In the medical and biomedical markets, many critical devices and systems rely on optical components and assemblies to function. Optical coatings are key to ensuring these parts and products have the necessary optical properties for the given application.
What Are Optical Coatings?
Optical coatings are coatings that alter the optical characteristics of the substrate on which they are applied. They change how the coated component or assembly interacts with incoming light, causing them to reflect, transmit, or absorb the light depending on its wavelength to suit different optical needs.
Optical Coating Applications in the Medical Industry
Optical coatings are used for numerous applications in the medical industry, including, but not limited to the following:
- Diagnostic equipment. Industry professionals use a variety of optics-based diagnostic instruments to evaluate and treat patient conditions, such as microscopes, endoscopes, and mass spectrometers. It is vital their optical components and assemblies are coated with the proper material. Otherwise, they may not exhibit the right optical characteristics.
- Treatment equipment. Various medical treatments rely on optics. For example, lasers used in surgical applications utilize lenses and mirrors to direct and focus the beam as needed to cut, remove, or cauterize tissue.
- Displays. Electronic displays used for direct diagnostic interpretation and patient data review combine optical components with electrical and mechanical components. The coatings and substrates used for the optical components affect the performance of the particular display.
- Implants. Optical components that are intended to be implanted in the human body must have a biocompatible hard coating. This type of coating protects the implant from damage and prevents a negative reaction between the implant and the surrounding human tissue.
- Internal devices. Medical instruments designed for internal use often have hydrophobic coatings, which means they attract water when they come into contact with it. This characteristic helps lubricate them during insertion, which reduces friction and, consequently, patient discomfort.
Optical Coating Capabilities From Evaporated Coatings
At Evaporated Coatings, we specialize in the supply of high-precision optical coatings. We provide a range of coating capabilities to suit different industries and applications, including:
- Anti-reflection coatings. These coatings reduce the amount of light that reflects off the surface of the optical component or assembly, which can help improve contrast, transmission, and efficiency.
- Mirror coatings. These coatings enhance the reflectivity of optical component and assembly surfaces.
- Ion beam sputtering (IBS) coatings. These coatings are dense and smooth. They offer excellent thermal stability and lower thermal shift.
- Transparent conductive coatings. These coatings enhance visible light transmission and electrical conductivity for various optical instruments, such as displays and panels.
- Attenuation coatings. These coatings are commonly used to keep the energy levels of lasers within safe limits by decreasing the transmission of incident light.
In addition to our standard optical coating options, we offer custom optical coating capabilities to accommodate highly specialized or unique customer needs. Our team will work with the customer to identify the material and deposition method that best meets their application’s substrate, wavelength, angle of incidence, and incident medium requirements. We can produce custom filters within the 240-2600 nm range.
Partner With Evaporated Coatings, Inc. for Your Medical Optical Coating Needs
Optical coatings play an essential role in many medical devices and systems. By providing the optical components and assemblies with the necessary optical properties, they help ensure the equipment works as intended within patient diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment applications.
Need optical coatings for your next medical industry project? Evaporated Coatings is the ideal partner! Equipped with extensive experience and capabilities, we can provide a standard or custom coating solution for virtually any industry or application. You can trust us to deliver one that meets the optical specifications of your medical equipment. To learn more about our coating offerings, contact us today. To discuss your project with one of our team members, request a quote.