Filters History

Established in 1967, Newport's Optical Filter business has been supplying Corion brand optical filters and coatings for nearly 50 years. Originally founded as a business to manufacture analytical instruments based upon optical filter technology, the company was organized as a vertically integrated entity with a small but capable Optical Filter manufacturing operation with 3 coating chambers, producing thermally deposited "soft" coatings. Experiencing rapidly increasing demand for optical filters resulting from exponential growth in the development of optically-based medical diagnostic instrumentation, the company switched its focus in the early 1970's from instruments and filters to optical filters, only.

Throughout our 45+ year history, we have continually added new technologies and products to our portfolio to meet the ever increasing demands of the Optical Filter marketplace. Much of our new technology has been developed internally but some technology, including our Hybrid Plasma Deposition technology, became available through acquisition of photonics businesses. Our coating department has grown over the years from the initial 3 soft-coating chambers to more than 25 chambers performing a wide variety of coating technologies including Hybrid Plasma Deposition, e-Beam Evaporation, and Resistance Thermal Evaporation and covering a spectral range from 200 nm to 8 μm.

As is common with many science-based businesses, each new day brings new challenges and the solutions to these challenges become part of the foundation from which the next challenge will be addressed. Our exposure to the wildly diverse set of applications that we support has been a key contributor to our ability to design the best-match solution for the true needs of the product. Over the many years that we have been in business, numerous exciting new developments have been accomplished that have shaped our business into the embodiment of the Newport keywords: Experience | Solutions. The following are a few of the major events in our rich history:

1967 - We were established by a small group of entrepreneurs with roots in photonics and electronics.

1983 - The 1st Corion Optical Filters Catalog is released, bringing the largest assortment of off-the-shelf filters to the market. This catalog featured bandpass filters with bandwidths of 1, 3, 8, 10, 25, 40 and 70nm, in 6 standard sizes, covering the spectral range of 200 to 1300nm. Also included were standard Longpass and Shortpass for the visible and infrared, neutral density filters, and several specialty filters including heat control, color separation, solar blind. Supported by market demand, many of these standard products are still available today.

1988 - Through the release of our CO2 Laser Optics product line, we made a major commitment to expanding both our spectral range and our optics fabrication capability. This offering consisted of coated inter-cavity and extra-cavity optics, primarily of ZnSe, operating at 10.6um. In addition to the ZnSe optics, a series of Germanium and Silicon optics were also developed and released along with the requisite AR coating capabilities including durable, broadband AR coatings for Thermal Imaging applications.

1991 - With tensions growing in the Middle East, we made significant expansion of our Military Optics capabilities, both in our Optical Coatings operations and our Optics Fabrication operations. Building upon capabilities developed for our laser optics fabrication, we established the capability to fabricate very challenging optics ranging from large, very long focal length, soft, optical glass optics, to small, high power optics. Our coated optics performed critical functions in magnified weapons sights in Operation Desert Storm.

1991 - Seeking to insure a healthy balance between our growing Military and Laser business and our traditional Life & Health Science (LHS) based business, we acquired Ditric Optics. This company had established strong business relationships with several LHS OEM customers, particularly in Europe, the addition of which provided significant growth of our commercial business.

1992 - We acquired a Balzers BAP-800 Ion Plating tool. Although this tool was delivered with a basic process, we embarked upon a major technology development program to establish methods for the wide variety of coatings that we needed to meet the demands of the market. Ion Plating technology allows the production of fully conformal coatings on both planar and non-planar substrates.

1996 - Impressed by the strength and breadth of our coating capabilities and by our broad-based applications experience, we were acquired by Thermo Electron as part of a Thermo growth initiative to develop a multi-dimensional photonics business under the name of ThermoVision. In addition to the optical coating capability provided by Corion, this growth initiative brought together a laser company (Laser Science), a broad-based photonics company including light sources and Spectroscopy tools (Oriel Instruments), a scientific camera company (CidTec), an x-ray equipment company (Kevex), an optical crystal fabrication company (Hilger Crystals), a replicated optics company (Opticon), and others.

1998 - Meeting ever-increasing demand for hard-coating solutions for many of the markets that we were serving, we acquired the commercial portion of OCA from Corning, Inc. This acquisition provided the building blocks of what is now known as Hybrid Plasma Deposition, the heart of our Stabilife Coating Technology.

2002 - As part of Thermo Electron's plans to establish three technology focused sectors, Life & Health Sciences, Industrial Manufacturing, and Optical Technologies, we became part of Spectra-Physics (which had been purchased by Thermo as a stand-alone (not part of ThermoVision) acquisition) in the Optical Technologies sector. This action added a market-leading laser business to an already strong photonics business.

2004 - Recognizing the strength of the combined product portfolio and the strong brand equity associated with the portfolio, we were acquired by Newport along with all but one of the companies from the Thermo Optical Technologies sector.

Today, Newport's Optical Filter business is primarily focused upon manufacturing optical filters and coatings for direct sale as components to OEMs and end-users that require custom products. We also offer a broad range of catalog products providing off-the-shelf availability for scientists and engineers for experiments and OEM prototype design. Our replicated optics business follows a similar business model.