Ultra Short Pulsed Laser Deposition
Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) is a thin film deposition process which takes place inside a vacuum chamber where high power laser pulses are focused to strike a target of the material that is to be deposited. This material is vaporized in laser-ablation process forming a plasma plume which condenses on the substrate to form a thin film. PLD is a straightforward and versatile technique that has several advantages compared to the other thin film deposition techniques like stoichiometric material transfer, excellent adhesion, possibility to coat multi-component materials, high deposition rate and high material yield efficiency. However, there are certain challenges with the conventional PLD process like difficulties to make uniform coating on large surface areas and difficulties to form particle-free coatings, which have been slowing down the industrial uptake of PLD. Picodeon’s solutions are overcoming these challenges. By analyzing the drawbacks of conventional PLD, particularly the non-homogeneity of the plasma plume and the scalability of the process to industrial production, Picodeon has been able to develop the unique Coldab® coating technology which opens up a new era for PLD.
Coldab® coating technology enables clean and particle-free deposition and the use of heat-sensitive substrate materials, such as plastics and even paper, to be coated at low temperature. The energy of a picosecond laser pulse heats only the illuminated spot of the target. Although the surface temperature of this spot can be extremely high, there is little or no heat transfer to the rest of the target material. This is why this technique is called “cold ablation”, particularly when compared to conventional PLD using nanosecond laser pulses.