of slanted surface relief gratings (SRG) for optical waveguides

    Among the most significant technological challenges associated with augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) glasses is the production of optical waveguide combiners. For both technologies, surface relief gratings (SRG) are used as the in-couplers and out-couplers of the light into the near-eye displays. For an excellent coupling effect and a high brightness, the SRG needs to be tilted, resulting in a so-called Slanted Grating. A tilt angle and etch depth variation are often necessary for advanced grating designs. The slanted gratings can be etched directly into the waveguide or a master stamp used to produce the AR/MR display by nanoimprint lithography (NIL).

    Reactive Ion Beam Etching (RIBE) is ideally suited to create surface relief gratings with constant slant angles. Introducing reactive gases into the etching process makes it possible to control the selectivity of different surface materials or enhance the etch rate. The substrate can be tilted to etch slant angles as flat as 60 degrees. On top of the substrate material is a chromium mask, which defines the grating structures.

    Besides RIBE, Reactive Ion Beam Trimming (RIBT) technology can be used to vary the slant angle and the etching depth across the substrate. Using RIBT technology, a focused broad ion beam scans over the surface while substrate tilt and etching dwell time are adjustable. As a result, the slant angle and depth can be precisely controlled, ensuring uniform image illumination for the person wearing the glasses.

    scia Systems offers industrial-approved solutions to meet customers’ demand for high-quality waveguide or masterstamp patterning. Founded in 2013, scia Systems is the technology leader in thin-film process equipment based on advanced ion beam and plasma technologies. The systems are used for coating, etching, and cleaning processes with nanometer resolution and have been successfully implemented in various high-tech industries worldwide, including microelectronics, MEMS, and precision optics industries.

    Visit scia Systems at Optatec 2024
    Optatec visitors interested in learning more about scia Systems and its products for producing high-tech optics are invited to visit us at booth 715 in hall 3.1.

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