Materion Barr Precision Optics & Thin Film Coatings, a company that provides a broad array of technologies including complex optical filters, filter arrays, lens coatings and optical thin film component assemblies, is building a 3,000-square-foot, class-1000, Wafer Coating Cell clean room, outfitted with the market’s latest infrared coating chambers and 3D patterning equipment, at its facility in Westford, Massachusetts. Materion said its addition will will significantly enhance its capability to manufacture low-defect coatings in high volume for the infrared wafer level, defense and consumer electronics markets.
The multi-million dollar investment, designed to be self-contained with a semiconductor manufacturing layout to handle 200mm wafers, will assist in decreasing the cost of uncooled micro bolometer detectors and ultimately facilitate major growth throughout the commercial infrared camera industry. It will also enhance competencies across many other technologies in which Materion has competitive differentiation, such as gesture control filters, arrays, gas sensing filters, and others.
Completion of the work cell is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2013 and will include a state-of-the art 3D photolithography deposition tool, semiconductor wet etch and alignment processing tools, semi-automated inspection tools, and several custom-designed high-volume 200mm coating deposition chambers. The long-range plan foresees a total of 20,000 to 40,000 wafers per year when fully built out. Initial work will be composed of multiple volume production lines along with current projects aimed at the defense, commercial infrared and consumer electronics markets. Materion said it will continue to refine processes and operations during the following year to maximize yields, optimize processes and ramp-up to full capacity. In addition, Materion is continuing to invest in its coating technology for the next generation micro-bolometer devices, less than 12 micron, and plans to unveil this new technology in 2014.