MLD Technologies is engaged in the development and manufacture of precision optical components. Much of our effort has been focused on improved optical coating technology to enable enhanced performance for laser devices and optical systems. We specialize in extreme-performance optical coatings with most of our work being done in the spectral range from 230nm to 3500nm. We have also made coatings with performance requirements extending out to six microns and are currently working to extend our capability into the vacuum ultraviolet and the mid-infrared regions of the spectrum. The majority of our business is with technically demanding customers whose products include opto-electronic and laser-based devices for markets such as lightwave communications, semiconductor manufacturing, medical instrumentation and video projection. Additionally we are working with laboratories focused on research applications which extend the current state-of-the-art in a variety of laser and optical technologies.
The core competencies of MLD Technologies include the design, manufacture, and measurement of optical thin-films and optical components. Ion Beam Sputtering, or IBS, is the primary deposition technology we employ. This technology originated in the Aerospace Industry, where it's development enabled the production of thin-film mirrors with unprecedented quality for use in laser-gyroscope navigation systems. Tony Louderback, one of the principals in MLD, is a co-inventor of this patented technology.
The IBS deposition process offers important advantages, when compared with other deposition processes. Specifically, its advantages include:
1. Extraordinarily precise control of complex film structures;
2. Low deposition substrate temperatures;
3. Packing density which is close to theoretical;
4. Exceptional film stoichiometry; and
5. Unusual environmental stability.
The near-theoretical packing density and highly stoichiometric films result in very low scatter and absorption. These properties are essential for high performance coatings, particularly those intended for application in the ultraviolet spectral region as well as in parts of the infra-red spectral region, where very low water content of the films is essential to minimize absorption.