Press Release

SMI ALD System Successfully Delivered and Operating for Astronomy Research at UC Santa Cruz

Piscataway, NJ - November 29, 2017 - Structured Materials Industries, Inc. (SMI) - In a September news release, UC Santa Cruz announced a new protective coating technology effort that can make existing telescopes more efficient. The protective coating technology was developed in a collaborative effort by UC Santa Cruz Material Scientist Dr. Nobuhiko Kobayashi and Astronomers Dr. Andrew Phillips and Dr. Michael Bolte. The project was supported by current UC Observatories (UCO) director Dr. Claire Max as well as by Dr. Peter Kurczynski of the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) program. The researchers were looking for a way to have large telescopes collect more light at greater extended periods of time. To achieve this objective, the researchers adapted a technique widely used in the microelectronics industry called atomic layer deposition (ALD); which had provided a better protective coating than traditional physical deposition techniques. 

Since ALD was mostly used in microelectronics, the challenge became building a customized tool large enough to coat telescope mirrors. Structured Material Industries, Inc. (SMI) took on the task of designing and building an ALD system based off of the specifications provided by the UC Santa Cruz researchers. The ALD system was recently successfully delivered to Dr. Kobayashi’s laboratory. The ALD system is helping the UC Santa Cruz researchers reach their objective by coating large silver based telescope mirrors. The UC Santa Cruz researchers are exploring a range of coatings on the telescope mirrors that are as large as 0.9 meters in diameter. The ALD system can also coat other large substrates and is further scalable, making coatings possible on even larger telescope mirrors or large batches of wafers. Leading the ALD tool process development is UC Santa Cruz team member, Dr. David Fryauf

"The ALD system is enabling Dr. Kobayashi and his team to discover new and improved affordable coating solutions that increase efficiency in existing telescopes by coating them with silver instead of aluminium. While it was designed with telescope mirror coating in mind, the ALD system can easily be used for a wide array of other applications.", commented Dr. Gary S. Tompa, President of Structured Materials Industries, Inc. adding "We are proud to see one of our tools utilized in this milestone Astronomy effort. Our proven engineering and scientific capabilities enable us to deliver on these uniquely defined projects.“  

This development was originally released on September 18th, 2017 by UC Santa Cruz University Relations Representative Tim Stephens. You can learn more about the fascinating work of UC Santa Cruz materials scientist Dr. Kobayashi and astronomers Dr. Phillips, Dr. Fryauf, and Dr. Bolte by clicking on this link.

About Structured Materials Industries, Inc.

Structured Materials Industries, Inc (SMI) is a leader in developing and implementing tailored solution custom research and production Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) Tool and Process Technology and process enhanced tools such as Plasma Enhanced CVD (PECVD), Alternating Layer Deposition (ALD), High Pressure CVD (HPCVD), Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) and other related techniques for the widest range of materials in the industry.

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