research & development

RhySearch promotes innovation through networking and knowledge transfer between regional high-tech companies and research institutions - also for Hilti.

Dr. Andreas Bong,
Head Corporate Research & Technology Hilti AG

Optical Coating

The Optical Coating division focuses on the systematic study of thin films and layer systems, including the simulation, the deposition, the modification and the characterisation of layer systems and interfaces.

Coating technology has a long tradition in our region. To support the local economy, RhySearch began in 2015 to invest in equipment and personnel in this sector. A state-of-the art Dual Ion Beam Sputtering System (DIBS) allows us to realize experimental designs, to support fast prototyping and to produce high-end optical coatings.

To analyse optical coatings a measurement station – the first of its kind in Switzerland – has been set up to measure Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) of substrates and optical components. A Cavity Ring Down (CRD) set-up enables RhySearch to measure scatter losses of coatings with very high accuracy and to measure the reflectivity of extremely good performing mirrors, respectively.


Symposium OCLA

Join the OCLA Community - Optical Coatings for Laser Applications (OCLA) - and visit the annual OCLA Symposium in Buchs SG, Switzerland.


LIDT - Laser Induced Damage Threshold Measurements

We have offered standard-compliant LIDT measurements since 2015. The system, the only one of its kind in Switzerland, was set up within the framework of the KTI-Project LIDT and was further extended in close cooperation with NTB Buchs to include more measuring options.

further information on LIDT / request

Flyer LIDT Measurements Offerings (pdf)


IBS - Coatings System: Ion Beam Sputter System 

In addition to the characterisation of optical thin films, our range of products and services in the area of optical coatings also includes DIBS coatings. Our DIBS coating tool, a SPECTOR from Veeco with a high-speed target holder allow us to realize very dense and thus stable coatings with highest spectral requirements.

further information on IBS Coatings

Flyer IBS Coatings Offerings (pdf)


ALD - system for optical coatings 

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) allows the deposition of single atomic layers of optical materials. It is a sequential, chemical process of two reactants. The advantages ALD offers, namely the highly conformal coating of complex components, very low defect density and precise layer thicknesses, make it a technology of the future.

RhySearch is doing pioneering work in the region with the acquisition of this state-of-the-art thermal and/or plasma-assisted ALD coating plant. The aim is to promote and support new developments which can only be achieved with ALD as the basic technology with our industrial partners. Swiss partners can now take advantage of the local and easy access to ALD technology for prototypes as well as the access to this new, cost-effective ALD technology.

picture: FlexAL atomic layer deposition coating system from Oxford Instruments Ltd


CRD - Measurement method for optical coatings: Cavity Ring Down

Together with NTB Buchs, we developed the CRD technology for measuring total losses. In addition to the LIDT measuring technique, this provides further information and insight into coatings using vapour deposition or sputter processes with respect to optical losses within the thin layer system. This system is designed for very high reflectivity measurements (greater than 99.95%). Because the measuring system is highly sensitive, it can detect losses of up to a few parts per million (ppm). The measurement results can be used to further develop and improve low-loss coatings.

further information on CRD measurements

Flyer CRD measurements offering (pdf)

Further new offerings

  • Preparation of surfaces using an ion beam to improve the surface quality, e.g. ion beam milling. Applications are sample preparation for scanning electron microscopy or local surface pretreatment to influence the surface quality, for example mechanically undamaged cross-sections at exactly defined positions.
  • A versatile optical profilometer enables the characterisation of coated optical components and precision-machined parts. Three measuring techniques are used in this 5-axis measuring system: confocal microscopy, interferometry and focus variation. The profilometer can be used for investigations of smallest optical components and for wafers up to 8 inches. In addition, the inspection of free-form components is possible.



--> Get in touch!

We are happy to receive questions and suggestions. For further information, please contact the division manager Dr. Roelene Botha.

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