LZH and Fraunhofer IOF launch coatings R&D center

COMET will focus on improving laser-based optical coatings and metrology processes.

Laser Zentrum Hannover and the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik (IOF) have together opened the Center for Optical Coatings and Metrology (COMET).
The recent inauguration event in Jena, Germany, was the official start of a strategic cooperation between the Laser Components Department of LZH and the Optical Coatings Department of IOF within the frame of the Center for Optical Coatings and Metrology (“COMET”). In this way, the cooperation partners can jointly address current issues in the field of optical coatings.

LZH Comet line 02M FraunhoferComet launchers! The partners from LZH and Fraunhofer IOF.

Thin-film technology is an integral part of optics and photonics. However, due to the continuous technical advances, the demands on optical components for research, development and industrial applications keep increasing. For example, mirrors or filters with properties, such as high stability, minimal absorption and negligible scattering losses are necessary.

The COMET partners say that to meet these challenges, “it is a crucial advantage to combine the expertise and the existing infrastructure of several research institutions in a single joint-use partnership”.

The two departments of the LZH and the IOF are already international pioneers; in current thin-film research, their expertise sets them apart from the competition. For example, at LZH, ion beam sputtering processes and characterization measurements meeting ISO standards are the key topics where the institute contributes special know-how and experience. Meanwhile, the IOF has expertise in optical functional layers and nanostructures on plastics and high-quality coatings for the DUV to EUV range.

By now, these extremely high demands and the resulting questions cannot be addressed by a single research provider anymore“, said Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann. “The economy and science expect us to join competencies. This is the only way to find solutions for the next generation.” Within COMET, the LZH and IOF believe that they have created an “optimum cooperation to be able to fulfil even complicated and most difficult demands on the optical components of tomorrow”.