Understanding Silicon for Optics
McCarter Machine and Technology, Inc. was co-founded in 1981, by Doug & Ellie McCarter to supply precision replica replacements parts to chemical and refinery customers. Most common and exotic alloys were machined and problematic components upgraded. By 1988, components using the material Silicon was required by an existing Customer branching out into semiconductors. After many successful redesigns McCarter began being known in the world of silicon. In 1993, a major US Defense Contractor came to McCarter for manufacturing and design assistance for silicon in high energy laser applications. By combining the knowledge of experience in mechanical equipment with a rapid learning curve of optical requirements, each mission challenge was easily achieved leading to more missions. In 1998, McCarter was contracted to assist with a meter class space based laser experiment. Significant bonding methods were required due to the largest available silicon at that time was only 300mm. McCarter’s first Mentor, Frank Anthony, Retired Director of Bell labs came on board to direct the effort. McCarter, under Frank Anthony, developed a proprietary glass frit bonding process. To assure joint dependability, McCarter invented and patented, “A Way to finish a Silicon Part” as referred to as McCarter Superfinish on brittle silicon on ductile grinding machines, leaving minimal subsurface damage. McCarter began to understand silicon for optics and saw the need to use silicon not only in lasers but to compete with hazardous Beryllium in lightweight mirrors of many applications. Under IRAD funds, McCarter, directed by Anthony began a series of 3rd party tests and evaluations to address deficiencies of Beryllium and all other competing materials. After completion of the tests, Anthony passed away and later Roger Paquin, Anthony’s lifelong competitor retired from Perk & Elmer came on board at McCarter. Roger Paquin had the reputation of the USA Beryllium, Silicon Carbide and Composites expert. Until 2015 Paquin Mentored McCarter to reveal all of the deficiencies of all competitors to Silicon, included all of the glasses and metals.