How It Works: Vapor Deposition Process | Pure Glass Technology | Corning






此工艺包括多种形式,但康宁最常用的是外部气相沉积 (OVD),它可以在固态基质顶部(或周围)以极小的薄层"制作"新的玻璃。







Why it's important

For products like optical fiber and telescope lenses, glass must be free of even the smallest contaminants that could interrupt transmission of light. OVD-formed glass allows very tight control of the chemicals that go into the vapor and, in turn, the glass. The result is some of the purest glass imaginable.

Pure silica glass, either with or without intentionally small amounts of dopants, is also able to withstand vast temperature changes with virtually no expansion or contraction. That's an essential quality for glass products that, for example, must perform reliably in outer space.

The process is also highly scalable, meaning that Corning can ramp up production of products like specialty optical fiber and make sure every spool is of the highest quality.

And OVD allows for very tight control of dopants added to the silica, which can result in the desired specific optical attributes in the glass – a precise refractive index for light going through fiber, for example. That superior process control capability, says Michelle, "allows us to achieve a comprehensive  product portfolio."

How it's evolved

Legendary Corning inventor Dr. Frank Hyde began the work in the 1930s that would eventually develop into vapor deposition. Corning revolutionized the process in the 1970s in creating the world's first low-loss optical fiber.

Continuous improvements over the years – most of a highly proprietary nature -- have enabled Corning to make the process increasingly efficient. That's one reason Corning is the leader in optical fiber manufacturing.

Why we excel at it

Although fiber makers can purchase manufacturing equipment on the open market, Corning designs and builds its own.

And the equipment's top-notch quality stems directly from Corning's fundamental understanding of the materials and the science – chemistry and physics – that combine to make the process.

Product demands, particularly in optical fiber, have challenged Corning to continue its investments in improving vapor deposition.

"We've had to grow our understanding -- and in turn, our capability for both our process control and our machine design – in order to meet market demands," said Gausman.

"Because of our legacy and decades of fundamentally understanding the work, we've been able to evolve the product portfolio. And that's what we'll continue to do."