New production technologies

Surface modifications to sapphire optical windows

23. May 2023

At KYBURZ SAPPHIRE, we feel especially comfortable when we’re developing innovative, efficient production technologies. Recently, we’ve been engaged with carrying out precise “modifications” to sapphire surfaces, both those that are polished and transparent, and those that have a matt finish. In this way, KYBURZ SAPPHIRE aims to extend the functionalities of sapphire windows in the smallest possible space.

By “small”, we mean cover glasses whose dimensions range between 0.5 and 4.0 millimetres or larger. Up to now, their functions have been extended mainly by means of complex optical coatings, or costly photolithographic processes under cleanroom conditions. For KYBURZ SAPPHIRE, developing these new production technologies has meant focusing not just on precision, but also on efficiency and scalability with a view to the quantities envisaged. We specifically looked at three different types of modification:

  1. The localised matting of polished surfaces with a depth of 10 to 50 micrometres. Matting can be carried out on all shapes and positionings, using 3D STEP models; different matting levels are also possible.
  2. Surface structures with a depth of up to 400 micrometres. Here, too, any shapes can be realised using 3D STEP models.
  3. Internal structures in the sapphire material at a depth of between 200 and 900 micrometres. Here, too, the production technology allows a great deal of freedom in design, using 3D STEP models.

Precision is essential for the dimensions of modifications and for their positioning accuracy, relative to the outer contour of the sapphire window. With the aid of the process technologies selected, tolerances can be achieved in the range of a few micrometres.

In terms of functionality, the prime concern is containing stray light and reducing reflections within sapphire cover glasses. KYBURZ SAPPHIRE already sees a wide range of potential applications in all manner of optical systems.
This means that these new procedures can be used for optical endoscopes in medical technology, for example. The efficacy of such modifications has already been proven using simulations.

Sapphire applications in medical technology:
Read more here.

Read more here


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