Why use a Custom Metal Coating?

A custom metal coating can be created from electron beam vapour deposition on different substrates. Various systems are available for metal deposition, but the highest purity custom metal coatings are achieved via e-beam deposition. An electron beam is the best way to achieve a thin film coating to protect your surfaces.

Usually, you would use e-beam evaporation to create a high-purity coating for specific applications in optics, nanotechnology, semiconductors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and chemical and biosensors. However, you can also use them to create specific surfaces, including the production of film growth. That said, here are the main reasons you need to use custom metal coating.

What is a Custom Metal Coating?

Here is a representation of the e-beam evaporation process:

Essentially, beam evaporation occurs when an electronic beam is directed into the source material at a 270° angle in a controlled environment. The whole process is based on the evaporation of tungsten filaments. After the material has been cleaned, the filament has a 5 – 10 kV current sent through it to heat it up.

From there, the thermionic emission of electrons is directed by magnets towards the evaporation materials within the hearth. The kinetic energy from the electron beam moves against the surface and transfers the kinetic energy into heat energy. This means that the beam of electrons is manipulated onto the crucible

With sputter deposition occurring, a thin film is deposited and the surface is shaped with a metal coating. However, to avoid melting the material itself, the hearth actually needs to be water-cooled. That way, most custom metals can be used for a custom metal coating.

Reproducible Coatings

Thanks to sputtering targets and the even coating of vapor deposition, a custom metal coating can be extremely easy to reproduce and appear uniform. The film coating will always have a high purity (greater than 99.99%) and a low surface roughness. Film thickness is important to keep in mind when you use a custom metal coating.

So, having bespoke thin film deposition services, including the creation of shadow masks to provide custom thin film patterns on the substrate, can help you to create a unique variety of coatings on different materials. This includes metals, glass, aluminium, ceramics, silicon wafer, plastics and flexible substrates. The coatings on these metals are easy to reproduce and look exactly the same.

Less Surface Damage

Another reason why you should use a custom metal coating is due to its film’s high purity form. No matter what material you use, be it stainless steel or gold, custom beam evaporation has a high film deposition rate. So, it is less likely to damage the surface when atoms are hitting against sputtering targets, ensuring that the film is going to be in a high purity form.

Less Thermal Evaporation, More Control

Beam evaporation can actually create a direct heat transfer between the substrate and the electron beam. As a result, the electronic beams are better than thermal evaporation due to its high metal deposition rates and high melting temperatures. So, they are great for refractory metals and metals with high melting points, including gold.

Also, what makes custom metal coating even better is that when the substrate is powder coated or subjected to e-beam evaporation, the water that cools the hearth will stop it from being damaged by excessive thermal energy. That means you’re going to get a better-quality custom metal-coated surface.

Optimisation of Substrate Adhesion

Another reason why you should use electron beam vapour deposition to create custom metal coatings, instead of a standard system, is due to its deposition rate. To get the perfect custom metal coating, it’s important to use a deposition rate between 0.1 – 100 nanometres per minute if the material’s temperature is low. Electronic beam evaporation can allow perfect control of specific wavelength bands, so it can be used to get the best high-density thin film and substrate adhesion.

Are you Looking for Custom Metal Coatings?

A custom metal coating is far superior to standard systems, especially in relation to the number of substrates that can be used with them. Platypus Technologies is the best place to find custom metal coatings. Their experts understand how to maintain perfect control of film thickness and can help with substrate rotation to make sure thin film is uniform throughout your substrate.

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