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A Greek research center has developed a novel laser processing capable to provide functional coatings for antireflective, antibacterial, friction reducing and other properties. The center is looking for watchmakers, optics or lidar manufacturers for commercial agreement with technical assistance or joint venture agreement. The initial task is to test the technology in a small series of products and later to commercialize the method with the collaborator.
A Greek research center has developed a novel laser processing capable to provide functional (antibacterial, friction reducing etc) antireflective coatings. The process can be applied to a variety of transparent materials including sapphire, silica glass etc.
The Greek researchers propose an innovative method of creating antireflective coatings. In comparison with traditional approaches for improving a product’s surface properties, the proposed technology is following a totally new approach. Traditional approaches for surface improvement use techniques that deposit thin coating of materials onto product’s surfaces. The approach provides controlled formation of durable functional (micro or nano- structured) surface textures that mimic skin structures found in different insects (biomimetic surfaces). More specifically, the Greek researchers use an advanced laser-processing strategy, developed after many years of research, based on self-organization of material surface, to mimic the specific topography of the integument of bark bugs, wings and cicada wings.
The initial results of this process are extremely positive. The final product is highly antireflective and allows a wide angle of reading the indication. The coating is also providing antifogging, super-hydrophobic (or super-hydrophilic, it is an option) and antibacterial properties to the types of glass used. Since glass is a hydrophilic material, the proposed process is enhancing this property and creates antifogging property on top of the antireflective coating. Self-cleaning, hydrophobic and super-hydrophobic surfaces are obtained by applying coatings of a low surface energy material on top of it. Other properties may be also obtained after investigation.
The Greek researchers are looking for the following types of collaborators. Luxury or smart watch manufacturers, micro-optics manufacturers, optical sensor manufacturers, lidar manufacturers. The collaboration sought is commercial agreement with technical assistance or joint venture agreement.
The final product has several advantages, previously not possible with the conventional products used by industry. More specifically:
Wide-angle, anti-reflective coating: The main advantage of the final product. Anti-reflective coating provides wide-angle antireflective properties. Samples can be provided upon request.
Functionalization: the anti-reflective coating can enable also antifogging, super-hydrophobic or super-hydrophilic and antibacterial properties on the transparent material.
The advantages of using laser for processing are a lot. Any shape or any geometry can be created. The final product will have uniform performance on the complex geometric surface. The laser texturing provides also more economically & rapidly final products. This approach can combine glass machining and surface treatment into single equipment. Cut and process of the material in one step.
Unlikely the multilayer approaches, the process is clean without the need of any consumables for coating creation. The process do not alter or introduce any chemistry to the material. Thus, the coating can withstand stresses created during changes in temperature. Of course, if it is required, the process can introduce chemical compounds into the material.
For simple applications and for known materials like glass, the research center can immediately proceed into a small pilot line (for example 1000 product units for watches). For more advanced applications, more advanced materials and large production number the research center will require to develop a suitable product line.
The Greek researchers are looking to commercialize the process with partners such as:
• Luxury or smart watch manufacturers
• Micro-optics manufacturers
• Optical sensor manufacturers
• Lidar manufacturers
They are looking for companies that will initially test the novel technology for creating a small series of a product line that will use this technology. If the partnering company considers the product line to be successful then the researchers will be able to support the scaling up of the production. The process that the researchers expect to follow:
• Depending on the product and materials: the researchers will run a feasibility test necessary to see if the technology is applicable to the user’s case
• In case that the first step is successful, then the researchers will proceed with new product development and solve any production issues.
There is also the option for joint-venture agreement with a company that is willing to participate in the development of a product line in a specific sector.