Newsletter SVConnections March 2010

In This Issue
Si Plastic Thin Films
Novel Materials/Cheap Solar Power
Dry Printing of Nanotube Patterns
Harvesting Energy from Motion
Defect-Free Thin Films
Template Engineering
Laser Marketplace 2010
Fire-Rated Glass Outlook
Optical Biomimetics
Element 112 - Copernicium
Devices Stamped on Plastic
SVC New Tutorial Courses

Comdel Delivers Low Frequency in a Small Lightweight Package 

Comdel's new CLB power supplies are available in power ranges from 2500 to 12,000 Watts with standard fixed frequencies from 20 kHz to 2 MHz. The solid-state design is based on Comdel's proven RF amplifier technology and provides precise and repeatable power control, ultra-stable output and low cost of ownership.  

Learn more.


11 Kondelin Road
Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel: 978-282-0620 or 800-468-3144
Fax: 978-282-4980

Vacuum Research Corp Valves

Aluminum Valves with
Conflat Flanges
from 2.75 to 14 inch. 


Vacuum Research Corp.


 MEWASA OFFERS r & d BELLOWS Test equipment capabilities

Axial Endurance BELLOWS testing



Testing up to

100,000 cycles possible

Test Conditions:

Inside: Vacuum

Outside: Atmospheric Pressure

MEWASA Guarantees Highest Quality Swiss Manufacturing

 of Edge Welded Metal Bellows for Every Application

Contact: or



Filmetrics Thin-Film Thickness Measurement Systems

-Measure thickness from 1nm to 1mm

-Measure refractive index and other properties

-Used in thousands of applications worldwide

We offer the industry's only complete line of thin-film

measurement instruments. With our 24-hour online

"Hands On" support, expert help is only a minute away.


RD Mathis

The R.D. Mathis Company specializes in the fabrication of high vacuum evaporation sources for thin film coating industries. We offer a comprehensive selection of tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum sources through our catalog and offer custom fabrication to meet your specific coating needs. Our "LV Series" Low Voltage, High Current Power Supplies and "GP 100" Inert Gas Purifier compliment your evaporation process.




Veeco's new SOLUS™ DC Ion Source Controller features a state-of-the-art precision control system design providing reliable and stable power for ion source operation in all types of processes.  Integrated power modules and gas flow control with ratio capabilities allow for optimal ion source control and performance in the most demanding process environments.

To Learn More Visit:



Mustang Vacuum Systems - Colt 48 small batch and fast cycle sputtering system

Provides plasma pre-treatment, metal deposition and in chamber top coat in single vacuum process, resulting in coatings with 92+% reflectivity.  Fast cycles ranging from 90 seconds to 3:30 minutes with exceptional uniformity of

+/-2% over 48"


Solid Sealing Technology

Solid Sealing Technology specializes in the design and manufacture of highly engineered hermetic products using metalizing, brazing, glass-ceramic sealing, welding, and critical assembly.  SST manufactures industry standard and custom designed Vacuum Feedthroughs, Coaxial Connectors, Multi-Pin Connectors, Thermocouples, and Isolators for high temperature, UHV, and high pressure applications.


Ph: 518-874-3600
Fax: 518-874-3610


Turbopumps for High Performance and Reliability

Pfeiffer Vacuum HiPace turbopumps are available in pumping speeds from 10 to 3000 l/s.  They feature an advanced rotor design providing high gas throughput and exceptional compression for light gases. Innovative materials doubles rotor life, while a proven bearing design ensures reliability, even in the harshest coating applications. They offer a superior level of safety, including IP54 and SEMI S2 protection classes.


800-248-8254 or

Pfeiffer Vacuum, Inc

Phone: 603-578-6500



Roll-Coating System

ULVAC's SPW-030 roll-coating system, designed for R&D and Pilot-scale production, is capable of processing a 300 mm-wide web of various substrate compositions including thin-gauge metal rolls and a variety of polymeric materials. The coating system can be equipped with up to four (4) sputtering cathodes and an electron beam evaporation source for depositing materials of varying compositions. 

 For further information:

ULVAC Technologies, Inc.

Tel: 978-686-7550




Home of the Balzers BAK, Evatec delivers thin film batch and cluster tools using evaporation, sputter, PECVD, Microwave and ICP etch .   Solutions for precision optics, optoelectronics and semiconductor . Contact your local sales and service support in North America for new sales, retrofits and upgrades.

 Telephone: 603.669.9656

Kurt J. Lesker


Visit Kurt J. Lesker Company in Booth 303 at the SVC TechCon in Orlando. We will be showcasing our wide breath of products for all your vacuum needs.  Offering thousands of production targets and materials for immediate delivery.  Play our Details Matter game for a chance to win REI Camping Gear.

UC Components Logo 
Speed pump-down and vacuum performance with RediVac™ Vented Screws and Vacuum Baked O-Rings from

UC Components Inc.

SVC 2010 TechCon in Orlando, FL
Orlando World Center
Join the Society of Vacuum Coaters, April 17-22, 2010, for its 53rd Annual TechCon at the magnificent Orlando Marriott World Center Resort and Convention Center.
The Preliminary Program is Now Availalble
Register for the TechCon Now
Please support SVC and book your hotel reservations at the Orlando World Center Marriott after you have completed the on-line registration for the TechCon.
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Our technology is everywhere; impacting our lives with its innovative products and modern conveniences, and affecting our collective livelihood with its role in the global economy.  SVConnections offers a taste of what's new in vacuum coating and related technologies and sheds light on how advances in science relates to our lives at home, at work and on the economic front.  The Society of Vacuum Coaters' commitment to inform and educate our members, the technical community and the public on all aspects of vacuum coating, surface engineering and related processes drives this monthly e-publication.  How will our technology affect your everyday life?  Read on....
ECN Heads Consortium to Develop a-Si Plastic Thin Films: Targets 7.5% Module Efficiencies
Posted February 22, 2010 on

Development of a SI Plastic Thin FilmA program that started at the beginning of the year and headed by Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), hopes to develop a new amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin film cell using plastics as the substrate foil. The three-year 'Silicon-Light' programme is subsidized by the European Commission in the framework of the thematic research programme Energy in FP7. The R&D consortium includes EPFL, University of Copenhagen, University of Valencia, JiaoTong University of Shanghai, Umicore and VHF Technologies (Flexcell), the hopeful commercial end-user of the programme. Flexcell is a subsidiary of Q-Cells.

To be able to use low-cost materials such as plastics, the Silicon-Light' programme will develop low process temperatures (typically below 200C), using plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) processes.

(click on image to read the full article on  Image:

Photovoltaic Breakthroughs Brighten Outlook for Cheap Solar Power: Novel materials might make harvesting sunlight for electricity affordable
By David Biello, Scientific American, February 16, 2010

Enough sunlight bathes Earth's daytime half in an hour to meet all human energy needs for a year. Sadly, there are several problems with meeting human energy demands by tapping such abundant, free solar power-not least of which is the cost of making semiconducting material that can cheaply harvest the power in sunlight. But material improvements from the California Institute of Technology and IBM might just lower the cost of solar power.

Graduate student Michael Kelzenberg and other materials scientists at Caltech employed vertical crystals of silicon-microwires, like "blades of grass," Kelzenberg says-to capture as much as 85 percent of the full spectrum of incoming sunlight, the researchers report in the February 14 Nature Materials. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) Their efficiency is almost as good as that of traditional silicon wafers, yet they require just one percent of the silicon in such wafers.

"With one one-hundredth of the material, we've gotten it to absorb 96 percent of the peak visible light," Kelzenberg says. "There's lots of reasons to believe this could be scaled to make thin-film solar cells."

(click here to read the full article on
Gecko's Lessons Transfer Well: Dry Printing of Nanotube Patterns to Any Surface Could Revolutionize Microelectronics
From ScienceDaily - January 31, 2010

Watch a gecko walk up a wall. It defies gravity as it sticks to the surface no matter how smooth it appears to be.

What's happening isn't magic. The gecko stays put because of the electrical attraction -- the van der Waals force -- between millions of microscopic hairs on its feet and the surface.

The principle applies to new research at Rice University reported this week in the online version of the journal ACS Nano. But in this case, the hairs figuratively come off the gecko and plant themselves on the wall.

Rice graduate student Cary Pint has come up with a way to transfer forests of strongly aligned, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) from one surface to another -- any surface -- in a matter of minutes. The template used to grow the nanotubes, with its catalyst particles still intact, can be used repeatedly to grow more nanotubes, almost like inking a rubber stamp.

Pint is primary author of the research paper, which also details a way to quickly and easily determine the range of diameters in a batch of nanotubes grown through chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Common spectroscopic techniques are poor at seeing tubes bigger than two nanometers in diameter -- or most of the nanotubes in the CVD "supergrowth" process.


(click the image for full article on  Image: Rice University

Super-Thin Films that Harvest Energy from Motion
Posted February 24, 2010 on

Scientists are reporting an advance toward scavenging energy fromSuper Thin Fils that Harvest Energy from Motion walking, breathing, and other natural body movements to power electronic devices like cell phones and heart pacemakers.

In a study in ACS' monthly journal, Nano Letters, they describe development of flexible, biocompatible rubber films for use in implantable or wearable energy harvesting systems. The material could be used, for instance, to harvest energy from the motion of the lungs during breathing and use it to run pacemakers without the need for batteries that must be surgically replaced every few years.

Michael McAlpine and colleagues point out that popular hand-held consumer electronic devices are using smaller and smaller amounts of electricity. That opens the possibility of supplementing battery power with electricity harvested from body movements. So-called "piezoelectric" materials are the obvious candidates, since they generate electricity when flexed or subjected to pressure. However, manufacturing piezoelectric materials requires temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees F., making it difficult to combine them with rubber.

Crystal Growth Points to Defect-Free Thin Films
Alexander E. Braun, Senior Editor -- Semiconductor International, 2/1/2010

Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) scientists are studying the challenges that arise from the fact that to make semiconductor thin films, layers of atoms must be grown in neat, crystalline sheets. While some materials usually grow smooth crystals, others develop bumps and defects, leading researchers to seek insights into how atoms arrange themselves into thin films.

Physics ProCornell Studying   Colloidal Crystalfessor Itai Cohen, who leads the research, indicated that the effort resulted from his colloidal suspension work. "Colloids are a good model system for investigating atomic-scale phenomena," he said. "The particles are small enough to behave like atoms but still large enough to be observed under a microscope and manipulated with optical tweezers. They're ideal because you set up the experiment and nature does the calculations."

Using an optical microscope, the Cornell scientists see exactly what these atom-mimicking particles - micron-sized silica particles suspended in fluid - do as they crystallize. By manipulating them individually they tested conditions that lead to smooth crystal growth, and discovered that the random darting motion of the particles is a key factor affecting how crystals grow.

(click image to read full article on  Image: Cornell University
Template Engineering Demonstrates Possibilities of New Superconducting Material

By Sandra Knisely, University of Wisconsin-Madison News,

Feb. 28, 2010

A breakthrough approach by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and their collaborators in fabricating thin films of a new superconducting material has yielded promising results: The material has a current-carrying potential 500 times that of previous experiments, making it significant for a variety of practical applications.

The new approach and results appeared online in the journal Nature Materials today (Feb. 28) and illustrate a significant step forward in superconductor research.

"We've shown how to grow quality, single-crystal thin films of this class of materials, so people can study the fundamental properties and limits of them," says Chang-Beom Eom, a UW-Madison professor of materials science and engineering, who led the collaboration between UW-Madison and teams from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the University of Michigan.

(Click here to read the full article on

LASER MARKETPLACE 2010: How wide is the chasm?

Laser Focus World, Jan 1, 2010 - Gail Overton, Stephen G. Anderson, David A. Belforte, and Tom Hausken

The Laser Focus World 2010 annual review and forecast of the laser marketplace is conducted in conjunction with Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA; a PennWell company) with additional input from Industrial Laser Solutions magazine. This article covers the global market for both nondiode and diode lasers.

The economiLaser Focus World Graphc indicators were so dire in the latter part of 2008 that Laser Focus World-anticipating laser sales to remain flat or decrease as much as 20%, depending on the market sector-forecast an overall 11.3% drop in the worldwide laser markets to $6.32 billion (see But by early 2009, it was obvious that the chasm would be even deeper. According to our annual survey, actual laser sales for 2009 were $5.32 billion-a 24.1% drop from the $7.01 billion for 2008, setting sales back to 2003 levels. And if Main Street is any indication (forget the "subsidized" rally on Wall Street), this deep chasm is also wide. Even though the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 10.0% in November 2009 from its 10.2% high (a jobless recovery), many economists predict that it could be three years before jobs return and sales improve to pre-2008 levels.

(Click the image to read the full article on Image: Laser Focus World

Fire-Rated Glass Forecast

Katy Devlin, Glass Magazine, January 7, 2010

Safti First, San Francisco, supplied its SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Framing for Ohio's Cleveland Clinic.

Nonresidential construction spending is expected to fall 5 percent in 2010, following a 5.7 percent loss in 2009, and isn't expected to rebound until 2011, according to Jim Haughey, chief economist, Reed Construction Data, Norcross, Ga. Despite the grim forecast, representatives from fire-rated glazing suppliers remain optimistic. The market segment is partly insulated from the downturn thanks to code requirements, building trends and increased funding for some public projects, they say.

"Although we areGlass Magazine currently experiencing a very soft market in the commercial construction industry, demand for non-wired fire-rated glazing products continues to grow," says Dan Poling, sales manager, fire rated glass products, Schott North America Inc., Elmsford, N.Y. Poling attributes the growth to adoption of International Building Codes nationwide.

(Click the image to read the full article on  Image: Glass Magazine

Braincake is Established to Help Girls Learn Science and Math

BraincakeA partnership program at Carnegie Science Center called is set up to help girls, age 11-17, learn math and science. This program encourages more girls to enter science and engineering fields of study. As many of our readers know, we are experiencing a shortage of younger science majors especially females. This work is cosponsored by the Alcoa Foundation, The Comcast Foundation, Google, Comcast, Dragonfly TV and First Commonwealth. Use the link below to visit the Braincake website.  Also, they are on Facebook at GMSP Girls of Math and Science Partnership.

(click the image to link to  Image:

Photonics Applied: Optical biomimetics emerge from a deep, dark past

Andrew Parker, Laser Focus World, January 1, 2010

"In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." This famous dictum from H. G. Wells tells us something that may seem self-evident: sight matters. But imagine for a moment that the country of the blind is in fact the whole world, 521 million years ago. It's a world in which life is primitive and aimless, and evolution slow and painstaking.


Optical BiomimeticsThen something remarkable happens. Over the next million years,Biomimetics the process of evolution kicks into overdrive. For the first time, animals evolve hard external parts. Both hunters and prey develop armaments and defenses. So in this short space of time-the blink of an eye in geological terms-all animals on Earth, no matter how unrelated, leave their soft skins behind. When I traced back the origin of vision, I found that the first image-forming eye evolved in a predatory animal (one that could have an impact on others) around 521 million years ago, precisely at the beginning of this Big Bang of evolution. Hence vision appears to have lit the fuse for life's explosion.


But why is this important to the photonics community? Because with those first hard parts in animals came the first photonic nanostructures on Earth. With the evolution of the eye, the size, shape, color, and behavior of animals were suddenly revealed for the first time. The animal kingdom exploded into life. Color was among their main weapons. And from that moment until today, color on Earth has functioned to provide camouflage and crypsis, as well as warning colors and mating colors to attract the eye...

Click the image to read the full article on

Heavy Elements: International body dubs element 112 Copernicium

Mitch Jacoby, Chemical and Engineering News, February 26, 2010

The periodic table officially has a new entry.  The International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry announced its approval last week of the name copernicium and symbol Cn for element 112 (Pure Appl. Chem., DOI: 10.1351/PAC-REC-09-08-20).

The approval follows IUPAC's extensive review of claims made by the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, in Darmstadt, Germany, of being the first team to synthesize element 112. GSI's claims date back to 1996. IUPAC's announcement raises to six the total number of elements officially discovered and named by GSI.

GSI team leader Sigurd Hofmann explains that his team's intention in selecting the name for element 112 is "to salute Nicolaus Copernicus, an influential scientist who didn't receive any accolades in his own lifetime, and to highlight the link between astronomy and the field of nuclear chemistry." Copernicus was the 16th-century Polish astronomer who developed the sun-centered model of the solar system-a radical departure from the thinking that prevailed in Copernicus' day.

The Darmstadt researchers have previously been recognized for the discovery of five other elements, which they named bohrium (107), hassium (108), meitnerium (109), darmstadtium (110), and roentgenium (111).

(click here to read the full article

Mechanical Devices Stamped on Plastic

Larry Hardesty, MIT News, February 26, 2010

Microelectromechanical devices - tiny machines with moving parts - are everywhere these days: they monitor air pressure in car tires, register the gestures of video game players, and reflect light onto screens in movie theaters. But they're manufactured the same way computer chips are, in facilities that can cost billions of dollars, and their rigidity makes them hard to wrap around curved surfaces.

Devices Stamped on PlasticMIT researchers have discovered a way to make microelectromechanical devices, or MEMS, by stamping them onto a plastic film. That should significantly reduce their cost, but it also opens up the possibility of large sheets of sensors that could, say, cover the wings of an airplane to gauge their structural integrity. The printed MEMS are also flexible, so they could be used to make sensors with irregular shapes. And since the stamping process dispenses with the harsh chemicals and high temperatures ordinarily required for the fabrication of MEMS, it could allow MEMS to incorporate a wider range of materials.

Conventional MEMS are built through a process called photolithography, in which different layers of material are chemically deposited on a substrate - usually a wafer of some semiconducting material - and etched away to form functional patterns. Since a wafer is at most 12 inches across, arranging today's MEMS into large arrays requires cutting them out and bonding them to some other surface.

(Click the image to read the full article on MITnews)  Image: Corinne Packard and Apoorva Muraka

SVC Announces Three New Tutorial Courses Featured at the 2010 TechCon in Orlando, FL
Providing Solutions to Your Vacuum Coating Problems

C-328 Properties and Applications of Tribological Coatings

(Allan Matthews)  (half-day) 

Monday, April 19 - 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tutorial Fee: $385    Student Fee: $70


C-327 Introduction to Photoactive Materials and Photovoltaics

(Peter Martin)  (half-day) 

Tuesday, April 20 - 8:30 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.

Tutorial Fee: $385    Student Fee: $70


C-326 Manufacture of Precision Evaporated Coatings

(Jim Oliver)  (half-day)

Thursday, April 22 - 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tutorial Fee: $385    Student Fee: $70

Choose from a total of 22 Tutorial Courses at the SVC TechCon.  A 25% discount is available to multiple registrants from one company and a 50% discount offered to the unemployed. Registration for the TechCon Tutorial Courses is now open at
Interested in sharing the latest news in vacuum coating technology?  Forward us a link to an article you want to share with the rest of the SVC readership to  Purchase advertising space on this newsletter by contacting SVC at
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