SVConnections May 2016
October 2017

Writing with the Electron Beam: Now in Silver

From Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, July 24, 2017:
"A focused electron beam can directly deposit complex features onto a substrate in a single step (Electron-Beam-Induced Deposition, EBID). While this is an established technique for gold, platinum, copper and further metals, direct electron beam writing of silver remained elusive.  Yet, the noble metal silver promises especially interesting potential applications in nano-optics in information technology. For the first time a team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has successfully realized the local deposition of silver nanocrystals by EBID. It took researchers a lot of time and effort to design a new injection unit and find a suitable silver compound. The EBID method created sharply defined areas of tiny silver nanocrystals. READ FULL ARTICLE.


Zero-Gravity: Graphene for Space Applications

From Graphene Flagship, July 7, 2017 by Sophia Lloyd:
" Researchers and students in the Graphene Flagship are preparing for two exciting experiments in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) to test the viability of graphene for space applications. Both experiments will launch between 6-17th November 2017, testing graphene in zero-gravity conditions to determine its potential in space applications including light propulsion and thermal management. A team from Delft Technical University (TU Delft; Netherlands) will use microgravity conditions in the ZARM Drop Tower (Bremen, Germany) to test graphene for light sails, a new way of propelling satellites in space using light from lasers or the sun. Running concurrently is an experiment by Microgravity Research Centre, Université libre de Bruxelles, (Belgium) and their colleagues, investigating how graphene can improve efficiency in heat transfer in loop heat pipes - cooling systems used extensively in satellites and aerospace instruments. READ FULL ARTICLE.
Image: Graphene Flagship  

Modified Surface Having Low Adhesion Properties to Mitigate Insect Residue Adhesion

From Tech Briefs, September 1, 2017 by Langley Research Center, Virginia:

"NASA Langley Research Center, in collaboration with ATK Space Systems, has developed a method to reduce insect adhesion on metallic substrates, polymeric materials, engineering plastics, and other surfaces. The method topographically modifies a surface using laser ablation patterning followed by chemical modification of the surface. Laser ablation patterning is performed by a commercially available laser system, and the chemical spray deposition is composed of nanometer-sized silica particles with a hydrophobic solution in an aqueous ethanol solution. This innovation was originally developed to enhance aircraft laminar flow by preventing insect residue buildup, but the method provides a permanent solution for any application requiring insect adhesion mitigation as well as adhesion prevention of other typical environmental contaminants." READ FULL ARTICLE.

IC Deposition Materials Market Forecast of $1.2B by 2021

From Solid State Technology, July 2017:
" TECHCET CA-the advisory service firm providing electronic materials information-announced that specialty chemical precursor market for the deposition of dielectrics and metals in integrated circuit (IC) fabrication is forecasted to increase at ~10% CAGR through the year 2021. Precursors tracked by TECHCET for ALD/CVD of metal and high-k dielectric films on IC wafers include sources of aluminum, cobalt, hafnium, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, and zirconium. The total market for 2017 is now estimated to be US$435M, growing to US$638M in 2021. The top-2 suppliers are estimated to hold more than half of the total available market, with many players competing to supply the next enabling molecule. In particular, cobalt precursor demand is forecasted to reach >$80M in 2021 as foundries transition to below 14nm-node processing. As a potential conflict mineral, TECHCET tracks the sub-suppliers of cobalt. "   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Nanoparticles Could Spur Better LEDs, Invisibility Cloaks 

From  University of Michigan, July 19, 2017:
" In an advance that could boost the efficiency of LED lighting by 50 percent and even pave the way for invisibility cloaking devices, a team of University of Michigan researchers has developed a new technique that peppers metallic nanoparticles into semiconductors. It's the first technique that can inexpensively grow metal nanoparticles both on and below the surface of semiconductors.  Previous efforts to incorporate nanoparticles have been impractical for large-scale manufacturing. The team discovered a simpler way that integrates easily with the molecular beam epitaxy process used to make semiconductors. The process adds virtually no cost during manufacturing and its improved efficiency could allow manufacturers to use fewer semiconductors in finished products, making them less expensive. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Smart Surface Enables Advanced Manipulation of Droplets

From EurekAlert!, July 25, 2017, from University of British Columbia:

" For many years, engineers have sought to create a special kind of surface: one that can both repel and absorb liquids, and whose ability to do so -- its "wetting behavior" -- can be quickly and precisely controlled. The technology would have a wide range of potential applications, from water filtration and biomedical devices to liquid optical lenses and lab-on-a-chip systems. Such a "smart surface" has now been developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia. Inexpensive, scalable and powered by just a conventional electric battery, the copper-based surface changes from being very water-repellent (superhydrophobic) to very water-absorbent (superhydrophilic) as electric potential is applied. The electrical stimulus used by the UBC team modifies wetting behavior rapidly (from a few seconds to a few minutes) and reversibly. " READ FULL ARTICLE.

Large Single-Crystal Graphene is Possible!

From the Institute for Basic Science (Korea), July 21, 2017 by Letizia Diamante:

" The launch of graphene into the market is slow. One factor is that top quality single-crystal graphene produced so far is just a couple of millimeters or maximum centimeters in size. Recently, a team from the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, Korea), Peking University (China), and their collaborators reported the synthesis of a large sheet of monolayer single-crystal graphene. Graphene is grown on the surface of copper foil, which was transformed into a single-crystal copper foil by heating to ~ 1,030 degrees C . Then, with chemical vapor deposition, millions of parallel graphene islands are formed on the copper foil surface. As more carbon atoms deposit on the foil, the islands keep on growing until they coalesce and form a very-close-to-perfect single-crystal graphene layer that covers the entire available surface." READ FULL ARTICLE.


Atomic Movies May Help Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells are More Efficient

From SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, July 26, 2017:

" The efficiency of perovskite at converting light into electricity has grown faster than that of any other material - from under four percent in 2009 to over 20 percent in 2017.But despite their popularity, researchers don't know why perovskites are so efficient. Now experiments with a powerful "electron camera" at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that light whirls atoms around in perovskites, potentially explaining the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials and providing clues for making better ones. " READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image: Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Beware Doping Athletes! This Sensor May Be Your Downfall

From University at Buffalo, July 31, 2017 by Cory Nealon:

" While infrared absorption spectroscopy has improved greatly in the last 100 years, researchers are still working to make the technology more sensitive, inexpensive and versatile. A new light-trapping sensor, developed by a University at Buffalo-led team of engineers, makes progress in all three areas. The sensor works with light in the mid-infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum. The sensor consists of two layers of metal with an insulator sandwiched in between. Using atomic layer deposition, researchers created a device with gaps less than five nanometers between two metal layers. Importantly, these gaps enable the sensor to absorb up to 81 percent of infrared light. READ FULL ARTICLE.

New Research Could Make Dew Droplets So Small, They're Invisible

From Virginia Tech, August 18, 2017 by Erica Corder:
" By better understanding the behavior of water in its smallest form, Virginia Tech researchers could be improving the efficiency of removing condensation in a major way. According to researchers, dew droplets jump from water-repellent surfaces only when they reach a large enough size, about 10 micrometers, but it was unclear why until they made a breakthrough discovery. By creating and testing six different types of surfaces covered with so-called nanopillars, researchers found that the critical size of the jumping droplet can be fine-tuned based on the height, diameter, and pitch of the nanopillars. While the jumping-droplets phenomena has been found to be the most-efficient form of condensation removal, the ability to tweak the size of the droplets can allow for improved efficiency in removing condensation from surfaces. The ultimate goal is for all dew droplets forming on a surface to jump off before they are even visible to the eye. READ FULL ARTICLE.
Source:  Virginia Tech 
Image: Virginia Tech

Nanoholes in Silicon Bolster Photodetector Speed, Efficiently

From Photonics Spectra, July 2017:
" A photodetector that could move more data at a lower cost has been built by propagating photons through nanoholes in a silicon wafer. The detector uses tapered holes to divert photons sideways, preserving both the speed of thin-layer silicon and the efficiency of a thicker layer. A team of electrical engineers from the University of California, Davis and W&WSens Devices, Inc., Los Altos, Calif. experimented with ways to increase the efficiency of silicon by adding tiny pillars, then holes to a silicon wafer. After two years of experiments, they identified a pattern of tapered nanoholes that could move light sideways. So far, the engineers have built an experimental photodetector and solar cell using the new technology. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Vacuum Subsystems: Largest and Fastest Growing Market Segment

From SEMI, August 8, 2017, by Hanning Shi and John West (VLSI Research):
" Vacuum pumps, pressure gauges and vacuum valves combined make up the biggest expense on the bill of materials for semiconductor OEMs. In 2016, just over $1.9 billion of vacuum subsystems were consumed by the semiconductor industry and more than half were supplied by European vendors. Vacuum subsystems sales account for one third of expenditures on all critical subsystems used on semiconductor manufacturing equipment (excluding optical subsystems). The increase in vacuum process intensity of the semiconductor industry means that by 2022, the market for vacuum subsystems could be up to 62 percent higher than today's value of $1.9 billion, reaching a market size of $3.1 billion. The top five vacuum subsystem suppliers account for 68 percent of the market and is dominated by four European based vendors. READ FULL ARTICLE.
Source: SEMI
Image: VLSI Research
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Founding Principle: The Society of Vacuum Coaters recognizes that in order to sustain its growth, it is important to attract young, well trained individuals to the field of Vacuum Coatings.

The SVC Foundation pursues this principle by providing scholarships to well qualified students planning to enter fields related to vacuum coatings, and/or providing stipends for travel expenses to attend the annual SVC Technical Conference, usually to present technical papers. The Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), the SVCF's founder, and AIMCAL, an organization committed to advancing vacuum roll-coating technology, and their members, provides support for the Foundation to pursue these goals.

Since its inception in 2002, the SVCF has awarded more than 50 scholarships and travel awards totaling over $180,000 to students from 18 countries. Our support can really have an impact in the life of these students; quoting a recent award recipient:

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Inviting scholarship recipients to the SVC TechCon is an important element of the overall strategy for attracting new talent to our industry. Scholarship beneficiaries carry a special identification on the TechCon badge and we encourage you to meet them and make them feel welcome.

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