Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn   Society of Vacuum CoatersJanuary 2015
In This Issue
From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, October 1, 2014

"Terahertz (THz) frequency radiometers, spectrometers, and radars are promising instruments for the remote sensing of planetary atmospheres such as Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, and their moons. For these long-term planetary missions, severe constraints are put on the mass and power budget for the payload instruments.

Conventional approaches that package the terahertz receiver components in machined metal waveguide blocks may be too massive for inter-planetary instruments. Metal blocks also incur higher losses when they are cascaded in a serial fashion to build up the instrument. Therefore, ultra-compact receiver architectures are needed to reduce loss as well as the mass and size of receivers with high circuit densities.

Several different micromachining techniques exist for fabrication of these THz circuits, and silicon Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) was chosen because it offers a wider range of design possibilities while achieving better resolution. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) is used as the only mask or as additional mask for deep etches, to protect the silicon when the resist (PR) is etched away. SiO2 is either deposited with plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) or is thermally grown before processing the wafer."


Image: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Researchers Grow Forests of Carbon Nanotubes Directly on 3-D Substrates

From AZO Nano, November 12, 2014

"A team of University of Maryland researchers is growing vertically aligned "forests" of carbon nanotubes on three-dimensional (3-D) conductive substrates to explore their potential use as a cathode in next-gen lithium batteries. 


Carbon nanotubes are typically grown on two-dimensional or planar substrates, but the structure developed by the team is considered "3-D" because the carbon nanotubes are grown on a porous, "sponge-like" foam structure made of nickel coated with aluminum oxide ceramic.

How does the team build their battery cathode? First, they use a nickel foam current collector to deposit a thin layer (~5nm) of aluminum oxide using ALD. This is chased by a layer of iron, sputtered as a growth catalyst for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of carbon."

Image: Maryland Nanocenter

Simulations Reveal How to Better Protect DLC Coatings

From Advanced Materials and Processes, November-December 2014

"By performing atom-level simulations of nanoscale friction, Ling Dai and coworkers from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore, uncovered critical clues for designing better systems to lubricate and protect diamond-like-carbon (DLC) coatings. Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) is a Teflon-like polymer commonly sandwiched between DLC-coated substrates to reduce friction and protect against damage.  Understanding the friction and protect against damage. Understanding the friction mechanisms between these ultrathin films is tricky; the materials have contrasting hard and soft mechanical properties, and the sandwich arrangement obscures any direct observation of atomic structure and activity."


Source: Advanced Materials & Processes, November/December 2014, page 13
Image:  Janka Dharmasena/iStock/Thinkstock


Optical Transmittance of Multilayer Graphene Films

From Europhysics Letters (EPL), September 30, 2014,
by Shou-En Zhu et al


"Researchers at Delft University of Technology study the optical transmittance of multilayer graphene films up to 65 layers thick. By combing large-scale tight-binding simulation and optical measurement on CVD multilayer graphene, the optical transmission through graphene films in the visible region is found to be solely determined by the number of graphene layers. They argue that the optical transmittance measurement is more reliable in the determination of the number of layers than the commonly used the Raman spectroscopy. 

Their numerical and experimental studies of the optical transmittance in multilayer graphene films show that the nonlinear function gives a good description of the light transmittance through multilayer graphene in the visible light range. It provides a simple way to determine the number of graphene layers by the measurement of the light transmittance. It is more reliable than commonly used Raman spectroscopy, and can be applied to other 2D materials with weak van der Waals interlayer interaction."

Image: Europhysics Letters

A Quantum Leap in Display Quality

From Chemical and Engineering News, November 10, 2014, by Michael McCoy


"Quantum dots have been proposed for all sorts of applications, including lighting and medical diagnostics, but the market that is taking off now is enhancing liquid -crystal displays (LCDs).

According to Yoosung Chung, an analyst who follows the quantum dot business for the consulting firm NPD DisplaySearch, last year saw the introduction of the first commercial display products to incorporate quantum dots: Bravia brand televisions from Sony and Kindle Fire HDX tablet from Amazon. This year, the Chinese company TCL introduced a quantum-dot-containing TV and Taiwan's Asus shipped a quantum dot laptop.

What quantum dots bring to displays is more vibrant colors generated with less energy. On the strength of demand from companies such as Amazon, Nanosys has been investing in its quantum dot plant in Milpitas, Calif. Also expanding is QD Vision, a Lexington, Mass.-based firm founded on chemistry developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both companies use the same basic manufacturing technique: They decompose organocadmium and other compounds at high heat in the presence of surfactants and solvents.  Dow Chemical is using technology licensed from the British firm Nanoco and is developing cadmium-free quantum dots."

Source: Chemical & Engineering News
Image:  Google Images
PNNL Jan 2015.jpg

Lengthening the Life of High Capacity Silicon Electrodes in Rechargeable Lithium Batteries 

From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, December 02, 2014,
by Mary Beckman


"A new study will help researchers create longer-lasting, higher-capacity lithium rechargeable batteries, which are commonly used in consumer electronics. In a study published in the journal ACS Nano, researchers showed how a coating that makes high capacity silicon electrodes more durable could lead to a replacement for lower-capacity graphite electrodes.

Thanks to its high electrical capacity potential, silicon is one of the hottest things in lithium ion battery development these days. The problem? Silicon electrodes aren't very durable - after a few dozen recharges, they can no longer hold electricity.

Researchers have been using electrodes made up of tiny silicon spheres about 150 nanometers wide - about a thousand times smaller than a human hair - to overcome some of the limitations of silicon as an electrode. The small size lets silicon charge quickly and thoroughly but only partly alleviates the fracturing problem.  The nanoparticles naturally grow a hard shell of silicon oxide on their surface.

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and the University of Colorado, Boulder found that they could cover silicon nanoparticles with a rubber-like coating, called alucone, made from aluminum glycerol. The coated silicon particles lasted at least five times longer.  Microscopic images revealed that the rubbery alucone replaces the hard oxide. That allows the silicon to expand and contract during charging and discharging, preventing fracturing." 

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Image: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Transparent Oxide Glass with Rubber Like Property

From Tokyo Institute of Technology, December 03, 2014
"Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Asahi Glass Co. Ltd in Yokohama have uncovered a certain kind of oxide glass - so-called mixed alkali metaphosphate glass - that behaves quite differently when it is stretched from a supercooled liquid state.

The researchers stretched a supercooled, metaphosphate glass made from mixed alkali metals - lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium, and phosphorus oxide. Upon heating and elongation, the straight chain molecules in the glass became highly orientated, and the glass itself became rubber-like. When the researchers heated the glass still further, it contracted in size by several tens of percent, before returning to its original unordered molecular state. This property is known as 'entropic elasticity', and this is the first time that a type of glass has been shown to display it.

Rubber-like oxide glass such as this could be considered for applications in high temperature, oxidizing environments in which organic polymer rubber could not cope."


Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology
Image: Tokyo Institute of Technology

'Mind the Gap' Between Atomically Thin Materials

From Pennsylvania State University, December 1, 2014
In subway stations around London, the warning to "Mind the Gap" helps commuters keep from stepping into empty space as they leave the train. When it comes to engineering single-layer atomic structures, minding the gap will help researchers create artificial electronic materials one atomic layer at a time.

The gap is a miniscule vacuum that can only be seen under a high-power transmission electron microscope. The gap, researchers in Penn State's Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials (2DLM) believe, is an energy barrier that keeps electrons from easily crossing from one layer of material to the next.

Researchers are still trying to understand how electrons move vertically through these layered materials, and they thought it should take a lot less energy. Thanks to a combination of theory and experiment, they now know they have to account for this gap when designing new materials.  The Penn State researchers use chemical vapor deposition to deposit a single layer of crystalline WSe2 on top of a few layers of epitaxial graphene that is grown from silicon carbide.
The Penn State team and colleagues from UT Dallas, the Naval Research Laboratory, Sandia National Lab, and labs in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia, discovered that the tungsten diselenide layer grew in perfectly aligned triangular islands 1-3 microns in size that slowly coalesced into a single crystal."


Source: Pennsylvania State University
 Image: Pennsylvania State University/ 2DLM Center
AVEMgreen copy.jpg

Vacuum Market Segmentation

From the Association of Vacuum Equipment Manufacturers (AVEM), 
Vacuum Equipment Resource Guide, 2014-2015


"Understanding industry trends in the global marketplace is critical for a company's sales and operations planning.  In order to help our member companies fulfill this requirement, the Association of Vacuum Equipment Manufacturers (AVEM) is a participating association in the International Statistics on Vacuum Technology (ISVT) program. The ISVT program was developed through the cooperation of the AVEM, the Japan Vacuum Industry Association (JVIA), the European Vacuum Technology Association (EVTA) and Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

Quarterly sales data collected for the ISVT program is divided into three main product groupings: vacuum pumps, vacuum instrumentation and vacuum hardware.  Each grouping broken down into several product types, and the aggregate sales of these products types are reported for the geographical regions of North America, Japan, Europe, China/Korea/Taiwan and Rest of the World."

Image:  AVEM

Stanford Engineers Invent High-Tech Mirror to Beam Heat Away From Buildings Into Space

From Stanford University,
November 26, 2014, by Chris Cesare


"Stanford engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space.

The heart of the invention is an ultrathin, multilayered material that deals with light, both invisible and visible, in a new way. The new material, in addition to dealing with infrared light, is also a stunningly efficient mirror that reflects virtually all of the incoming sunlight that strikes it. The multilayered material is just 1.8 microns thick, thinner than the thinnest aluminum foil.

The result is what the Stanford team calls photonic radiative cooling - a one-two punch that offloads infrared heat from within a building while also reflecting the sunlight that would otherwise warm it up. The result is cooler buildings that require less air conditioning."


Image: Stanford University/Norbert von der Groeben
NREL&RenewableEnergyWprldJan2015.png Art9

A Look Inside Four Solar Labs Offers a Glimpse of What's New in PV R&D

From Renewable Energy World, November 22, 2014, by Tom Gibson

"Research in solar photovoltaics is alive and well, as many government and university labs around the country are investing resources and pushing the envelope. A sampling of labs shows they're working on both thin-film and crystalline, with nanotechnology playing a big part, as expected. But some labs are exploring angles you wouldn't normally think about.

  • NREL is conducting research in three major areas: 1) III-Vs, which refers to semiconductors made from atoms in columns III and V of the periodic table, the most common one being gallium arsenide, 2) silicon tandems which involves taking the best cell made and adding a top cell that will harvest another portion of the light spectrum in a two-junction cell and 3) thin-film materials, including cadmium telluride, CIGS and a GIGS substitute known as CZTS.
  • Penn State University has taken different approach from most thin-film solar cells under development.  They are using their LCCM (Light and Carrier Collection Management) NanoCell Architecture, a nanostructured array forms on a lower electrode, and nanodomes form around each nanostructure-array element. These trap light as it transmits through each dome to the array and into the cell's absorber.  They are working with a company that does roll-to-roll technology.
  • University of California San Diego focuses on solar focusing.  The main advantage is you can operate the electric energy market more efficiently.
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory points to a somewhat neglected area of photovoltaic research called reliability and encapsulation. Research involves trying to improve on current options like ethylene vinyl acetate and polyvinyl butyral. Researchers have developed new classes of hybrid materials, which are a combination of inorganic nanocrystals and organic polymers; these materials let light through while blocking the ingress of water, oxygen, sulfide, and nitrous oxides." 

Image: NREL

German-Funded Joint Project Investigating Manufacturing of Flexible OLED

From Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP,
November 03, 2014

"The BMBF (Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research)-funded project R2D2 will start in November 2014 aiming at the investigation  of production-related processes and technologies for the manufacturing of flexible OLED. The system integration of the manufactured flexible OLED modules for the use in automobiles, aircrafts and household applications is one of the main subjects of investigation within R2D2.

"The piecewise manufacturing as well as the roll-to-roll technology approaches will be pursued." says the consortium leader Dr. Christian May from Fraunhofer FEP. "The advantages and disadvantages of these manufacturing concepts as well as possible synergies shall be identified. Current challenges of the OLED, like durability, efficiency and homogeneity of the luminance will be addressed at the same time."

The consortium would like to thank the BMBF for the project funding, which provides a subsidy of EUR 5.9 million over a period of 2 years.
The consortium partners areFraunhofer FEP (consortium leader), AUDI AG, Diehl Aerospace GmbH, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., Novaled GmbH, OSRAM OLED GmbH, and VON ARDENNE GmbH."



China's LED Fabs to Install More Than 1,000 MOCVD Tools from 2014 to 2018

From Solid State Technology, November 7, 2014, 
by Daniel Qi (Semi China)

"As a result of cost reduction and performance improvements, LED lighting is becoming more and more competitive in general lighting market. SEMI China believes that the general lighting market will replace the LCD TV backlight market as the largest application market for LEDs in 2014, and general lighting market will continue to drive the LED industry over the next several years.

Due to overly optimistic expectations for future market growth and opportunities, coupled with many local governments providing subsidies for MOCVD equipment procurement, China's LED fab industry entered into a hyper-growth period between 2010 and 2011. Many of these companies struggled given challenges in ramping up and with over-supply in the market.

There has been very limited news of LED fab expansions over the previous two years, but the situation has changed as a number of China's LED companies have announced new fab projects and/or expansion plans in 2014. SEMI believes that over the next three to four years upstream LED manufacturers in China will enter robust era of growth.

The total increase in MOCVD tool quantity in 2014 and 2015 will be from just six companies and will account 74% of the total quantity of MOCVD tools installed in China. It is expected that the number of new MOCVD tools installed will exceed 1,000 from 2014 to 2018."

Image Source:  SEMI China, 2014
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Art14     Upcoming Conferences of Interest 


ICE USA 2015

and AIMCAL Technical Programs

February 10-12, 2015

Orange County Convention Center

Orlando, Florida, USA

Featuring the industry's most comprehensive educational sessions and a distinguished line-up of industry experts, the technical programs at ICE were created to provide converting professionals with valuable information and insights they need to enhance their companies' operations and productivity. Organized by AIMCAL (Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators), the three-day program is divided into eight sessions:

  • Coating Quality
  • Web Handling
  • Extrusion Coating
  • Coating Productivity
  • Winding
  • Web Slitting
  • Surface Treatment
  • Coating Process

Each day will begin with a thought-provoking keynote presentation, followed by three concurrent 2-hour technical sessions (one in each track) led by well-known industry experts. The sessions are scheduled from 10am to noon, providing attendees ample time to visit the ICE show floor and experience converting technology in action.


Learn More and register:


NCCAVS 36th Annual Equipment Exhibition

February 19, 2015

Holiday Inn San Jose Airport

San Jose, California

Held In Conjunction with:

4th Annual Student Poster Session

NCCAVS Symposium / Joint User Group Meeting

"Technology Innovation for Next Generation Materials and Manufacturing"


The NCCAVS sponsors an Annual Equipment Exhibition to showcase products and services of companies supporting vacuum-related industries. Attracting approximately 100+ exhibitors and ~700 attendees, the NCCAVS Annual Equipment Exhibition is the largest sponsored by any AVS Chapter.


Learn more and register: 



2015FLEX:  Flexible & Printed Electronics Conference & Exhibits

February 23-26, 2015

Monterey Conference Center

Monterey, California 

FlexTech is proud to present the 14th Annual Flexible & Printed Electronics Conference & Exhibition featuring 700+ attendees - 60+ exhibitors - 5 short courses - great networking opportunities!  The event theme of Bringing Technology & Products to Marketreflects the steady integration of flexible and printed electronics components in a wide array of products and processes.


The preliminary agenda reveals a strong technical emphasis on materials, process, equipment and materials for flexible electronics.  The event will focus on how flexible electronics are demonstrating the value of light-weight, low-power products to non-traditional electronics markets, such as smart packaging, flexible displays and human performance medical monitors.  For those not familiar with the status or challenges facing this technology's development, the 2015FLEX Conference & Exhibits is a great place to meet the players, hear issues and determine where the opportunities lie.  



SPIE Photonics West 2015

SPIE Photonics West


February 7-12, 2015
The Moscone Center
San Francisco, California, USA 


Join your peers at SPIE Photonics West, the #1 laser, photonics, and biomedical optics conference: 20,000 attendees, two exhibitions, 1,250 exhibiting companies, and 4,700 papers on biomedical optics, biophotonics, translational research, industrial lasers, optoelectronics, microfabrication, 3D printing, MOEMS-MEMS, optical communications, displays, and more.

For the most up-to-date information on Photonics West 2015, visit: 


MRS Spring 2015

2015 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 6-10, 2015

San Francisco, California

The 2015 MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit will be held in San Francisco, California. All technical sessions and non-technical events will be held at the Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco Marriott Marquis and The Westin San Francisco Market Street. 



2015 MRS Spring Meeting Symposia:

  • Energy
  • Nanomaterials
  • Electronics and Photonics
  • Soft and Biomaterials
  • General- Fabrication and Characterization
Learn more about exhibiting, sponsoring, and technical and non-technical events at:


BIT 1st Annual World Congress of Smart Materials - 2015


March 23-25, 2015

Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO)

Busan, Republic of Korea


WCSM-2015 is intended to provide a platform for professionals around the world to exchange state-of-the-art research and development and identify research needs and opportunities in this emerging field of Smart Materials. This is the Asian Branch of WCAM (World Congress of Advanced Materials). Smart materials are one of the most important researching directions in development of High-tech new materials and can help in removing the boundaries between structural and functional materials, which may result in significant revolution in materials science development. WCSM will bring about enormous benefits as well as open up a new and broader pathway for information and experience exchange all over the world.

January 15, 2015: Deadline for Abstract Submissions

Learn More and Register Online: 


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