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About us

The Infrared Multilayer Laboratory at the University of Reading is exclusively engaged in the research, development and supply of specialist high-quality infrared optics; ranging from coatings for single optical components to the complete spectral design and manufacture of complex atmospheric sensing and ground based astronomical instruments. The laboratory has a spaceflight heritage of contributions of infrared optics to many of the most progressive scientific instrument programmes in the study of atmospheric and planetary science.

What we can do for you

The laboratory is available to design and manufacture custom infrared optics across the 2 to 45µm waveband to your specification on a wide variety of substrate materials and sizes to suit your needs.

The expertise of the laboratory is founded on a small team of highly skilled engineers operating in a research and development environment to deliver spaceflight quality high-performance filters and coatings across the mid-infrared region, most often for use at cryogenic temperatures.

This research has evolved by tailoring coating design and manufacture adapting with the challenges of new and innovative instrument designs, involving;

  • improvements in detection technologies,
  • complex optical design paths,
  • high resolution accuracy,
  • mechanical durability,
  • long operational lifetimes, and
  • bespoke shapes, sizes and materials of optics.

Filter types

We are available to manufacture custom made coatings to your specification on a wide variety of substrate materials and sizes to suit. Some of the fully-blocked filter types that we routinely manufacture in the 2-45µm range are:


The laboratory has established and maintained a long heritage of research, and gained an internationally renowned reputation as experts at the forefront of optical thin-film engineering for state-of-the-art astronomy and planetary remote-sensing, with recent instruments including;

These instruments are destined to provide global observations of land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring for use in meteorological theories on climate change, and the study of astrophysical properties of stars and other planetary objects.

Further information

If we can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Dr Gary Hawkins


Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 8224