Precision Optical has a long history of producing extremely precise optical flats. Even more so in recent years, Precision Optical has enhanced its ability to manufacture optical flats by adding more continuous polishers, higher-resolution metrology equipment, and large aperture interferometery.
By definition, an optical flat is a piece of optical-grade glass that is polished on one or both sides to be extremely flat. When a flat is illuminated, light is transmitted through and/or reflected off the “reference” (i.e. the extremely flat) surface of the optic. Optical flats are used in many applications, including spectrophometery, semi-conductor tools, and laser interferometers. In interferometers, interference between the “reference” surface of the optical flat and a “test” surface of a freshly-polished optic tells an optical technician how accurate the “test” optic is and whether or not the “test” optic meets a customer requirement.
Precision Optical has 26 continuous polishing laps ranging from 24” to 76”, which allows for the ability to produce flats up to 29” diagonally. Using precise interferometers, Precision Optical can polish flats that are better than 16 nanometers from the lowest-to-the-highest point on the surface. This is one fortieth of the wavelength of light from a 633nm HeNe laser system. To put that into perspective, at a flatness of 16 nanometers (lambda/40), if the relative distance over an 18” diameter optic was compared to the distances between Los Angeles and Rochester, the highest point across the surface is about the height of an orange.
Precision Optical has produced flats for various customers for many different applications, such as reference flats for high precision interferometric systems. In addition to producing such high precision optics for our customers, Precision Optical exclusively manufactures its own internal optical flats for our repository of high-end metrology equipment. This makes Precision Optical an excellent choice for optical flats, as we would only deliver high precision optical flats that we’d use ourselves! Do you want your optical flat in a nice custom support case? Just ask! Do you want your optical flat mounted? Give us a design and we can do it for you!