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Case Studies

We create value for customers by offering industry exclusive UV and NIR absorbers. See how our innovative products helped to manage light.

Case study #1:

Protective laser filters includes goggles, windows and shields that are made of glass or plastic and contain a dye (pigment) which absorbs laser radiation before it can reach and damage the eyes. While effective, this technology has a drawback: significantly reduced visible light transmission (VLT) when several dyes are used to attenuate multiple wavelengths. This makes the filters darker and therefore limits their application in low light environment.

 In order to increase laser filter performance and meet the most demanding customers’ requirements, at MOLECULUM we utilize our knowledge of organic chemistry and photophysics to customize dyes on molecular level to exhibit the desired properties (e.g. high VLT, solubility, thermal and photo stability). Subsequently, we use our proprietary software to create optimized dye formulations with required optical density at specific wavelengths (200 – 1500 nm).

Our customers gain competitive advantage by using high performance dyes and dye formulations specifically tailored for their needs. Furthermore, efficient manufacturing and precise formulation processes allows us to provide these innovative products at reduced cost in a sustainable manner. At MOLECULUM we have proved to be a reliable partner for developing customized high performance laser absorbing materials for wide range of applications (from industrial and medical to military).

Case study #2:

We recived a request from a customer for a custom filter match. The filter had been in service for 10 years and the vendor was no longer able to produce the product, AKA… “we lost the recipe”. The filter was first measured and the spectrum analyzed. We then used the source file to confirm the filter function and target regection and pass bands. The cutomer had a contrast enhancement filter with lazy cut off and cut on performance. The filtering element was laminated within glass.

A custom color match was designed in polycarbonate. The design was then compounded and extruded into a thin film, laser cut and laminated within two sheets of glass. The resulting filter sample was provided to the customer for approval and an additional improved performance option was provided. In the end the customer went with the improved design.

“MOLECULUM has broad application knowledge and developed a custom product that exceeded our needs. Their technical communication skills were excellent”

Case study #3: Laser Detector

A major military OEM integrated high sensitive custom photo-diodes in smart weapons. The system includes a series of high precision laser emitters and detectors used to discern a series of target characteristics; distance, shape, speed, acceleration and few others. The detectors were custom designed and manufactured by growing a series of material and on ceramic substrates.

The accuracy of the emission and detection was critical in insuring precision of the weapons. The technological limits of the emitting materials and the sensors were ultimately reached after years of costly development. The only possible way to further the accuracy of the system response was to integrate passive optical filtering elements to either one of the components or to both. The initial use of standard technologies such as deposition of thin layers of metallic materials increased system errors due to angle sensitivity.

MOLECULUM was asked to develop a low cost, high efficiency multi wavelength band pass filter element that could resist the extreme operating conditions of smart ammunitions. The development included the formulation of custom absorbing materials. One of the challenge was that the material formulation could not be integrated into a single substrates due to the incompatibility of their chemistry. Consequently, ultra-thin materials were optically bonded to provide a single optical component containing the various absorbing characteristics. The elements have been entirely designed and manufactured at MOLECULUM.

Case study #4: Color Required

A major military ground vehicle OEM integrated interior lighting in medical compartments. The original designed called for high brightness flood lights to enable medical personal to perform their duties in any ambient light conditions. While the original light was adequate to general use, the light signature included significant amount of energy in the spectrum sensitive to night vision sensors. Consequently, when the medical compartment lights were on, large amount of energy were emitted which caused close users of night vision devices to have reduced visibility. It also resulted in an energy signature that could easily be detected by enemy night vision sensors.

The OEM then decided to integrate night vision compatible light sources with low energy emissions in the near-infrared and infrared region. While solving the problems, it created another. The visible light spectrum was now limited principally around 543nm with a dominant green color. There was now sufficient brightness in the visible region but the narrow spectrum no longer allowed the medical personal to perceive colors. Everything became shades of green which led to major difficulty discerning dirt from blood on patients.

At that point, MOLECULUM was asked to develop a material that could absorb near-infrared and infrared energy of the vehicle light sources while still providing a well-balanced amount of energy in the visible spectrum.  Also, the material needed to be compatible with transformation method such as high temperature molding or forming. MOLECULUM synthesized and formulated a series of molecules that were used to modify the polymeric chain of commercially available materials.

The development effort included detailed definition of the chemistry, material composition and processing conditions. The materials were entirely developed and tested in MOLECULUM facilities.