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Engineered Thin Film Coating

Thin Film Technologies

Materion engineered thin films (ETF) enable innovative and new technologies by providing nearly limitless material coating options.  Whatever your application, we develop and supply thin film solutions for the aerospace, microelectronics, scientific, thermal imaging and biomedical industry.

ETF coatings are not easily defined as they are a means to solving a customer’s challenging requirement. Coatings can be metallic or inorganic, and their physical characteristics can be tailored to exact performance specifications such as conductivity, corrosion resistance or radiation reflectance. The coated substrates may be metallic, ceramic or polymeric and their surfaces may be planar or 3-dimensional.

Here are a few examples of how Materion engineered thin film coatings resolve customer issues:

The customer needs a uniform thin film coating on a non-planar non-symmetrical part.

Our engineers work closely with our CAD team and machine shop to modify a coating chamber and build specialized tooling that can properly rotate the part during the coating process. This ensures that the coating will meet the customer’s requirements. Typical substrate materials include: plastics, composites and various metal types. Typical coatings include emissive coating for aerospace or EMI/RFI coatings also coatings that may meet a customer’s resistance requirements.

The customer supplies a symmetrical non-planar part to be uniformly coated with a 360° coating with a high level of adhesion.

Materion’s T2 chamber was designed to meet this type of requirement without breaking vacuum. The typical method for coating such a part would be to deposit 180° then vent and flip the parts and coat to finish the 360° coating this approach allows for the possibility of contamination/oxidation to occur in which the possibility of coating adhesion failure is high.  However, the Materion chamber avoids this problem by allowing up to three layers of metal coatings to be deposited, composed of an adhesion layer, barrier layer and an outer layer in a single chamber pumpdown.

Choice of Eutectic Coatings

Materion’s ETF eutectic coatings have been designed to be deposited by electron beam deposition. They can be designed for the customer’s on-eutectic or off-eutectic requirements. Materion eutectic coatings include AuSn, InCu, AuGe, InAg and SnAg .  Typically, they are deposited over an adhesion and barrier layer in situ without breaking vacuum.  The uniqueness of our approach is the eutectics are being deposited from multiple sources not a single sputter cathode and can be tailored to meet the customer’s needs. Thin films may be contiguous or patterned and can be applied by numerous thermal techniques beyond electron beam evaporation. This includes thermal evaporation or sputtering as well.

Materion VisiLids® 

By combining our ETF coatings (patterned metal coatings) and our optical coatings, we create our Visilid®. These unique lids were developed as a one-stop solution for window assembly needs. Prior to the Visilid®, it was typical for a customer to first purchase a window (Ge, Si, Sapphire or glass - depending on the wavelength) coated with an antiReflective (AR), longpass or other filter type with a solderable metallization on its periphery - then have to ship it to another vendor where the window would be  soldered to a plated Kovar lid using an eutectic preform. Instead of this two-step process, Materion has developed a highly reliable process for joining the components in-house.  We then perform a 100% hermeticity test on every part prior to shipment. This one-stop solution has allowed us to be a world leader with delivery of over 500,000 lids with a very low failure rate.

With over 125 years of thin film experience and 100 coating chambers, Materion’s global network of engineers, scientists and technical specialists can address any thin film material challenges.