Layers that are micrometers or even nanometers thin provide surfaces with customised mechanical, electrical or optical features and can be used in a variety of ways.
The Laser Center Leoben deploys Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) in the manufacture of these functional films. Material is vaporised in a vacuum chamber using pulsed laser beams, and this precipitates onto the work piece in wafer-thin layers. The advantage is that the laser can also coat sensitive materials with almost any other material and at very low temperatures. A demonstration coating plant developed by the LCL has made sure that the process can also be applied on an industrial scale.