Specialty Metal Films Co. is actually the rebirth of Specialty Thinfilm Services, Inc.
(STS), which was founded by Tom Killoren in 1988, and was located in Medway, MA. The highlight of our eleven years in business
as STS was the culmination of a two year effort for the Smthsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Cambridge, MA, which was,
at that time, building the "High Resolution Camera" for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. STS was awarded the contract
to build what was affectionately known as "The Dog Bone"....a 15" long, 2" wide, intricately machined,
multi-faceted alumina substrate, onto which a fine pitched gold grating was fabricated. This required considerable creativity, designing
and building special equipment and adaptations of conventional photolithographic techniques and technologies.
are extremely proud of that effort, and have been rewarded by the thousands of spectacular images that the great telescope
has sent back to earth.
The great observatory was deployed from the payload bay of the space shuttle Columbia in
July of 1999, with an expected lifespan of five years.........that was over 18 years ago! Hats off to the incredibly talented
team at the SAO for this amazing accomplishment.
In December of 1999, STS was acquired by
an emerging telecom company, and the rollercoaster ride began. All of the assets and personnel of STS were absorbed into the
new company. Two short years later, when the telecom bubble had finally burst, the facilities were shut down, and 110 people
lost their jobs. The good news was that we were able to buy back our original equipment, before the auctioneer arrived, and
that is exactly what we did.
In December of 2002, Specialty Metal Films Co. emerged from the ashes, and was welcomed
back by many of its' former customers, some of whom have been with us for all of our twenty-nine years.
In our new incarnation,
we made a conscious decision to drop photolithography from our list of services, even though this was Tom's principal area
of expertise. Handling, and disposal of the vast array of toxic chemicals associated with photoprocessing and etching
was our main reason for opting out. We decided to focus mainly on metalization......the clean side of the business, if you
November 2, 2017 marked our 29th year in business,
in one form or another......... for even after being acquired, we continued to function as an independent company, servicing
the same customers that we had been doing business with since day one, so I think we can safely include those few years in
our anniversary celebration.
We have worked on a lot of very interesting projects over these nearly
three decades, gaining a wealth of experience along the way. Yet, we continue to explore new methods and technologies
and then blend them into our system to keep pace with the science as much as we can.
We are not afraid of change.....change keeps it being fun........and as long as we're still having fun, I'll
Tom Killoren, founder/owner