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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-211 Sputter Deposition onto Flexible Substrates

This tutorial is intended for engineers, scientists, and others who are interested in sputter deposition onto polymer substrates in a roll-to-roll format. This tutorial will emphasize practical aspects of the topics, and the treatment will be descriptive with little mathematics used. There will be time dedicated to problem solving; bring your questions and problems and leave with new solutions and/or new directions.

 

Topical Outline:
  • Markets for sputter-coated web products
  • Vacuum technology for sputter web coating
  • Substrate characteristics
  • Web handling, web winding, and web cooling issues
  • The sputter coating process
  • Process and product monitoring methods
  • Current topics in sputter web coating

Additionally, the notes provide extensive information and references to sputtering (written at several levels) and a comprehensive bibliography on sputter web coating.

 

Course Details:

This tutorial is intended for engineers, scientists, and others who are interested in sputter deposition onto polymer substrates in a roll-to-roll format. This tutorial will emphasize practical aspects of the topics, and the treatment will be descriptive with little mathematics used. Some of the material presented overlaps with material presented in our other offering, "Basics of Vacuum Web Coating" (C-204). Please contact the instructor if you feel uncertain about which tutorial is most appropriate for your needs. There will be time dedicated to problem solving; bring your questions and problems and leave with new solutions and/or new directions.

This tutorial provides the participant with a solid introduction to the following topics.

Introduction to sputtering. The principles of sputtering are presented several times, on successively higher levels of technical detail. In each case the topics are tailored to people sputtering on to flexible substrates.

Markets for sputter coated web products. Sputter web coating is performed at lower volumes and with higher profit margins than the much more ubiquitous evaporative web coating of aluminum. Yet we benefit from the many advances made in machine design from the latter. It is valuable to understand sputter web coating market spaces and how they differ from those served by evaporative coating.

Vacuum technology for sputter web coating. We need to pump down the coater and provide adequate vacuum for the sputter processes. We discuss the adequacy of the vacuum in terms of the mean free path (to insure efficient coating) and the surface impingement rate (to insure high purity coatings). We also often need to understand how we can isolate individual coating processes from one another within the coater.

Substrate characteristics. Success is often dependent on an informed choice of the substrate and possibly by the pretreatments that can are used.

Web handling and web winding systems. Good coatings can easily be ruined by wrinkles induced by bad winding. We touch on winding systems to develop an understanding of current state-of-the-art capabilities and less advanced systems (as may be used in development and pilot systems).

Web cooling issues. Heat related web distortion issues are often speed limiting. The important features of web cooling are well understood but not obvious to the newcomer.

Process and product monitoring methods. Monitoring methods can range widely depending on the needs of the process. Fully automated systems for large volume application like resistance evaporation of aluminum are readily available. Smaller volume applications often demand partially or fully custom solutions.

Sources of information about web coating. The tutorial includes an extensive set of notes and a bibliography of articles on web sputtering.

Current topics in sputter web coating. A lot of excellent work has been published in this area. In addition to providing an extensive bibliography on sputtering onto webs, we review a number of the papers which are most relevant to developing an understanding of the most common issues related to sputter deposition onto webs.

Instructor: Donald J. McClure, Acuity Consulting and Training
Donald J. McClure

founded Acuity Consulting and Training to continue his love affair with vacuum coating and vacuum web coating in particular. Don retired from 3M's Corporate Research Laboratory after spending twenty five years working on a broad range of products and projects that utilized vacuum roll coating and processing. He served the Society of Vacuum Coaters in many roles including President and Secretary. He has offered his courses on the "Basics of Vacuum Web Coating" and "Sputter Deposition onto Flexible Substrates" for many years. His presentation, "A Wizard's Guide to Vacuum and Vacuum Coating," has received rave reviews from attendees. He was the SVC's 2004 Nathaniel Sugerman Award recipient.


This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

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