My watch list  

Physical vapor deposition

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a general term used to describe any of a variety of methods to deposit thin films by the condensation of a vaporized form of the material onto various surfaces (e.g., onto semiconductor wafers). The coating method involves purely physical processes such as high temperature vacuum evaporation or plasma sputter bombardment rather than a involving a chemical reaction at the surface to be coated as in chemical vapor deposition. The term physical vapor deposition appears originally in the 1966 book “Vapor deposition” by CF Powell, JH Oxley and JM Blocher Jr but Michael Faraday was using PVD to deposit coatings as far back as 1838.


Variants of PVD include, in order of increasing novelty:

  • Evaporative deposition - In which the material to be deposited is heated to a high vapor pressure by electrically resistive heating in "high" vacuum.
  • Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition -- In which the material to be deposited is heated to a high vapor pressure by electron bombardment in "high" vacuum.
  • Sputter deposition In which a glow plasma discharge (usually localized around the "target" by a magnet) bombards the material sputtering some away as a vapor.
  • Cathodic Arc Deposition - In which a high power arc directed at the target material blasts away some into a vapor.
  • Pulsed laser deposition - In which a high power laser ablates material from the target into a vapor.

PVD is used in the manufacture of items including semiconductor devices, aluminized PET film for balloons and snack bags, and coated for metalworking. Leading manufacturers of PVD tools include Applied Materials (~78.1% market share in 2004), Novellus Systems (~6.2% market share in 2004), and Oerlikon Balzers coatings[1] (~4.8% market share in 2004). Specialty and custom PVD equipment suppliers include Impact Coatings[2], hartec GmbH innovative PVD technology, Hauzer Techno Coating,Mustang Vacuum Systems[3], Platit, Sulzer Metplas (nee Metaplas Ionon)[4], Angstrom Engineering, Advanced Energy, Johnsen Ultravac[5], Plasma Quest Limited[6], tectra[7] and Denton Vacuum[8]. Besides PVD tools for fabrication special smaller tools mainly for scientific purposes have been developed. They mainly serve the purpose of extreme thin films like atomic layers and are used mostly for small substrates. A good example are mini e-beam evaporators which can deposit monolayers of virtually all materials with melting points up to 3500°C.

Leading consumers of PVD tools for fabrication include Intel, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor.[citation needed]

Some of the techniques used to measure the physical properties of PVD coatings are

  • Calo tester - coating thickness test
  • Scratch tester - coating adhesion test
  • Pin on disc tester - wear and friction coefficient test

See thin-film deposition for a more general discussion of this class of manufacturing technique.

Body jewellery

Physical vapour deposition is often used to produce implant-grade and autoclavable body jewellery that is black. Biocompatible titanium coating is vapourized in an arc then electrically deposited on stainless steel jewellery.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Physical_vapor_deposition". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE