Frank Cumbo, President & CEO
Opto-electronic devices are becoming more and more prevalent in the “Internet of Things”. From mobile phones to AR/VR glasses, there are demands for higher brightness, lower energy usage and more durable display screens. For example, durable screens that don’t crack easily can incorporate features like anti-fingerprint and anti-reflection are still the panacea for mobile phones, watches and automobile touch screens. One of the most popular methods to enhance the display ruggedness and readability is using thinfilm deposition, where a thin film of material is deposited on the glass or plastic surface. Other enabling opto-electronic device technologies include bump flip chip processing and the ability to deposit precision optical coatings for the infrared and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. As such, very few companies have the technology and expertise to efficiently develop microdisplays and other optoelectronic devices. One such company is Denton Vacuum, a thin film solutions provider that is a pioneer in thin-film deposition equipment used to create devices explicitly based on its customer requirements.
Founded by Richard Denton in 1964, Denton Vacuum has been the go-to company for thin-film semiconductor and optoelectronics solutions for almost 60 years. Over the last decade, the company has invested heavily in newto-world technologies to help consumers create wider process windows for specific types of thin films.
In addition, the organization specializes in integrating its proprietary technologies with standard production platforms for magnetron sputtering, ion beam sputtering, evaporation, and PECVD. This enables Denton to provide highly efficient customer-specific highly reliable solutions that deliver consistent, repeatable results and ensure smooth operation.
Denton invests heavily in developing innovative thin film deposition methods to efficiently meet the needs of any customer. The organization is currently working with a few Tier 1 companies to develop diamondlike nanocomposites, creating optically clear diamond like films which can be used on microdisplays to prevent screen damage, while also providing superior anti-fingerprint capability. The organization also offers excellent anti-reflective and high reflective coating technologies to meet specific application requirements. These applications include laser applications, solar cells, photographic lenses, and eyeglasses.
Denton Vacuum also offers a range of ion beam systems, which can be used for producing thin films for Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) and Extreme UV (EUV) optical regime. These thin films are utilized in various products like EUV and DUV lithography tools, and a wide variety of spectrometers. The company is also currently focusing on in-situ diagnostics tools to incorporate in its products. These subsystems collect data to monitor and control both process quality and system health from start to finish. Some of those diagnostic tools include plasma emission monitors, broadband optical monitoring systems, and secondary ion mass spectrometers, and are used to improve both film properties and yield.
Denton’s key focus is on operational excellence. To that end, the company has a relationship with a local college to provide Six Sigma training for its staff. The company emphasizes meeting the customer’s specifications most cost-effectively and tries to ensure that its standard platforms are as economical as possible. The company has various offices in Singapore, China, the US, and Europe, whose leaders have a minimum of 30 years of experience in semiconductor sales and service.
Historically, 60 to 70 percent of Denton’s business was in the R&D market and the balance was production customers. In recent years, the company has invested heavily in their production proven platforms and global service to substantially grow production-based sales, while maintaining their R&D market share. As a result, Denton has continued flourishing even during the pandemic. It has steadily grown by 20 to 30 percent each year and is showing no sign of stopping. With constant research and targeted acquisitions, the company will launch new products with proprietary technologies and aims to double it’s sales in the next two to three years.