Specialty Metal Films Co. was founded by Tom Killoren in 1988, and was located
in Medway, MA. One of the highlights of our early years was a two year effort for the Smthsonian Astrophysical Observatory,
in Cambridge, MA, which at that time was building the "High Resolution Camera" for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
We were awarded the contract to build what was affectionately known as "The Dog Bone"....a 15" long, 2"
wide, intricately machined and rather massive 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.
We 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.....it is
still functioning flawlessly more than 20 years later. It's data are often used in combination with data from the various
other space telescopes (Hubble, and others) to make spectacular composite images of all manner of space phenomena.
more recent times we have shifted our emphasis from microcircuit photofabrication to mainly just the metalization function.
This course change was to get away from the storage, handling, and disposal of the photochemicals, etchants, etc., associated
with circuit making.
We have found a niche with the application
of solderable metal coatings onto optical components of all materials and shapes. We do tens of thousands of individual optical
components per year, and we've gotten rather good at what we do.