Onyx Optics, Inc.‘s patented AFB® (Adhesive-Free Bond) composites for solid state laser components has formed the basis for providing components of crystals and optical ceramics to commercial and defense contractors to facilitate power scaling and compact solid state lasers. The key process step of forming AFB® is to obtain optical contact between the components to be bonded. There are a number of techniques of establishing this optical contact but they all result in an interface that is bonded mainly through Van der Waals forces after at least moderate heat treatment and out-diffusion of volatile species. AFB® is the Onyx registered trademark for this type of bond. It may be achieved by application of pressure, capillary adhesion, or by bringing two clean and dry surfaces into intimate contact.
In Onyx‘s view, all major experimental observations during the bonding process have been consistently explained by underlying theory without assuming any fitting parameters or resorting to unrealistic postulates. At this time, Onyx personnel are of the opinion that the understanding of the AFB® process is excellent and a scientific foundation of the process is available where bonding experiments confirm the theoretical predictions relating to process requirements and bond strengths as function of material.