PRACMATIC: Control and monitoring of dielectric coating processes

In the production of optical coatings, unwanted particles have a negative impact on quality. The PRACMATIC project, led by RhySearch, is researching practical industrial methods for eliminating particle formation.



Optical coatings play an important role in many fast-growing markets such as laser technology or sensor technology. A major challenge during the coating process is presented by particles, i.e. unwanted tiny bits of material of 200nm and more, which have a detrimental effect on the quality of the coating. The particles can be formed during the coating process itself or during the loading, unloading, closing or opening of a coating line. In order to boost production yield and ensure the competitiveness of Swiss companies, representatives of research and industry involved in the PRACMATIC project are looking for practical, industrial methods to eliminate particle formation. RhySearch, the Rhine Valley Research and Innovation Centre, initiated the consortium project and is responsible for the overall project management. The Institute for Applied Laser, Photonics and Surface Technologies (ALPS) at BFH is taking part as one of the research partners.

Course of action

The focus of the PRACMATIC project is to develop robust, easy-to-use, cost-effective in-process diagnostic tools and software for monitoring coating processes and particle formation. This will make it possible to define a process for the production of dielectric optical coatings with low particle density. To reach this goal, partners from research and industry are pooling their expertise in order to facilitate informed process decisions and jointly develop, implement and test innovative processes.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 4: Quality education
  • 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 12: Responsible consumption and production