Ion Beam Assisted Deposition for Optics

There is a microscopic coating on most eye glass lenses that protects against a number of common hazards. Lenses aren’t just made of non-scratch materials; optical coating systems use chemicals to achieve the desired effect. These processes are used every day in the construction of semi-conductors, where a thin film of highly conductive material is applied directly to silicon circuit boards. The same principles are also used in the manufacture of eye glasses. Today’s glasses are very different from the old glass lenses of yesteryear. With these new scientific processes, the patient gets a quality product that is cheaper and easier to mass produce.

Ion Beam Deposition Process

The ion beam assisted deposition process begins in a sealed chamber, where special chemicals are heated to release particulate matter. The matter floats around the sealed chamber, while air is forced through. A substrate, the material that will receive the coating, is placed inside the sealed chamber. As the air cools the particulates, they settle onto the substrate. This creates a microscopic film that coats the substrate.

Optic Uses

The most common use for Ebeam coating is in the construction of glare-proof lenses. The thin film coating can also protect the user’s eyes from UV lighting. Anyone who has purchased scratch-resistant lenses has also benefitted from this process. Other coatings keep lenses from fogging up on cold days, or provide mirror sheen to the lenses. Dark shades that cover one’s eyes completely, sometimes called “poker glasses,” also rely on this coating but may need several applications to get the desired tint.

Other Processes

Aside from the actual glasses we wear on our faces, the process is used in other devices as well. Imaging technology used to do scans of your eyes requires special coatings. Any lab equipment that requires a semi conductor to function also uses the process to make the material conductive. Lenses that receive a colored tint may also rely on sputtering to apply the thin layer of dye without harming the lens or obscuring one’s vision.

Final Thoughts

Optical coating is an important part of treating patients with serious vision problems. Optical coatings are useful for tinting lenses of a patient who has just had eye surgery, or keeping eye glasses clean and scratch free. Today’s technology also means that patients worry a lot less about daily cleaning, which may have scratched older lenses. Optics have come a long way thanks to sputtering systems.