Reflective coatings are used to reflect lasers and other light sources while minimizing loss. Many optical systems use reflective coatings, including telescopes, lamps, and high-end photography objective lenses. If you require reflective coatings for your application, JML Optical can provide a custom optical solution based on your unique needs. We provide rapid designing and prototyping for everything from optical lenses to full assemblies.

What Are Reflective Coatings?

For optical components requiring a low-signal-loss reflective finish, reflective coatings help maintain optical and structural properties in both visible and near-infrared light ranges. Many laser applications use reflective coatings in place of metallic mirror coatings because they can provide increased reflectivity, whereas the design of metallic mirror coatings makes them vulnerable to damage when used with high-powered lasers. 


Before applying reflective coatings, it’s important to inspect and clean every optical component to ensure proper adhesion during the coating process. When applied properly, reflective coatings offer superior reflectance, improved transmission, and reduced glare.

Benefits of Reflective Coatings

Oftentimes, scatter and absorption that take place during reflection reduce throughput while increasing the risk of laser damage. To prevent these issues, along with the potential for loss while reflecting light sources, applications frequently use reflective coatings. 


While many applications use metallic mirror coatings to develop reflective components, laser applications need coatings that achieve higher reflectivity. Metallic surfaces enable loose electrons to easily oscillate with incident light waves, reflecting light in the process. Despite this, metallic surfaces still absorb a certain degree of incident light, potentially resulting in damage to metallic coatings. As a result, optical components in laser applications tend to rely on multilayer dielectric highly reflective (HR) coatings, as they can avoid this damage while providing the desired reflectivity. 


Optical coatings alter the way optical components reflect light waves for a wide range of applications. HR coatings, also known as mirror coatings, improve surface reflectivity to create mirrors that can reflect nearly all light of a given wavelength range that lands on them. This makes reflective coatings particularly well-suited for laser applications.


Some applications also use partially reflective coatings, or beamsplitters, to split a beam of light into two separate beams by transmitting some while reflecting the rest of the light. The right solution will help optimize reflectivity while eliminating loss and reducing the risk of damage to optical components.

High-Quality Reflective Coatings from JML Optical

Based on your specific requirements, we offer a variety of coating solutions at JML Optical. We have 8 on-site coating chambers designed to coat optics produced in-facility. We also offer coating-only services if needed. By coating optics in-house, our customers benefit from faster delivery by allowing the entire process to take place in one facility. 


At JML Optical, we can work with many types of coatings on a wide range of substrate sizes. To suit the needs of various applications, our reflective coatings are available in gold, silver, aluminum, and dielectric varieties. For quality assurance, we ensure each coating is designed and tested for optimal durability and performance.


For additional information about our reflective coating capabilities, contact us today. You can also request a quote to get started on your custom optical solution.