Plasma Cleaning of Optics & Lenses

Plasma cleaning of contact lenses and other optics produces hyper-clean surfaces by removing the thin layer of organic contamination that is present on almost all surfaces.

Organic contamination which may be present on all lens surfaces is typically only a few nanometres thick but it is sufficient to alter optical properties. Plasma cleaning of optics & lenses is performed with oxygen gas, or sometimes even lab air is sufficient, in a few 10’s of seconds and with no chemical waste. Unlike solvent cleaners, plasma cleaning leaves absolutely no residue.

Plasma cleaning of gas permeable contact lenses is now widely used to improve surface wettability characteristics which result in increased comfort for longer and also inhibits deposits. The effects of the plasma can last for many weeks.

plasma cleaning contact lenses
  • Plasma cleaning improves wettability of gas permeable contact lenses
  • Increases patient comfort
  • Plasma cleaning removes trace organic contamination from other optics
  • Surfaces are rendered more hydrophilic

Case Study  |  Removal of surface coatings on glass lenses

At Hoya lens almost all of the lens coatings manufactured are hydrophobic, these coatings need to be removed during quality testing. One method involves using a polishing compound to manually remove the coating, which is both labour intensive and can suffer from inconsistencies.

Hoya’s technical team identified a need for an alternative process to reduce these inconsistencies and approached Henniker regarding plasma cleaning techniques as a possible alternative.

Neil Jowitt from Hoya explains:

‘The unit we wanted was small, quick and easy to use and the solution identified by Henniker fit the brief perfectly.’