Describe the profound impact your technology – as part of an end-user product – has had on Society. How has the population been impacted by your technology. This could be behavioral, economical, societal, etc.
Crystalline Supermirrors are the most stable optics ever developed. As such they are now being employed as key components for the world’s most precise optical atomic clocks, with development efforts being pursued together with partners at JILA, Boulder, CO and PTB, Braunschweig, Germany. Additionally, such mirrors represent a breakthrough technology for the world's most precise spatial measurement systems, namely next-generation gravitational wave detectors, being pursued together with partners at the MPI for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Germany. Beyond fundamental scientific applications, our crystalline coating technology is currently making inroads into industrial markets, with the release of additional product lines including mirrors for use in compact ring-laser gyroscopes for advanced avionics, low-loss mid-IR reflectors for cavity ringdown systems targeting breath and trace gas analysis systems, and finally high thermal conductivity reflectors for laser machining systems.
Tell us about how your technology is unique? What makes it stand out? How do you differentiate it from other similar technologies?
Our Crystalline Supermirrors are an entirely new paradigm in optical coating technology. In this case we separately grow an epitaxial multilayer and then use a proprietary substrate-transfer technique to bond these coatings onto arbitrary (and even curved) optics. Due to the unique properties of the crystalline semiconductor material used for our coatings, our mirrors provide a 10×-100× reduction in Brownian noise compared to sputtered thin films. Our coatings can be supplied on various substrates including fused silica, Si, sapphire, SiC, diamond, and YAG, with radii of curvature down to 10 cm and a coating area up to 20 cm in diameter. The most common application is as reference cavity end mirrors with center wavelengths from 900 nm to 4 µm. Loss levels from scatter and absorption in NIR are down to below 5 ppm with a cavity finesse finesse up to 300,000. Our "crystalline coating" technology is patent protected and CMS is the sole provider of this unique coating technology.
When first launched, did your technology make a transformational change for the end-user or was it an advancement of the prior art? Describe this.
Crystalline Supermirrors represent a transformational change in precision laser optics. The previous state-of-the-art was represented by sputtered coatings, yielding fantastic optical properties, but excess Brownian noise and poor thermal conductivity, limiting their performance in ultrastable and high-power laser systems. After more than a decade of stagnation, Crystalline Supermirrors have helped lift these limitations. This technology emerged from the “cold fusion” of world-renowned quantum science at the University of Vienna and materials science from Silicon Valley. The founders of CMS applied single-crystal semiconductors- as a general optical coating technology. This revolutionary step was the birth of Crystalline Supermirrors.
Give a specific example of the buying chain for your product/technology once you sell it to the next level buyer. Provide an example of the succession of companies your product goes through, ultimately to get to an end-user.
Currently, the majority of end-users of Crystalline Supermirrors are top-notch academic institutions. The customer list of CMS includes such esteemed institutions as the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein Institute) in Hannover, Germany, the ETH Zurich, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as well as the California Institute of Technology (currently ranked as the #1 university in the world). Moreover, CMS has recently begun to establish relationships with prominent industrial customers, completing initial orders for companies such as Trumpf Lasertechnik (Germany) for high-power lasers, which are sold to large global manufacturers, e.g., in automotive and aerospace.
In which vertical market(s) would you classify the end-users of this technology?
Give us your one sentence “elevator pitch” you would use to tell a non-technical person about your technology and the critical role it plays in Society.
Crystalline Supermirrors are an entirely new concept in optical coatings, providing an order-of-magnitude improvement in time and frequency standards, and will soon revolutionize fundamental measurement science, broadband telecommunications, trace gas analysis, as well as industrial laser design.
Surprise Us! What else should we know about your product/technology?
Apart from commercial applications, Crystalline Supermirrors are helping to push the frontiers of science. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in a famous paper in 1918. In collaboration with international researchers, Crystalline Supermirrors are currently being applied in prototype versions of the next-generation interferometric gravitational wave observatories – arguably requiring the most precise spatial measurements ever pursued on this planet!