nOPTO - Applications of Atomic Layer Deposition in the Optical and Photonics Industry by Beneq

Topics Covered

Overview
nOPTO - Atomic Layer Deposition Coatings for the Optical and Photonics Industries
Features of Atomic Layer Deposition
Well-Known Application of Atomic Layer Deposition
Decorative Coatings
Atomic Layer Deposition and Barrier Layers

Overview

Beneq Oy, based in Finland, is a supplier of equipment and coating technology for global markets. Beneq turns innovations into success by developing applications and equipment for cleantech and renewable energy fields, especially in glass, solar and emerging thin film markets. Coating applications include optics, barriers and passivation layers, as well as energy generation and conservation. Beneq also offers complete coating services. Beneq's coating applications are based on two enabling nanotechnology platforms: Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and aerosol coating (nHALO® and nAERO®).

nOPTO - Atomic Layer Deposition Coatings for the Optical and Photonics Industries

The are several reasons for using ALD in optical and photonics applications. Firstly, ALD enables coating objects that are difficult or impossible to coat by other methods. Secondly, ALD gives you free hands to engineer novel optical materials. Thirdly, the accuracy of the film thickness in ALD is usually 0.2 to 12 Å, depending on the material. And last but not least, ALD coatings are completely conformal and pinhole-free, making them especially suitable for barriers and passivation layers. Beneq nOPTO™ now offers ALD coatings for the optical and photonics industries.

nOPTO - Beneq ALD coatings for the optical and photonics industry

Features of Atomic Layer Deposition

The ability to engineer novel materials is one of the strongest features of ALD. ALD is especially capable of making materials that require mixing of atoms and thin layers. Doping is easy with ALD. Many possibilities for dopant materials exist, including rare-earth elements.

Modified TiO2 is a good example of a versatile ALD material. The film is intrinsically an optically amorphous, physically crystalline, high-index and low-loss optical film. TiO2 has a high refractive index, but above 150 °C it turns crystalline, causing scattering and optical losses. Scattering from crystals can be prevented by keeping the crystal size small. This can be done by depositing an amorphous ALD thin film between the crystalline layers. The index is kept high by using a < 1 nm amorphous layer.

Well-Known Application of Atomic Layer Deposition

A well-known ALD application is the thin film electroluminescence (TFEL) display. In the display, light is generated in a Mn-doped ZnS phosphor layer. The insulators are engineered materials made from Al2O3 and TiO2 with ALD.

Decorative Coatings

Densely-colored films add life and character to commercial objects and devices with stringent requirements for aesthetic values. Dielectric, non-conductive, metal-looking mirrors can be deposited on plastic materials.

Atomic Layer Deposition and Barrier Layers

ALD provides the best available barrier layers due to its conformal, pinhole-free film growth. A good example of this is Beneq nSILVER® anti-tarnish coating for silver jewelry, which is a dense, optically transparent and conformal barrier layer invisible to the human eye.

ALD is a mature technology. Globally, most ALD coating activities are within the semiconductor market, where films are thin. Optical applications and many other industries usually require coatings that are several micrometers in thickness. As a technology, ALD has no difficulties in depositing thick films. For processing continuously thick films, however, an industrial ALD coating system has to be designed and built for that purpose. Beneq ALD systems are thoroughly industry-proven for providing reliable and repeatable processing of film stacks many micrometers thick.

Source: Beneq

For more information on this source please visit Beneq

Date Added: Jan 14, 2011 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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