About Us

AJ Thin Films Consultancy was created by John and Isabella Allen to provide support for organisations where the technology of thin films plays a strategic role.


John Allen

John Allen is well known in the field of optical thin films coatings, having more than 40 years experience in design, development and production for a number of companies including Avimo, Omitec Thin Films, Vinten and Barr and Stroud. At Barr and Stroud Ltd (Pilkington Optronics), he was manager of the optical Coatings Development and Production Departments where his responsibilities included the implementation of new technologies and processes for visible and infra-red coatings used in many military and commercial projects. He was also responsible for technology strategy for Business Development activities.

Most recently he was Technical Director of AFE Technology Coatings Ltd, (formerly ATC Ltd) where he was responsible for thin film design, process development and production support as well as technical support to Sales and Marketing. He was influential in growing the technology base of the company, including the implementation of new thin film technologies, process development for precision optical coatings, rugate filter development, and coatings for head-up and head mounted displays. (Link)

He is well known internationally having authored a number of technical articles and presented numerous technical papers at international conferences of thin films. (Link)


Historical Information

Achievements at previous companies include:

  • Thin film optical coating design for a wide range of applications, including single and multiple notch rugate filter coatings for Head-up Displays.
  • Development of rugate technology for laser protection filters.
  • Development of plasma assisted coating processes including DWDM filters, rugate filters, Head up display coatings, and a variety of coatings onto avionic display visors.
  • Technical sales support and preparation of proposals and quotations.
  • Responsibility for the design, specification, procurement, installation and commissioning precision optical coating systems.
  • Responsible for training process engineers and system operators in running complex deposition equipment.
  • Development of the configuration and process parameters for the Satis plasma deposition source.
  • Development of plasma assisted index matched ITO conductive films.
  • Process control for complex tight tolerance filters.
  • Development of ion assisted deposition control for glass and plastic optics.
  • Process configuration and development of coatings for HUD colour selective dual graded combiners.
  • Design and development of Night Vision compatible filters for avionics.

A particular area of expertise is the design and process development of coatings for Head-up Displays, including single and multiple notch rugate coatings for HUD combiners.