p: (262) 548-1155
e: sales@advancedoptics.com

Woman Owned Small Business


First Surface Mirrors

A first surface mirror (also known as a front surface mirror) reflects light directly from the coating that is applied to the polished or working surface of a glass substrate. First surface mirrors differ from second surface mirrors in that light does not have to travel through the glass before being reflected. This eliminates ghost images and makes first surface mirrors the superior choice for optical applications involving imaging.

View our First Surface Mirrors

Optical Mirror Manufacturing Proficiencies

In addition to our ready-to-ship precision and commercial grade first surface mirrors listed above, Advanced Optics has the capability to:

  • Fabricate flat optical mirrors from 1mm – 530mm.
  • Precision polish down to λ/20.
  • Manufacture plane-parallel, wedged, or spherical optical mirrors.
  • Craft round, rectangular, and square substrates with the capability to provide custom optical mirrors in almost any configuration to meet your requirements.
  • Produce optical mirrors from a variety of substrates including fused silica, quartz, Zerodur®, BOROFLOAT®33, N-BK7®, and soda-lime glass.
  • Achieve parallelism of < 2 arc seconds and offer wedged mirrors.
  • Modify and resurface customer supplied materials.
  • Manufacture precision polished mirrors with odd aspect ratios.
  • Provide a wide variety of optical coatings including metallic, dielectric, or partially reflective coatings as well as design custom coatings.
  • Produce precision optical mirrors from prototype to production.

First surface optical mirrors may be fabricated with or without a protective overcoat. The choice depends on the reflectivity required for a specific application and the environment in which the mirror will be placed.

Unprotected (Bare) Mirrors

Aluminum and gold are the most common metals used without a protective overcoat. The bare (unprotected) metal provides a higher reflectivity than its protected (overcoated) counterpart. However, bare aluminum and bare gold are soft and should not be touched or cleaned. Therefore, careful consideration should be taken when choosing the type of metal coating for your application and whether or not a protective overcoat is required. Please visit our technical coating page for detailed information and technical coating curves for our bare aluminum and bare gold coatings.

Advanced Optics manufactures bare aluminum and bare gold mirrors in almost any configuration to meet your requirements. For further information on our manufacturing capabilities, please visit our Capabilities page.

Protected (Overcoated) Mirrors

Standard protected aluminum (PAL) is one of our most popular coatings for the visible spectrum. A layer of Al is applied directly to the polished surface and then a thin layer of either SiO or SiO2 is applied. The overcoat provides protection for the soft aluminum layer underneath, allowing the mirror to be gently cleaned using proper optical techniques. Please see our page on How to Properly Clean an Optical Mirror for further information.

Advanced Optics manufactures protected gold mirrors (PAU), protected silver mirrors (PAG), and dielectric mirrors in almost any configuration to meet a wide variety of applications. For further information on our manufacturing capabilities, please visit our Capabilities page, and for further information and coating curves for all our protected coatings, please visit our Technical Coating page.

Need a custom coating? No problem. Let us help you find the exact optical coating for your mirror.


Have a question? Give us call and tell us about your project. (262) 548-1155