July 2010 SVConnections

In This Issue
* All Black Rolex Watches
* PVD Coatings for Medical Devices
* World's Largest Waterless Solar Power Tower
* Tasting Light
* The LED Fabrication Wave
* 10-Year Trends in Converting
* 2009 Trends in Converting
* Glass-Ceramic Covers for Solar Cells
* Wide Scale LED Streetlight Testing
* Chemical Sensors in Underwear
* Modern Technology Affected by Solar Storms
* More Jobs with a Better Patent System

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

Vertical Metallization System

VMS 1000 - VMS 1500

Dual door batch evaporation systems with patented PLASCOAT in chamber top coat.  Fastest cycle time available at 12-18 minutes with options of either 6-8 planetary configurations of 430mm - 540mm in diameter provide maximum flexibility.

Visit Us:


E-Mail Us:


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


Pfeiffer CombiLine
Pfeiffer Vacuum's CombiLine Industrial Roots Pumping Stations are used in pressure ranges from atmosphere to high vacuum. CombiLine(TM) is a combination of Roots pump/s and components such as: rotary vane, turbo, dry, liquid ring, cryo and diffusion pumps, gauges, analytical equipment, control systems and bus connections.
www.pfeiffer-vacuum.com or 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

E-Mail: sales@us.ulvac.com

Web: www.ulvac.com


CPMX6000 Automatic Tuning Network for Impedance Matching

Comdel's new CPMX6000 system is engineered with Comdel's unique PROTRAK, a high-speed tuning algorithm that gradually slows the system as it approaches the tuning point, allowing a precise match even in high "Q" loads. The CPMX6000 delivers a 75A load current and features automatic and manual modes with local and remote manual control of tuning capacitors.

Learn more.

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

E-Mail: info@comdel.com

Vacuum Research

Steel and Aluminum High Vacuum Poppet Valves

Aluminum, Stainless or Mild Steel Valves with flanges to match diffusion & Cryo pumps. Electroless nickel optional on steel valves. High conductance full opening port. Leak tested to better than 5 X 10-10 scc/sec. RoHS compliant and CE marked.


Phone: 800-426-9340

Web: www.vacuumresearch.com

Email: vrc@vacuumresearch.com


MEWASA has expanded the manufacturing possibilities of its bellows production, allowing the manufacture of bellows up to 1100mm in diameter. Combined with the modern PC-based control, our machine provides the flexibility to weld arbitrary bellows profiles, including oval shaped bellows with inside dimensions of 66.7 to 117.5mm.  MEWASA has widened its capabilities, offering greater design solutions to meet your engineering applications, whether it is larger dimensions or different profile shapes.

Contact: Ira Miller,

General Manager,

Mewasa North America


Tel: 520-797-6980


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.




Dynavac's 1-meter Optical Coating System

is a cost-effective tool for producing high-quality precision optics. Its versatile design supports a wide range of process options including IAD, and the split-cylinder chamber provides easy maintenance while minimizing footprint. System interface and control is simple and supports download capability from most thin film design packages.

Telephone:  781-740-8600
E-Mail: sales@dynavac.com


Reduce your development time, improve your thin film process performance and cut your costs with Evatec's new "Optics Toolbox" - Seamless integration of thin film design software, layer end point strategy, optical monitoring, process recipe generation and execution with Khan system and process controller on BAK Evaporator and MSP Sputter platforms.

(603) 669-9656

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PSE 2010

SVC Tutorial Course Offered at PSE 2010
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Sept. 16, 2010
SVC C-317 - The Practice of Reactive Sputtering

Instructor: Allan Matthews,
The University of Sheffield, UK

Learn More About PSE 2010
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To those of us who find ourselves enjoying the tempting, warm weather of July, it is often difficult to resist the "respectable laziness" of summer; but the level of progress and innovation in our technology continues to move onward and upward to push the boundaries of our imagination.  In this issue of SVConnections, you'll find a snapshot of the latest in vacuum coating technology and other discoveries in subjects of interest to all of us. 

Have you missed past issues of SVConnections All archived issues are now posted on the SVC Web Site - with all the links to the full articles available.  Visit today!

All Black Rolex Watches Revealed: First Video to Show Top-Secret Rolex PVD 'Blackening' Process Released

Edited by Debra Tone, June 21, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Time and Gems (www.TimeandGems.com), an independent Rolex retailer offering Black Watchpremium Rolex customizations, releases a video on their website that shows in detail the top-secret PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process that many fine Swiss watch manufacturers are using to coat stainless steel watches with an all-black highly scratch-resistant coating.

"After launching our PVD Rolex watches in December, we had a phenomenal response," says Jason Smith, president of Time and Gems. "Our customers would often ask how we did it and whether the PVD coating was really better than stainless steel and equal in quality to the Rolex watches we were coating. The video really answers all their questions and more, showing our first-class attention to detail and why we're the online leader in pre-owned Rolex."

The PVD process not only transforms the look of stainless steel watches, but also surpasses stainless steel in terms of toughness. The PVD process occurs in a vacuum chamber, at Time and Gems' multi-million dollar coating facility, interpenetrating the steel with a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating and providing a chemical barrier on the watch that protects against the elements, reduces the effects of oxidation and increases the hardness rating by almost 20 times.

(Click the image to read the entire article on www.send2press.com)
Image: www.send2press.com
PVD Coatings for Medical Device Applications
By Mark Pellman, Multi-Arc, Inc. Rockaway, NJ

Since it was introduced to the medical device industry in the late 1980s, physical vapor deposition (PVD) has become widely used to deposit wMedical Devicesear-resistant thin-film coatings on a variety of medical devices, including orthopedic implants, pacemakers, surgical instruments, orthodontic appliances and dental instruments. The value of PVD technology rests in its ability to modify the surface properties of a device without changing the underlying material properties and biomechanical functionality. 

PVD Coating Properties and Medical Devices
PVD coatings provide a number of benefits to medical devices in addition to hardness and adhesion. The most significant are listed in Table I. The biocompatibility of a coating is a prerequisite to its use on medical devices. For this reason, Multi-Arc has tested the biocompatibility of all the coatings that it applies, with the exception of TiN, which has been widely reported to be biocompatible.

Coatings are certified biocompatible based on a series of tests conducted by an independent biological-testing laboratory. These tests were conducted in accordance with ISO 10993-1 guidelines for materials that experience short-term body contact. The results indicate that TiN, ZrN, CrN, TiAlN, AlTiN and two Multi-Arc proprietary coatings (Blackbond and Tetrabond) are acceptable for external and internal medical devices that contact bone, skin tissue or blood.

(Click the image to read the full article on www.pfonline.com)

Image: PF Online

CSIRO to Build Largest Waterless Brayton Cycle Solar Power Tower

The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) will be building the largest 30 m high solar Brayton Solar Towerpower tower with a Brayton Cycle Turbine on the top. The uniqueness is that this turbine uses superheated compressed air as its energy transfer medium. Sunlight is focused using 450 mirrored heliostats. Water is not necessary for operation, which makes the technology useful in very arid climates. The plant covers an area of 4,000 sq. m and can operate at above 900˚C. The field is expected to be fully operational by March 2011. $5 million in funding was provided by the Australian Solar Institute (ASI)-part of the Australian Government Initiative. 

Link to CSIRO

Image: Artist's rendering, CSIRO

The Visually Impaired Can Taste Light

Neuroscientists at Wicab, based in Wisconsin, have a device that partially restores the experience of seeing by using the tongue and camera system together as a substitute for the eye.  The device, BrainPort, gathers visual data with a small video camera mounted on sunglasses worn by user.  The data goes to handheld base unit, which converts digital signals into electrical pulses.  The gentle electrical patterns are sent to the tongue via a "lollipop", an Brayton's Lollipopelectrode array around nine centimeters square.  The tongue is an ideal sensor because of its sensitive and densely packed nerve fibers.  The tongue feels tingle patterns showing the texture of light and colors.  Patients typically need only 15 minutes to begin interpreting Brainport's spatial information.  Wicab's video shows a patient successfully ascending a climbing wall on his own.  In the UK, Brainport is funded jointly by the Ministry of Defense and St. Dunstan's, the charity for blind ex-service personnel.  Wicab will submit it to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. The cost of the technology is about $10,000 a unit.

Wicab's link with video:  http://vision.wicab.com/index.php

A U.K. soldier trying Brainport:

Image: Mirror News [UK], Amanda Killelea

LEDs: The Next Fabrication Wave

With the saturation of semiconductor fabrication lines and the slowing of the solar markets, the next big thing is LED fabrication plants. We are seeing rising demand for LEDs coming from lighting, TV and electronic backlight applications. The Semiconductor Manufacturing Organization (SEMI) has tracked 91 fabs and 89 optoelectronics fabs worldwide. Large companies like Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) are moving into this area. Samsung will be installing 50 MOCVD new deposition systems to make a total of 150 by year-end. New lines are expected in China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Russia and India. The lead in the industry is Nichia of Japan, announcing a quadrupling of their LED production. TSMC in Taiwan has announced a lighting manufacturing line, which will have 10-12 MOCVD reactors. Equipment makers Veeco and Aixtron have seen an upturn in orders. The estimated worldwide spending on LED fabs in 2010 is $945 million with $60 million in North America, according to SEMI. SEMI has recommended that the US government provide $20 million for US manufacturing improvements for solid-state lighting through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Link to EETimes article

LED Fabs
Future 10-Year Trends in the Converting Industry

The PFFC  (Paper, Film & Foil Converter) magazine looked at the past and future trends for the next 10 years in the converting industry. Future trends are predicted to be: low cost alternative energy sources, new processes to minimize environmental contaminates, and new raw materials based on renewable resources - not petroleum.

Other trends are automated coater lines, new technologies for low or solvent free coatings and low energy drying systems, and the use of "Cloud Computing" software systems. Cloud Computing  is Internet-based computing, where shared software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand as needed.

The full article is at PFFC: 

Critical 2009 Trends for the Converting Industry Reported

PFFC (Paper, Film & Foil Converter) has reported industry market trends from the converting industry from 246 companies. The converting industry includes flexible packaging, tape and labels, rolls and sheets, and paperboard packaging. About 66% of the respondents said their industry is on an up-turn in orders and inquiry activity has increased with past-due receivables improving.

Imported converted products from mainly China (92.3%) have affected about 37% of the respondents 2009 profit margin for their business. Materials costs have increased by about 6.7% compared to 2008. Plant capacity utilization has remained stable at 70% in 2009.

Expanding into new product lines is still considered to be the best investment. 27% of the respondents said that they have increased their R&D budget.

PFFC, May 2010, pgs 26-29 in print.
Emedia: http://digital-edition.pffc-online.com/?iid=2e5bd32d   pgs. 29-32

Glass-Ceramic Covers for Highly Efficient Solar Cells

Sili NanoRalf B. Wehrspohn is the founder and head of the  "SiLi-nano" research initiative at the Martin-Luther-University (MLU) of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.  "SiLi-nano" stands for "Silicon and Light: from macro to nano". SiLi-nano is used in the cover technology for silicon photonics and photovoltaics. Conventional single bandgap solar cell wastes much of UV and IR solar energy.By using fluorescent downshifting compositions, the absorption of high-energy photons in the UV and the subsequent emission of a photon with lower energy can be absorbed more efficiently by a solar cell. Frequency 'downshifters,' such as fluorescent glasses and glass ceramics doped with rare-earth ions can convert the high-energy part of the solar spectrum into photons in the visible spectral range.

Researchers at SiLi-nano are using, divalent europium, Eu2+, as the frequency 'downshifter to convert the high energy part of the solar spectrum into photons in the visible spectral range.

Further information is at: http://spie.org/x40453.xml?highlight=x2358&ArticleID=x40453

SiLi-nano website: http://www.sili-nano.de/cms/home.html

Image: Sili-nano

DOE 'GATEWAY' Program Tests LED Street Lights on a Wide Scale

The U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE), Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, estimates that by converting over 34 million streetlights to LED lighting over the US, we could save more than $750 million a year in energy costs.  The US government, regional governments, and LED manufacturers are working in partnership to make this happen. The risk is that rapid expansion in LED manufacturing all over the world may result in poor quality products tainting LED's benefits, as noticed when CFL lights were first introduced.

The DOE GATEWAY program is a collaboration with municipalities to test LED lighting products and provide feedback to municipalities and manufacturers.  Several cities have performed market-based, real testing of LED lighting on city-owned property. In San Francisco's Sunset District, four manufacturers' LED street lights were installed on four public avenues to replace 100-watt nominal high-pressure sodium lamps.  Seattle, WA was chosen to lead the DOE-supported consortium dedicated to testing efficiency and effectiveness of LED lighting for public use.  Edward Smalley is Seattle City Light manager and director of the consortium.  He stated "The goal of the consortium is to reduce needless duplication, reduce mistakes on a large-scale, bring end-users up to scale and identify good products, and provide information in a timely way." Seattle City Light must recruit at least 50 other communities to join the consortium and share their experiences through national, regional meetings and web-based discussions.  Pacific Northwest National Labs will administer the consortium.

LED manufacturers actively support the testing effort. For example, Cree LED CityŽ program in Raleigh, NC conducted nearly 40 separate LED projects around the city in various lighting situations with three-fold increase in positive reactions.  Other cities involved in the LED City program include Los Angeles, CA, and Fairview, TX, which won several design awards for its installation.  Also, Dialight plans to test LED street lights in Pittsburgh and Edinburgh, PA, which communicate wirelessly allowing the city to remotely dim or control clusters of lights.

LED Lighting

Further information is at: http://spie.org/x40709.xml?highlight=x2408&ArticleID=x40709

DOE Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/consortium.html

Cree LEDCity Program at: http://www.ledcity.org/

Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNW) Demonstration Assessment of LED Street Lighting Report (PDF) at: http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-18947.pdf

NanoEngineers Print and Test Chemical Sensors on Underwear (w/Video)
From PhysOrg.com, June 17, 2010

Chemical sensors printed directly on elastic underwear waistbands retained their sensing abilities even after engineers stretched, Sensors in Underwearfolded and pulled at the chemical-sensing printable electrodes - sensors that could one day be incorporated into intelligent "hospital-on-a-chip" systems. This work, funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, is led by professor Joseph Wang, from the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Click the image to link to the article and video on www.PhysOrg.com
Photo credit: UC San Diego / Daniel Kane

Many Technologies of the 21st Century are Vulnerable to Solar Storms
From Tony Philips, science.nasa.gov, June 4, 2010

Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that's new to human history. To make preparations, authorities in Washington DC are holding a meeting: The Space Weather Enterprise Forum at the National Press Club on June 8th.

Solar StormsRichard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division, explains what it's all about: "The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we're getting together to discuss." The National Academy of Sciences framed the problem two years ago in a landmark report entitled "Severe Space Weather Events-Societal and Economic Impacts." It noted how people of the 21st-century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. Smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity. A century-class solar storm, the Academy warned, could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.

Click the image to link to the article on www.science.nasa.gov
Photo credit: NASA

Want More Jobs?  Fix the Broken Patent System
By David Goldman, Staff Writer, CNNMoney.com, June 21, 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- After decades of inaction, lawmakers are finally closing in on a sweeping overhaul of America's antiquated, underfunded and extremely broken patent process. The popular move could help spur much-needed innovation and job creation -- but first, it has to get through a Senate logjam.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill in April that would patch a litany of problems with the patent system, which hasn't had a major reform in more than five decades. Two months later, the measure still has no timetable for the Senate-wide vote needed to move it through Congress.

"I don't know why this hasn't gotten floor time," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a recent interview. "This has nothing to do with ideology. We need an updated patent system to create and protect jobs, and it wouldn't add a penny to the deficit."

Leahy noted that the bill has three Republican co-signers, along with three Democrats. As a result, he predicted that once it gets floor time, the bill could get passed in just three days -- a blink of an eye compared to the marathon sessions it took to get stimulus, health care and financial reform passed.

The House has two similar bills under consideration, though its versions aren't as far along as the Senate's. If the Senate bill gets passed, it would likely make its way through the House fairly quickly, Leahy said.

But with patent reform, nothing is ever that simple. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., has said he has concerns about some aspects of the Senate bill. The differences would have to be hammered out by the two chambers.

(Click here to read the full article on cnnmoney.com)
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