Thin films and coatings

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A comprehensive coating design, manufacture and measurement service. The facility is able to provide custom coatings for the optical, electronic, semiconductor and aerospace fields.

The Thin Films Facility is able to work with a range of both coatings and substrates.

There are two main types of coating that can be deposited in the facility – metallic and dielectric.


Most metals can be deposited as either single layers or layered with other metals. Thicknesses can range from 3nm to 500nm per layer. Thicker layers can be deposited under special circumstances.

Metals that are commonly evaporated in the facility are:

  • gold

  • silver

  • aluminium

  • titanium

  • chromium

  • copper

  • iron

  • platinum


Mainly for use in optical coatings, these can be single or multi-layered coatings up to thirty layers. The thicknesses of individual layers and number of layers depend on the specific application of the optic that is to be produced.

Dielectric materials which are commonly deposited in the facility are:

  • magnesium fluoride (MgF2)

  • titanium dioxide (TiO2)

  • aluminium oxide (Al2O3)

  • silicon dioxide (SiO2)

  • hafnium dioxide (HfO2)

  • lithium fluoride (LiF)

  • zinc sulfide (ZnS)

  • indium tin oxide (ITO)

Thin films and coatings can be deposited on a wide variety of substrate materials such as:

  • metals,

  • plastics,

  • semiconductors,

  • ceramics

  • glass

Substrate sizes that can be accommodated in the machines range anywhere from 1mm (any shape) up to 254mm (diameter).

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