First Surface Mirrors

First Surface Mirrors

Protected and enhanced aluminum curve
Protected and Enhanced Aluminum Reflectance Curve 250 – 10,000nm

Front Surface Mirror

A front or first surface mirror provides superior optical quality for engineering and scientific applications. Unlike a standard household mirror, which is coated on the second surface of the glass, a first surface mirror provide an accurate reflection without ghost images. Optical experts recommend first surface mirrors for use in precision optics applications.

Metal coatings are typically very fragile without a protective overcoat. A dielectric coating on a metallic mirror increases the durability of the metal coating as well as provides a barrier to help prevent oxidation.  The overcoat has little impact on the performance of the metal coating.

Protected Aluminum Mirror

Standard Protected Aluminum is our most popular mirror coating for applications in the visible and near-infrared. A layer of Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) is typically used as an overcoat to protect the aluminum layer. This addition to the coating provides an abrasion-resistant surface while maintaining the performance of aluminum mirror. Another option for the overcoat is Magnesium Fluoride (MgF2).

Enhanced Aluminum Mirror

In our Enhanced Aluminum coating, a multi-layer film of dielectrics on top of aluminum is used to increase the reflectance in the visible regions. This coating is ideal for applications requiring increased reflectance from 400 – 650nm. The multi-layer film also provides the same durability characteristics as the protected aluminum coating.