Genvac Aerospace

Program Manager | Teraphysics

Anti-Reflective Coatings

GENVAC specializes in the design and production of anti-reflective (AR) coatings for optical components, windows and miscellaneous substrates for wavelengths ranging from ultra-violet to long-wavelength infrared (LWIR). Since 1994 the company has developed and manufactured proprietary critical deposition components systems and accessories which enable our coatings and products to operate in very adverse environments. The company’s core competency resides in our expertise in both ion-assisted electron beam evaporation and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Oxide films deposited at reduced temperature (less than 200 C) using our proprietary reactive ion-assisted evaporation, achieve bulk density, with superior adhesion and wear-resistance, significantly more robust than similar films deposited at high temperature (greater than 400 C). Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) deposited with PECVD on substrates such as Ge, Si, IG-6 and zinc selenide has optimum optical and wear performance for military-grade infrared windows. The company possesses all of the necessary analytical tools to optimize coatings on a wide variety of substrates tailored to customer specified applications.

Diamond Like Carbon

GENVAC has extensive expertise in the deposition and optimization of Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coatings by various techniques tailored for high value applications ranging from precision infrared optical filters to high-hardness/lubricity coatings for wear resistance on semiconductor, metal, glass and ceramic surfaces.

For almost two decades our company has produced and shipped products that meet all optical, wear resistant requirements and military specifications for optical systems installed on military aircraft including the F-14, F-16, F-18, F-22, F-35 and Apache Helicopter.

Since 2014 GENVAC has been developing DLC coatings for wear resistance and lubricity on a variety of metals for cutting tools, food processing, injection molding and a novel line of stainless steel guitar picks. Contact GENVAC for DLC solutions to metal wear issues.

Heated Windows

Indium-tin oxide (ITO), a transparent but electrically conductive vacuum deposited material, is well suited for heating windows exposed to cold temperature environments. Genvac ITO technology provides high transparency, electrically conductive coatings for both glass and plastic/polymeric materials. Comprehensive solutions can be offered to customers that require: 90% or greater transmission in the visible range Attenuation of high frequency EMI Surface heating to prevent fogging or freezing of condensed moisture

EMI RFI Windows

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) filters prevent interference in electrical devices due to stray electromagnetic radiation. Radiation of this nature can be produced from something as common as a cellular phone or computer monitors. It is also produced in military arenas as disruptive countermeasures. EMI/RFI filters are required in medical environments throughout Europe, and increasingly in America. All military equipment, including displays, requires an EMI/RFI filter to prevent disruption of images from enemy interference. In addition, all military platforms requiring visible apertures and a low radar cross section must employ continuous film shielding to maintain stealth performance. Typically electronic devices are simply shielded with a metal container or liner. However, displays must be shielded with something that is somewhat transparent. In most cases, fine tungsten mesh is stretched across a piece of glass or plastic providing excellent shielding which is approximately 70% transparent to visible light. Indium-tin oxide (ITO), a transparent but electrically conductive vacuum deposited material, is a more aesthetically desirable alternative. Genvac ITO technology offers a high transmission and durable coating with EMI/RFI shielding capability. ITO also can conduct an applied current to enable heating in cold temperature environments. Proprietary ITO process technology is qualifiied to coat glass or plastic materials where required to meet operating environment criteria.

CVD Diamond

GENVAC has developed a process to micro-fabricate any 3-D structure out of solid Chemical Vapor Deposited (CVD) diamond. As technology advances, laboratory grown diamond will play a more important role in next generation devices ranging from micro-electronics to fuel cells. CVD diamond is naturally electrically insulating, but it can be doped during the growth phase to also enable electrical conductivity. The term “night-vision” is generally recognized to indicate a device capable of producing “daylight-like” imaging in dark environments. All night-vision devices utilize some form of a photon amplifier. One such device is known as a photo multiplier tube (PMT). The PMT takes a very low-level light signal, converts it into an electronic pulse and amplifies the pulse to be detected by some form of electronic detector. The electron amplifier stage of the PMT relies on surfaces, called dynodes, to produce electronic amplification by “multiplying” the number of electrons produced by the initial pulse. This stage of the PMT, known as an electron multiplier, works by secondary electron production from the dynodes which occurs naturally due to the dynode material. Materials used in electron multipliers to create secondary electrons will produce up to as many as 45 electrons for every impinging electron incident on the dynode surface. With such materials used as dynodes a PMT will have a gain of greater than 1 million, i.e., it will produce greater than 1 million electrons for every photon of light. High electron amplification gains are enabling product performance improvements in several areas. These areas include medical devices, military sensing systems, and scientific analysis equipment.

Display Coatings

Cockpit-based displays and backlit control buttons which convey critical information during battle scenarios can be obscured by direct sunlight. The application of sophisticated surface coatings can result in the elimination of life threatening situations. Since the company’s beginning, GENVAC has developed thin film coatings for unique display applications. The company developed the low temperature indium-tin oxide (ITO) coatings for Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute which lead to the development of the first plastic liquid crystal displays (LCDs). GENVAC has developed numerous coating solutions for selective filtering of specific wavelengths of light for cockpit displays on aircraft which may require night vision goggles. The company has also developed barrier coatings and filters for displays constructed from specially formulated plastics. Contact us with your unique coating requirements for display applications.

Night Vision Infrared Windows

On-board laser guidance and night-vision/thermal sensing devices for military and other severe environment applications require infrared (IR) transmissive windows for target imaging. These windows, which vary from flats to spherical and aspheric lenses, are typically constructed from a variety of infrared transmissive glasses, including single crystal germanium (Ge) and silicon (Si). The inside and outside surfaces are polished or diamond-turned to a mirror finish and coated with micron-scale multi-layered thin films filters to reduce reflection of infrared light. This results in maximum IR transmission essential to high sensitivity night vision/thermal imaging. Superior sensitivity enables longer stand-off distances, affording a safety margin for the warfighter while at the same time increasing mission effectiveness.

IR window surfaces are often directly exposed to adverse sea, land and air environments, such as salt water spray, blowing desert sand or ballistic airborne debris. GENVAC has the proprietary capability to coat this surface with a hard carbon coating known as diamond-like carbon (DLC). Our DLC is a perfect optical match to the infrared glasses used for infrared optical components and is regarded as the most lubricious low-friction optical coating in existence. Our DLC is capable of withstanding sea water erosion, surviving sandstorm-like impact, resisting chemical attack, and hard enough to withstand mechanical damage. An IR window equipped with GENVAC’s DLC on the outside and high efficiency anti-reflective coatings on the inside will have greater than 95% transmission at a specified wavelength.

GENVAC’s proprietary DLC multilayer coating has IR transmission equal to or greater than any competitive coating used in military and aerospace applications with superior adhesion. Since 2003 GENVAC has supplied custom infrared coatings for application wavelengths ranging from near-IR to beyond 30 um. These coatings have been qualified on infrared substrate materials including Ge, Si, ZnS, ZnSe, AMTIR, GA SIR, IG-5 and IG-6.

GENVAC welcomes the opportunity to develop highly specialized infrared coatings, including dual-band, multi-band and visible/infrared band coatings.

Custom Electronics Development for Physics Research

With extensive experience and a penchant for detail to further your basic R&D or product development program, GENVAC offers specialized design services ranging from basic vacuum system controls to complex customized electronics, isolated power supplies, high-voltage pulsers, especially addressing the challenges of “floating” measurements and weak signal detection.

From concept to production we can provide evaluation, design, and manufacturing ranging from single items to medium quantities and support the transition to quantity production according to the complexity and time-frame required.

Ranging from basic utility to complex and state-of the-art, here is a sampling:

  • 6kV and 20kV “floating” Pulse Generators
  • Low-Capacitance “floating” (30-pF, 20kV isolation) Power Supply Platform
  • 10kV Cable Assembly for Teraphysics 94GHz TWT
  • Basic Bake-Out Heater Controller (Low-Tech but User Serviceable!)
  • Gate-Valve Controller (simple but Crucial High Vacuum System Protection)
  • Quartz Crystal X-Ray Analysis Ratemeter (Specialized Industry)
  • Red-Blue Optical Analyzer prototype for Fused Quartz Analysis

Rock Hard Picks

In 2015 GENVAC Aerospace Incorporated introduced Rock Hard Picks, a line of diamond-enhanced stainless steel guitar picks. The picks are coated under high-vacuum using the same coating techniques as the aerospace supplier uses to coat military grade night vision optics for different branches of the Armed Services

Applying physics to make the perfect guitar pick was a natural fit for Mearini, Founder and President of GENVAC Aerospace Inc. As an 18 year old, on the eve before driving to Berklee College of Music in Boston to pursue a degree in Guitar Performance, the young college freshman had a change of heart. A change that would eventually lead to a doctorate in Thin Film physics from Case Western Reserve University. While a formal degree in music was not in Mearini’s future, music continued to play an important role in his life. “I always keep a Gibson SG in my office,” Mearini joked “it makes testing the picks easy.”

When asked what advantage the DLC coating actually adds to the steel picks, Mearini explained “The surface of these picks creates the lowest coefficient of friction possible. It means it won’t wear and break your strings. Traditional metal picks without the coating require added caution when playing for fear of breaking a string mid-song. The wear that is typically experienced from a metal pick on metal strings will not occur. This pick delivers an aggressive predatory sound, and subtly generates new spectral harmonics. It sounds like you are hitting the strings with a diamond sword.”

“This project allowed me to combine my scientific expertise with my love for serious rock and create an amazing product here in the Rock Capital of the world.” Mearini noted.

“This pick adds one more innovation from Cleveland, since Cleveland invented laboratory diamond, diamond-like carbon, Rock-n-Roll AND the man of steel – Superman!”

“Creating this pick was somewhat of an accident”, began Rock Hard inventor Dr. Gerald T. Mearini, Ph.D. “I just wanted a high quality metal pick that I could use when I play my 1985 Explorer [guitar]. I had my technicians make me a few metal picks, and I decided as an experiment to put a layer of Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) on it. When I tested the pick, I realized that this is the best guitar pick I have ever used. I passed out some prototypes to fellow colleagues and other guitarists and everyone agreed it surpasses all expectations. Even non-guitar players were asking me where they could buy one. I realized I have something here.”