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History Vision


Our Beginning

  • 1956 - developed the first commercial process to culture quartz crystals for electronic uses

  • Awarded the fundamental patent "Production of Artificial Crystals" (US. 3,013,867); granted 6 other patents in the US. and Great Britain

  • Produced quartz with Q=3.0 million, the functional equivalent of natural quartz

  • Introduced cultured optical quartz suitable for use in infrared spectrophotometers

  • Produced swept quartz in commercial quantity for radiation hard applications

The 1970's

  • Produced 20 kg crystals for research

  • Introduced infrared absorption as the principal method to characterize the quality of cultured quartz

  • Introduced SC- and IT-cut blanks

  • Developed growth and fabrication processes to supply large diameter wafers for surface acoustic wave applications

The 1980's

  • Awarded research contracts from United States Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to improve cultured quartz

  • Identified important solid phase inclusion species (in cooperation with The Pennsylvania State University) and established fundamental link to edge dislocations, etch pits and etch channels

  • Received the Supplier Recognition Award from Motorola Inc., Communications Sector, Components Division in 1985

  • Selected as winner of the 1987 Supplier Recognition Award for outstanding performance by AT&T Network Systems Division

The 1990's

  • Produced low etch channel density (<30 cm-2) quartz in commercial quantity

  • Introduced the first specification to quantitatively define polished surfaces suitable for surface acoustic wave applications

  • Developed algorithm and installed hardware for monitoring and computer control of internal quartz growing conditions

  • Pioneered quartz growth and processing techniques necessary for the large-scale conversion from 3-inch to 100mm diameter quartz SAW wafers

  • Produced first 150 mm quartz SAW wafers

  • Developed and patented technology to confine growing quartz crystals to controlled shapes to improve efficiency (U.S. patent 6,090,202)

  • Adapted advanced equipment from silicon wafer processing to quartz, including wire sawing, automated edge grinding, polishing, cleaning, and metrology

  • Established joint venture in China to produce lithium tantalate and lithium niobate crystals

2000 and Beyond

  • Received ISO9001:2000 certification of Eastlake and Conroe operations

  • Developed technology and apparatus for first in situ observation of growing quartz crystal

  • Improved flatness to <1 µm (10mm x 10 mm grid) for 100 mm diameter SAW wafers

  • Produced 100 mm diameter quartz and lithium tantalate wafers with thickness of 250 µm and superior flatness

  • Produced low etch channel density (<10 cm-2) quartz in commercial quantity and <1 cm-2 for special application

  • Produced largest inclusion free optical material capable of 150 mm diameter blanks

  • Established Czochralski oxide crystal growth laboratory to investigate improved methods to grow single- crystal piezoelectric and optical materials

  • Established hydrothermal laboratory to investigate single crystal micro- and nano-particles and epitaxial thin films

  • Sawyer begins a corporate culture transition: Visual Vision in anticipation of the next decade

  • Developed hydrothermal production of micron and sub-micron sized α-alumina powders with unique combinations of chemical purity, crystal morphology and particle size distribution.

  • Developed hydrothermal synthesis of KMbO3 epitaxial film on LiTaO3 wafer (Chem. Mater. 16, 1083, 2004).

  • Adapted hydrothermal synthesis expertise to the production of advanced and catalytic materials

  • Expanded capability to include ceramics processing operations such as extruding, sintering and materials characterization

  • Developed alternative synthesis method for α-Alumina Supports for Ethylene Oxide Catalysts (US 2007/0280877 A1)

  • Developed Hydrothermal Synthesis of α-Alumina Whiskers and Porous Ceramics  (patents pending)

  • Developed Hydrothermal Synthesis of α-Alumina Coatings on metals (patents pending)

  • Synthesized nanosized zinc oxide powders with controlled morphology and superior defect structure

  • Produced Zeolites L, NaP1, beta, mordenite, ZSM-5, and others

  • Manufactured a-alumina/ transition aluminas composites

  • Created specialty aluminas, i.e. a-alumina/boehmite composite powders and α-alumina with a variety of dopants.

  • Synthesized wide range of metal oxides and metal aluminates (i.e. ZnAl2O4)

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