PVD Thermal Evaporation’s Success Lies In Its “Upward” Trend

Thermal evaporation is a versatile deposition method that utilizes a liquid state to create a thin film.

One of the more underrated thin film application methods is PVD thermal evaporation. Now, this utilizes vacuum technology to apply pure materials onto a surface of various objects. The thickness of these films range from angstroms to microns and can be from either a single material or various in a layered structure. Thermal evaporation has been utilized in labs due to its high capacity and flexibility.

From Metals to Non-Metals

Now, the materials that can be deposited can be anything from metals to non-metals – or even oxides or nitrides. The substrate, or object that is going to be coated, consists of things such as solar cells, optical components, or compact disks. The process of thermal evaporation occurs within a vacuum chamber that has a high temperature – while producing some vapor pressure. Within the vacuum, there is enough vapor pressure to induce a vapor cloud within the chamber. The evaporated material, which is not a vapor stream, travels through the chamber and sticks on to the substrate, therefore coating it as a thin film.

Utilizing an Inverted Method

Because the material is heated to its melting point and is essentially liquid as some point, it will travel to the bottom of the sputter coater. The vapor will then begin to rise from the bottom and substrate is held at the top of the chamber – hence the “sticking” part. The surface that is going to be coated is faced downward towards the source material to receive the applied coating.

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