From Richard Knoppow :
................ A great deal of work on vacuum coating was done in the US during WW-2..... Vacuum deposition technology has progressed very far since its beginnings. There are a great many applications in solid state electronics which probably drove research harder than optics.Kodak began coating quite early....
Thanks you very much, Richard for the historical notes about optical coatings in the USA at the beginning.
[NOW REALLY OFF-TOPIC]Regarding your last sentence about vacuum deposition techniques, I can add that, of course, it was heavily driven mostly by the semiconductor industry, hence providing numerous processes and machines, but there are new applications outside optics and semiconductor technlogy that are gaining importance today : plasma deposition techniques for hard coating of cutting tools in the mechnical industry, and here in our watchmaking wountry, there is a tendancy to replace conventional electro-plating for watch cases an jewelry by various vacuum or plasma-assisted deposition techniques. Those technologies are named as PVD (physical vapor deposition) an old acronym known only to people of the semiconductor process, now a commercial argument for watch cases ! One of the reasons is the ban of nickel as a primer layer in traditional electro-plating, and some dangers with chromium salts. Hence I was really surprised to see close to here small companies very, very, far from the semiconductor industry doing thin film deposition for the watch and jewelry industry. As far as I know, plasma techniques allow not only to fabricate really hard layers for cutting tools, but also for the luxury industry, it allows all kinds of colours, with thin-film materials that are both extremely resistant to your sweat (a major problem for wristwatches) and that you can "wear" in contact with your skin without hazards.
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