Surface coating technology

Picodeon has developed its ultra-short pulsed laser deposition (USPLD) surface coating technology to create either porous or dense aluminium oxide (Al2O3) coatings on heat-sensitive substrates for industrial metallisation applications.

The process enables micro-structural control of Al2O3 coatings, and coating characteristics, by the maintenance of coating process parameters on Coldab Series4 USPLD batch process coating equipment.

The Series4 equipment has built-in online plasma monitoring and laser power measurement that enable management of coating process parameters, as well as a PC controlled automation that records the actions of the coating process.

The metrics provided by these systems mean that the coating process, and especially the thin film quality, can be controlled to achieve coating characteristics within targeted parameters.

Test production runs showed that the system could improve the porosity of a 3µm Al2O3 coating from 10 per cent to 45 per cent by tuning the scanning speed and laser power repetition rate.

The Al2O3 coatings were applied on heat-sensitive polyethylene and thermoplastic polyurethane polymer film substrates. In addition to Al2O3, Picodeon has produced metallic coatings using gold and copper, and oxides such as TiO2.