PGL founder Doug Smith

PGL is a privately held technology company that was founded in 2004 in Plymouth, Massachusetts by Douglas Smith. Prior to starting PGL Doug spent 17 years developing and overseeing thin-film coating and optics manufacturing at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) of the University of Rochester, where he gained considerable experience in large optics for high-intensity laser applications.

PGL resulted from a collaboration between Doug and Dr. Mark Schattenburg at MIT, who pioneered the Scanning Beam Interference Lithography (SBIL) technology behind the Nanoruler. Together they commercialized SBIL to enable full-scale production of meter-class multilayer dielectric (MLD) diffraction gratings, which were manufactured initially for both the Institute of Laser Engineering at Osaka University in Japan and LLE in the United States. The extreme uniformity, high laser damage threshold, and low stress in vacuum of these gratings was unprecedented, and PGL is still the commercial leader in MLD grating technology today.

Inside the compressor of the Osaka University LFEX laser showing 16 910 mm x 420 mm PGL MLD gratings (photo courtesy Osaka University)

PGL has continued to focus on high-performance diffraction gratings for lasers and laser systems. After MLD gratings, PGL developed its capabilities to produce metal reflection gratings for broadband laser pulse compression (especially gold gratings for Ti:Sapphire and OPCPA systems), transmission gratings, two-dimensional gratings for precision positioning and metrology applications, and even focusing gratings with chirped and curved lines. In 2015 PGL became the exclusive supplier of the UV focusing gratings used in CEA’s 176 beam Laser Megajoule facility in Bordeaux, France.

PGL relocated in 2010 to a dedicated manufacturing, engineering, and office facility at Commerce Way in nearby Carver, MA, midway between Boston and Cape Cod. Today PGL utilizes about 20,000 square feet in 3 buildings on this campus.

PGL’s dedicated team of engineers and laboratory technicians has also grown considerably, bringing with it many years of combined experience in optical science and engineering, photolithographic processing, thin-film coating, and the chemistry and mechanics large optics cleaning and handling. In 2016 Dr. Turan Erdogan joined PGL as its second President to support Doug’s efforts to continue to grow PGL as the leading provider of diffraction gratings specifically designed and manufactured for lasers and laser systems.

Plymouth Grating Laboratory is dedicated to making the highest-quality diffraction gratings available today. Our focus is on lasers and laser systems. PGL gratings offer exceptionally high diffraction efficiency and laser damage threshold, combined with superior wavefront error and uniformity over large areas. This performance is made possible by PGL’s exclusive use of the Nanoruler, based on the proprietary Scanning Beam Interference Lithography technology developed at MIT, and PGL’s industry-leading process expertise. The company occupies 20,000 sq. ft. of dedicated manufacturing, engineering, and office space in Carver, MA, just outside of Plymouth, and about 45 miles south of Boston.

5 Commerce Way, Carver, MA 02330, USA|+1.508.503.1719|sales@plymouthgrating.com

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