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Thin Film Deposition Explained

March 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Thin film coatings help create medical devices, microchips and many other household products we use daily.

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

When you want to apply a microscopically thin coating of a material, you need to use thin film deposition systems to do it. Thin film coatings are bonded to the material, called a substrate, and then used for a variety of applications.

We use thin film coatings to change the properties of something we are working with. In semiconductors, the process allows a circuit board to conduct electricity. Metal can be made less corrosive, and glass can be made anti-reflective or scratch resistant. We can even use the process to create a mirror-like surface by applying a thin reflective coating to a piece of normal glass.

Ion beam etching is equally important to a circuit board, helping engineers to create even smaller circuits working with microscopic coating.

Ion beam deposition is used in a number of household products you probably come into contact with everyday. Thin film coating can change how reflective a surface is, whether it reflects or refracts light, and even whether glass is reflect resistant. Thin films of ceramic coating can help decrease the possibility of corrosion in the substrate, helping increase the life span of the product.

Sensors contain integrated circuitry made possible by thin film deposition. The technology is also used to create the individual cells in a solar panel. Without thin film deposition, much of our way of life would be different. It’s true that we had mirrors prior to thin film deposition, but we are now able to mass produce many products we could not create before.