Understanding the Process of Vacuum Film Deposition

Photo-SY-CUSTOM_LUMINOS_PVD75SILOCUS-THUMBSummary: Learn how thin film is placed on products like cell phones and flat displays.

Vacuum thin film deposition systems have been primarily used for industrial purposes. Being an important piece of technology for industrial applications such as tools and semiconductors, the advancement of science has led to more novel uses of these systems such as the mass production of compact discs or mobile phones.

The application of thin film vacuum coating must be done under immense amounts of pressure to prevent any oxidation which would ruin the layer. Here is an example of film coating that is used in industry standards today.

Sputtering is the process where self-sustaining plasma is created from an energized cathode, most commonly an inert gas. The positively charged ions of the gas atoms are shot into the target material thus moving around its’ atoms or molecules, a similar process to thin film evaporation. The substrate, which is what is being coated, catches the vapor stream from the vacuum chamber thereby creating a coating. It’s important to know that the substrate’s surface must be as clean as possible as the film adhesion will not stick correctly if there is any contamination of any sort. Engineers stress proper cleaning and handling procedures before working with the substrate.

Engineers tend to have more control when working with a technique such as sputtering. Various parameters can be adjusted to receive the specific type of variables that are required for the end product. Measurements such as viscosity, adhesion strength, and electrode properties are all considered and precisely fine-tuned for the perfect film coat.

With today’s technological developments continuing a growth trend, the sky is the limit for film coating as new products will be introduced and older techniques enhanced.


Bio: Denton Vacuum, LLC transforms barriers into thin-film technology breakthroughs for customers across the globe.