Breaking Down the Differences between Chemical and Physical Vapor Deposition

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See which form of vapor deposition results in a more efficient solution.

There are various deposition processes, two of the most common being chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD). These are two common classifications that ultimately produce the same result but are invariably different. Here is a breakdown on how these thin film deposition systems work and how they differentiate from each other.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

Chemical vapor deposition utilizes chemical reactions to create solid materials. These materials are directly formed from chemical reactions in gas or liquid compositions. During this form of deposition the solid material is not the only thing that is being produced by the reaction as gases and liquids can also be a byproduct as well. This is what primarily sets CVD apart from PVD.

Chemical vapor deposition is ideal when seeking goo coverage over the substrate. There are a variety of metals that can be used during this process but because of the hazardous byproducts that are formed with specific metals, there is sometimes a cloud of doubt when one thinks about using this method.

Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)

Physical vapor deposition physically deposits a sheet of thin metal onto the substrate. There isn’t any form of chemical reaction that occurs – although there is a possibility that future technologies could change that.

By utilizing process such as vacuum metallization, PVD can allow for an easier, and cheaper, method for which a thin film can be created. However, PVD films are inferior to CVD’s because of the lack of chemical reactions occurring. There is less coverage overall but it is still a solid option to use.


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