Just Add Lasers

February 17, 2016

Most times, our partners require a tool that we’ve made many, many times before.  They are looking to do some thin-film research, and they trust us as the experts in designing and manufacturing the perfect tool for the type of work they’ll be doing.  Sometimes, things aren’t quite so cut and dry.  When Jim Oliver approached us with what he needed, we quickly realized this was something that had never been done before.

Jim Oliver is a researcher at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, New York.  In order to further his research in optics (with end goals that involve implosions in the pursuit of fusion energy, among other things), he needed a deposition stage that could move translationally on the x and y

A technician from Angstrom Engineering working on the prototype stage.

axes, could rotate, but could also move significantly on the tilt axis, allowing for reliably deposited, extremely unique films on large substrates that had never been achieved before.

The new Stage in the deposition chamber, ready for its first runs.

“My initial specification bordered on the ridiculous,” explains Oliver, “you come in with what you would like, and then backtrack to reality.”
Because Angstrom Engineering has a lot of experience working with stages that involved all of these axes in motion, it made sense to create this with us.

John Spaulding, seen below integrating the stage into the vacuum chamber, worked on the project as well: “The technician at Angstrom always got back to us within a day, and would often already be working on something for

us before 7am. It shows some dedication. The president, Dave Pitts, has been incredibly responsive to our needs. For being the president of a company, he’s been dealing with process changes, design changes, equipment changes….unexpected things came up, and he went above and beyond.”

“We’re very, very pleased,” says Spaulding, “any time we’ve had a question throughout the entire process, the team at Angstrom has been very accommodating, and the end result satisfied everyone’s needs.”

The team at the LLE in Rochester is now using the stage to create its coatings. As they make headway in their research, we’ll be sure to share more about it.

Optical Manufacturing Process Engineer, John Spaulding (left), and coating operator, Justin Foster, are shown installing an optic on a the prototype stage, designed and built by Angstrom Engineering.

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