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Technology

All sapphire is not created equal. Rubicon’s proprietary crystal growth technologies, ES2 Kyropoulos, LANCE (Large Area Net Shape Crystal Extraction) large area sapphire growth lead the industry in quality, cost and performance. Rubicon continuously develops technology platforms in anticipation of our customers’ evolving sapphire material requirements. 
 
Our proprietary ES2 KYR crystal growth technique establishes greater control over crystal growth parameters resulting in low-stress, low defect superior quality sapphire.
 
Rubicon’s advanced LANCE technology produces slabs that yield the world’s largest area sapphire windows at up to 36” x 18” x 1.5” dimensions.  LANCE’s superior optical quality and size enables many new large area window applications in defense, aerospace and other markets.

 

ES2 Kyropoulos Bulk Crystal Growth

Our highly automated ES2 Growth process is closely monitored by our crystal growth experts to provide consistent high quality and yield. The result is superior quality sapphire with
 
  • The industry’s lowest etch pit, or dislocation, density (EPD)\
  • High crystal purity (99.996%)
  • Excellent transmission in the UV through IR wavelengths
  • Best crystalline uniformity (by x-ray rocking curve method)
  • Leading refractive index homogeneity
  • Greater uniformity compared with competing sapphire technologies, especially as size scales
 
Three different sizes of crystals are grown in US:
  • 35 kg for up to 6” parts
  • 85 kg, for up to 11” parts 
  • 200kg for up to 13.5” parts

ES2 XXL - 200kg Bulk Crsyals

Need 12” C-Plane window or 14” A-Plane window that has good transmission in UV? Then Rubicon’s ES2-200Kg technology is the right choice for you. As the demand for larger and better quality sapphire increases in the market, Rubicon satisfies this need by successfully producing 200Kg Sapphire crystals that can generate large diameter windows up to 250mm thick.
 
Rubicon’s ES2 technology, which produces material with the lowest defect density and high transmission in UV, Visible spectrum & IR, has been effectively translated into larger size crystals. ES2-200Kg enables applications like 300mm+ chamber windows and components for semiconductor process equipment and large thick sensor and electro-optical windows for aerospace, defense and optics applications.

 

LANCE Large Area Sapphire

Rubicon has developed a new net-shape sapphire crystal growth platform capable of growing very large area, thick windows – up to 36” x 18” x 1.5”– with  excellent optical quality for defense, aerospace, semiconductor processing and other optical applications.
 
Other growth technologies that produce large-area sapphire crystals are incapable of generating the size and optical quality required for many new rugged defense and aerospace window applications.  Rubicon’s LANCE (Large Area Net-Shaped Crystal Extraction) sapphire technology is based on the principals of the horizontal directional solidification method of growing crystals.  
 
The technology produces rectangular slabs of sapphire that weigh ~150kg and are over 2” thick.  With our large area slicing and grinding technology, we can produce window blanks as thin as 5mm and up to 1.5” thick and can produce as many as 6 full size windows per slab.  With this throughput and high yields, LANCE sapphire is very cost effective for large area applications.
 

Initial applications for LANCE include windows for hypersonic, sensor suite, and electro-optic systems in defense and aerospace.  Many other applications are developing that require protective windows able to maintain excellent transmission characteristics in the visible and IR including semiconductor processing, pyrometry and other rugged industrial applications.

 

 

 

SapphirEX Hard Optical Coatings

Rubicon’s R&D Group has created an advanced family of hard optical coatings for glass, quartz and other softer optical substrates. SapphirEX imparts many of the valuable properties of single-crystal sapphire such as hardness, scratch resistance, chemical resistance and durability under extreme conditions. SapphirEX delivers sapphire-like performance at a fraction of the cost and weight of solid sapphire.
 
SapphirEX is a hard, transparent coating of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) intended for optical and tribological (wear) applications. Unlike Rubicon’s bulk grown sapphire product, SapphirEX is a polycrystalline coating which is deposited onto another material called a substrate. These substrates include, but are not limited to, silicate glasses – for example soda lime, fused silica, ion exchange glass, aluminosilicate glass, BK7, and fused quartz.
 
The proprietary deposition process is tunable, allowing us to control thickness and other attributes like hardness, which can be set from >17 GPa up to 27 GPa, compared to strengthened glass at 7.5GPa.  Optical performance of ion exchange glass coated with SapphirEX is comparable to the uncoated material, and transmission is superior to single crystal sapphire. Etch rates in CF4 plasma of SapphirEX-coated quartz are far slower than bare quartz, on par with solid sapphire. 
 
Initial applications for SapphirEX include POS scanner windows, mobile electronics displays, protection of optical windows in harsh environments for defense applications, deep-sea windows in oil and gas exploration and chamber components in semiconductor manufacturing. Whenever there is a need to protect a softer optical material from wear or damage, SapphirEX now offers a new solution.