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Optical Filter Manufacturing

Optical Filters for 3D Imaging and Gesture Control Applications

In the last few years, the gaming industry has introduced the world to the concept of gesture control.  Over the next couple of years, this technology will proliferate well beyond gaming and into products that we interact with in our everyday life.  These applications include mobile devices, home theater and other consumer electronics and very likely, automobiles.  Beyond merely controlling our devices with hand motions, the core technology behind gesture control will open up the world of 3D Imaging.

A critical component embedded in this technology and a major enabler is the optical filter. To support the unique type of filter that this industry requires, Materion has developed a process to manufacture a narrow band filter with low angular shift across the 800nm-900nm wavelength range, high transmission, good band shape, and high signal-to-noise ratio.

Innovative Filters Meet Customer Needs

A typical narrow band filter at these wavelengths can be complex to design and manufacture.  This becomes even more challenging when they need to be manufactured in extremely high volumes, like those associated with consumer electronics applications.   Materion is one of very few optical filter manufacturers in the world with the expertise and the infrastructure to design and manufacture this type of filter in volume - and do it cost effectively. 

Materion filters provide OD4 blocking outside of the narrow band and beyond 1.2um. The average transmission is greater than 92% across the band with a CWL tolerance of less than 1%. These filters shift less than 15nm over an AOI of 30 degrees which is quite impressive for a filter of this type, and makes them suitable for use in systems with a wide field of view.  These filters come in various shapes and sizes depending on the customers’ specifications and are processed in a clean environment to ensure a product with very low defects.  Materion has built significant manufacturing capacity at our facility in Shanghai and has product development capability at our facility in Westford, Massachusetts. 

Coating Innovation

The technology team at Materion focuses on developing innovative optical filter products that provide value and solve our customers’ problems.  Beyond gesture control and 3D imaging, Materion has been providing optical filters for over 40 years for a variety of markets that include defense and space, thermal imaging, medical instrumentation, process control, gas & flame detection and consumer electronics.  Our understanding of the complex nature of optical filtering and our ability to translate that into cost effective manufacturing solutions is what differentiates Materion from our competitors.

For more information, please contact Robert Legg, Product Line Manager, Robert.Legg@Materion.com.