Numerous components of fine equipment technology, optical devices and products with optical functionality such as displays, adaptive mirrors or solar cells are based on thin layers. These can be dielectric, metallic, semiconducting or transparent conductive (TCO) layers. Optical coatings are mostly stacks of such layers with thicknesses of the individual layers in the range of a few nm to microns.
Glass, plastics, or metals are used as substrates for coating. These can be flat or even three-dimensional parts, which sometimes makes the deposition of the layer stacks with tight thicknesses tolerances quite complicated and require special equipment.
Different vacuum-based coating technologies are used in the coating systems of VTD. In addition to plasma cleaning or activation (pre-treatment) processes, the following coating methods are used:
- Magnetron sputtering
- Thermal evaporation
- Electron beam evaporation
The systems can be batch coaters with substrate holders on rotating calotte or drum or with planetary rotation, as well as inline systems for flat or slightly curved substrates.