Overcoming the Challenges of Conventional PLD using Coldab® USPLD and the Technology Advantages

Topics Covered

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) Process
Coldab® Coating Technology
Key Advantages of Coldab® Coating Technology
Key Applications
About Picodeon - Nanotechnology Surface Treatments

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) Process

PLD is a thin film deposition process that involves the deposition of a material on a substrate by striking with high power laser pulses. The whole process occurs inside a vacuum chamber.

Vaporization of this material takes place in the laser-ablation process, creating a plasma cloud. This plasma cloud is subsequently condensed to form a thin film over the substrate. High deposition rate, the ability to coat multi-component materials, superior adhesion, stoichiometric material transfer, and high material yield efficiency are some of the advantages of the PLD process over other thin film deposition methods.

However, the conventional PLD process has its own drawbacks. Challenges in applying homogenous coating over large surface areas and in the formation of particle-free coatings hinder the widespread industrial adoption of PLD. These challenges can be addressed with the novel Coldab® coating technology from Picodeon.

The company designed this unique technology by exploring the shortcomings of the traditional PLD process, especially the non-uniformity of the plasma cloud and the difficulties involved in scaling up the process to industrial production.

Coldab® Coating Technology

The Coldab® thin-film coating technology provides a deposition that is clean and free from particles. Heat-sensitive substrate materials such as paper and plastics can be used for coating at low temperatures. The illuminated spot of the target is only heated by the energy of a picosecond laser pulse. Hence, heat transfer to the remaining area of the target material is low. 

The formation of uniform particle-free plasma plume using the Coldab® process facilitates achieving superior surface properties. Laser scanning as well as the picosecond laser pulses are precisely controlled, thus ensuring the stability of the target material surface and the whole thin-film deposition throughout the process.

The process conditions such as temperature, pressure and atmosphere are well regulated to achieve additional control. Smooth films with surface roughness less than 2nm can be achieved with Coldab® process. In addition, preferred nanoparticle composition and surface roughness can be implemented.

Homogenous coatings over large surface areas and industrial scale production are achievable with the Coldab® process. The combination of innovative laser scanning and target manipulation techniques generates a homogenous, continuous fan-shaped plasma cloud, which facilitates a new type of PLD coating process such as roll-to-roll process. Moreover, layer thickness can be controlled well and high quality multi-layer coatings can be produced.

Key Advantages of Coldab® Coating Technology

The following are the key advantages of the Coldab® process:

  • Roll-to-roll production process
  • Industrial lasers with ever-increasing output power facilitates high deposition rate
  • Can be easily integrated into production lines as the equipment is compact and user-friendly
  • High material utilization efficiency
  • Zero-maintenance production solutions
  • Short cycle time
  • Option to control surface texture
  • Possibility to impart abrasive properties
  • High flexibility with respect to both substrate and target material
  • Option to apply reactive gas atmosphere
  • Option to create surfaces on 3D objects
  • Possibility to produce both small (mm²) and large (m²) coated surfaces

The Coldab® process enables the use of a variety of coating materials, including carbon and carbon-based materials, and various nitrides, oxides, inorganic materials, monomers and polymers. It allows the use of substrate materials that are incompatible to be coated with thin films earlier. Several target materials can also be used to create intricate and/or layered structures and substrates with composite material surfaces.

Key Applications

The Coldab® process creates coatings with superior surface properties:

  • Coatings with high optical quality
  • Surface adhesion is superior to other coating methods
  • Functional coatings and thin films with controlled adjustable thicknesses
  • High-density coatings
  • High quality particle-free coatings

Dense and porous Al2O3 are employed in various industrial metallization applications. Dense Al2O3 (Figure 1) serves as a barrier layer as well as an optical coating with superior transmittance properties. Porous Al2O3 layers (Figure 2) are employed as electrical insulation layers and filters.

Figure 1. Dense Al2O3

Figure 2. Porous Al2O3

About Picodeon - Nanotechnology Surface Treatments

Picodeon is a Finnish nanotechnology company specializing in thin film coatings and surface treatments with its patented Coldab® Ultra-Short Pulsed Laser Deposition (USPLD) process.

Picodeon has extensive experience of delivering thin-film applications with wear-resistant, low-friction, biocompatible, thermal-conductivity and electrical-conductivity thin-film properties. Picodeon provides equipment, solutions and services for its clients worldwide.

Picodeon is located in Ii, Finland and is financially backed by Enso Ventures.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Picodeon - Nanotechnology Surface Treatments.

For more information on this source, please visit Picodeon - Nanotechnology Surface Treatments.


  1. satish chandra gupta satish chandra gupta India says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have to make coating of Poly trimellitimide melamine based Polyimide composites on the surface of Aluminium and steel surfaces in form of sheets or cylindrical. The melring points of polyimide composites are 260 deg centigrade and 380 deg centigrade. Which technique shall be useful for such deposition on metal substrates. Do we need laser technique? How will it work? How much surface area can be coated? What will be the size and cost of the equipment?   Please inform me the details.
    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely
    Dr Satish chandra gupta
    ARDE, Pashan, Pune, INDIA PIN 411025
    [email protected]
    (M) 09421080054

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