CAPABILITIES: Physical Vapor Deposition
PVD Coatings enhance optical performance
Physical vapor deposition describes the manufacturing process Optiforms uses to produce high performance thin film coatings. PVD involves the deposition of a thin film of material onto a solid substrate using physical means rather than chemical reactions.
Optiforms has developed a range of surface enhancements that meet the requirements of our standard applications including both elctro-deposited and vacuum deposited coatings. Our thin film laboratory is a leader in electro and vacuum deposited optical coatings where maximum performance is a priority.
We specialize in coating highly concave shapes that other companies cannot coat effectively. Various coating materials are available for electroformed optics that can reflect a specific portion of the spectrum in one direction while directing a different spectral band in another direction. Our optical coating specialists will work with you to satisfy your desired requirements.
Thin Film Coatings Offer Maximum Performance
Our thin film laboratory is a leader in coating highly concave shapes that other companies cannot coat effectively. Various coating materials are available for electroformed optics that can reflect a specific portion of the spectrum in one direction while directing a different spectral band in another direction. Our optical coating specialists will work with you to satisfy your desired requirements.
Our unique gold and metallic coatings have been used in industries including aerospace, military, medical and many more applications requiring infrared reflectance.
How Physical Vapor Deposition Works
The process of PVD typically involves the following steps:
Vacuum Chamber: The substrate to be coated, along with the material to be deposited, is placed inside a vacuum chamber. The chamber is evacuated to create a low-pressure environment.
Target Preparation: The material to be deposited is selected as the target. The target is typically a solid metal or alloy that will form the desired thin film coating. It is prepared by shaping it into a specific form and mounted in the chamber.
Energy Source: An energy source, such as an electron beam or a plasma arc, is used to provide thermal energy to the target. This energy causes the target material to vaporize and form a cloud of atoms or ions.
Vaporization and Deposition: The vaporized atoms or ions from the target material travel through the vacuum chamber and condense onto the substrate. The atoms or ions lose energy as they travel and collide with gas molecules in the chamber, leading to a directionality in the deposition process.
Film Formation: When the vaporized atoms or ions reach the substrate surface, they condense and form a thin film. The film grows atom by atom, gradually covering the entire substrate. The properties of the film, such as thickness, composition, and structure, can be controlled by adjusting process parameters such as temperature, pressure, and deposition time.
Film Adhesion and Quality: To ensure good adhesion between the film and the substrate, surface preparation techniques like cleaning, ion bombardment, or pre-coating may be employed. These steps enhance the film’s adherence and improve its quality.
Benefits of Optiforms' PVD Thin Film Coatings:
Advantages of PVD include the ability to deposit precise and uniform thin films, excellent adhesion to the substrate, and the capability to coat complex shapes. Additionally, PVD processes can be carried out at relatively low temperatures, reducing the risk of thermal damage to the substrate material.
Key advantages of Optiforms Physcial Vapor Deposition coatings.
- Uniform coatings for deep-dish surface of revolution components up to 46″ in / 1168 mm in diameter
- Offer 6 coating chambers to accommodate small to large runs
- Provide standard coatings and customized coating solutions
- Measure the performance of our coatings using IRAD & Photo Spectrometry Technology
- Provide coating performance graphs / reflectivity scans
PVD finds applications in various fields, including optical coatings, semiconductor devices, and wear-resistant coatings. The versatility and control offered by PVD make it a valuable technique for engineers in developing advanced materials and functional coatings.