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A Brief Look at the History of Sputter Deposition

Sputter deposition dates all the way back to the mid 1800s.

When it comes to the history of sputter deposition, it should be noted that it dates all the way back to a century ago. The idea of thin film deposition was first conceived back in 1852 by Grove. This style of thin film production became commonly used in the 1920s when it came to the preparation of reflective coatings. Then, the major company Western Electric started utilizing sputter deposition to deposit gold on wax masters. This was only the beginning for deposition as new methods began to emerge and replace older styles of thin film production.

The Reemergence of Sputter Deposition

Sputter deposition started to fade into the distance after thermal evaporation became available. It was a new and improved type of process, at the time, and proved that it can still provide an outstanding film with the use of thermal energy. Now, this doesn’t mean that sputter deposition became completely obsolete. In the 1950s, sputter deposition began hitting the main stage yet again when Bell Laboratories developed tantalum hybrid circuit technology through the use of sputter deposition. Once again, sputter deposition proved that it was here to stay.

Today’s Outlook on Thin Film Deposition

Fast forward to today’s deposition techniques, there are a variety of different methods and tactics when it comes to the production of thin films. New vacuum coating systems have been created that provide all of the benefit that your standard system would, but within a vacuum environment, and other products have made their mark on society.

How APUs Play a Significant Role in Airport Emissions

APUs are being used in a dysfunctional fashion, and the environment is being ignored.

The use of Auxiliary Power Units (APU) in airports is becoming excessive, environmentally harming, and costly. Furthermore, the amount of time that the plane’s jet engines are idling is adding more fuel to the fire. The push to replace the use of these APUs for ground power units (GPU) instead could effectively improve a variety of areas.

Breaking Down the Issue with APUs

The APU is designed to perform three essential functions: starting the airplane’s main engines, providing adequate power to the plane when the main engines aren’t running, and providing compressed air to the plane’s air conditioning unit. Now, if you break it down, the ground power and air conditioning unit can be easily replaced by the use of electrical equipment, which in turn will reduce emission levels. Now, this isn’t the only concern that many airports are facing today. There are also numerous issues that revolve around economics, ramp congestion, and fuel savings. There are problems that a ground power unit can fix, if utilized in conjunction with an APU correctly.

Understanding Ground Power Units

These ground power units come in a variety of electrical power levels. For instance, many smaller airports have 28 volt power supplies attached to a cart that drives out to the airplane when it is taxied. However, due to financial constraints, the push to switch to electrical power has left many ground power units operating solely on diesel. This just adds to the environmental issues that airports are currently facing.

Now, let’s move on to the problems created by APUs. The overall issue of emissions at airports are becoming a serious concern all across the country. And, APUs are playing a significant role in adding to this problem. APU usage generates three sources of emission: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide. Consider the amount of flights that go on in one day – that’s one huge cluster of gas being pumped out every second. You can see why red flags are being raised all over the place.

The solution itself isn’t an easy one. There are numerous factors and limitations that must be considered. However, with the right push, and funding, there could potentially be a substantial change coming in the future. These current problems can be fixed, and hopefully there will be significant changes with the development of new technologies.

The Underlying Reason Why Medical Device Coatings Are Needed Today

Medical device coatings are a huge step in today’s advancing field of medicine.

In the world of medicine, catheters and other invasive devices have become the focal point for experimentation. It’s an exciting prospect as device developers and manufacturers incorporate new coating technologies that are improving the way that these devices function within the body. In order to create a safe product, there must be substantial research performed beforehand to ensure that it offers a solution to the patient. Here is a brief rundown on why medical device coatings are created and why they’re utilized in today’s field of medicine.

Why is There a Need for Medical Coatings?

Medical devices are coated through thin film evaporation for many reasons. One of the most common is to provide the device with more properties beyond what its base substrate offers. This can include anything from an easy glide into the body, to attaching drugs or biologically active compounds onto the device itself. This can provide substantial benefits to the human body such as lowering the risk of infection post-insertion, reducing blood clots, and countering the body’s rejection of the invasive device. The human body is naturally designed to reject foreign objects. And, for example, when a catheter is inserted, clots can form and create significant health issues for the patient if left untreated.

To sum it up, medical devices are coated with numerous compounds for health benefits and to provide additional resources for specialists to counter the weight of contraindications. Whether the device is coated or not, depends on the characteristics of the coating, as well as the reason for applying it.

Denton Vacuum, LLC is the leading manufacturer for thin film evaporation. For inquiries on products, please visit Denton Vacuum, LLC online today.

The Many Methods of Optical Thin Film Deposition

to find the right technique that benefits you.

There are numerous processes when it comes to the manufacturing of optical thin films. Some of the most common methods include: thermal, ion beam evaporation, ion beam assisted deposition, and ion beam sputtering. Each method provides its advantages in the formation of optical film and each provide value and limitations.

When it comes to coating manufacturers, you’ll find that many of them use only one of the methods rather than multiple to make it appear that a single approach is more beneficial.

Ion Assisted Deposition

Ion beam deposition is a variant of the e-beam evaporation process. E-beam evaporation adds a high-energy ion beam that is directed at the coating substrate. The ions tend to act like an atomic hammer that produces a high film density – much higher than evaporation alone. Furthermore, ion beams cal also be utilized to pre-clean and etch the substrate’s surface to improve its’ overall film adhesion. The result of this high coating density is an improved mechanical durability, greater environmental stability, and a lower scatter – without the use of electron beams.

Ion Beam Sputtering

Ion beam sputtering coats are produced within a vacuum chamber. When it comes to IBS, high-energy ion beams are directed at the target – which is typically a metal or an oxide. The ions then transfer the momentum towards the substrate causing molecules to sputter off. The high-energy atoms are then deposited as coats onto the substrate. Throughout the process, oxygen is typically present at low pressure within the coating chamber to act as a reactant when creating oxides on metal targets.

Some advantages to using ion beam sputtering include: extremely uniform results, high density, excellent adhesion, and environmental stability. Furthermore, the surface roughness of the deposited layers is extremely low, which tend to yield infrared and visible levels. Deposition rates are relatively low when compared to other coating styles. But, the control and reproducibility levels are high, which makes it possible for performance targets to be hit with a greater precision than most evaporation techniques. This is beneficial for the user, because of the production of steep edge filers and multi-wavelength mirrors. Additionally, this process can occur through full automation, meaning that it does not require the supervision of an operator. One of the biggest drawbacks to IBS however, is that it only works with a limited range of materials  – typically metal oxides.

Aircraft Maintenance Equipment and Portable Power

Of all the aircraft maintenance equipment that are currently being used in aviation fields around the country, one of the most underrated tools are portable power supply units. For one, they provide an aircraft with an optimal source of electricity that thoroughly powers the entire unit in little time. Small planes and even larger planes run on electricity to power their onboard equipment as well as all the other features within the unit itself.

Important Aspects to Look Out For

A portable power supply unit can either be a standalone generator or be hooked together to multiple lines that connect to a central hub – typically in airports and larger air fields. For both convenience an efficiency purposes, the power supply units are stored in mass quantities and are an integral part of the air field itself. If you’ve wondered what those carts are pulling that have electrical hoses that stick out of them do, those are the power units that the airports use for the incoming planes.

Typically, when planes taxi in, the maintenance crew immediately runs over to tend to the aircraft. This means, refueling, cleaning, repairing, etc. Now, once the plane is parked, the power supply unit can do its part by supplying a constant stream of electricity without having to keep the plane on. This allows there to be lights and electrical access running straight from the power supply units.

Underrated Overachievers

In smaller airfields, an airplane starting unit can be used to provide a jumpstart to small planes and aircrafts. This is important, as these planes require a significant amount of power to maintain flight. Now, most people will talk about how fuel is the number one factor when it comes to airplanes – next to onboard flight systems. However, without power, much of the features of a plane wouldn’t be possible. For instance, the control panels and the all the board switches wouldn’t have any way of controlling the plane. They continue to be an underrated unit within the airplane industry. However, with new technology coming in, there are more advanced starting units being created that serve more purposes than just providing a single spark of electricity. With that being said, there is a lot to look forward to when it comes to the future of portable power units.