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January 2016
In This Issue

Next-Generation Solar Technology: Thin Is In

From Photonics Spectra, November 2015 by Valerie C. Coffey: 
"Commercial thin-film solar technology is making strides in real-world applications, while global research continues to increase efficiency in next-generation thin-film PV cells and coatings. Solar industry analyst firm Greentech Media in Boston predicts the global cumulative installed solar PV capacity to more than triple from 230 GW in 2015 to 696 GW in 2020.

The third generation of PV technology is often defined in the industry as new PV technologies that aspire to overcome the S-Q limit, such as novel semiconductors and emerging thin films. The Shockley-Queisser (S-Q) limit predicts the maximum possible solar conversion efficiency of a perfect single junction (p-n) solar cell across the range of semiconductor material bandgaps. The S-Q limit is only valid for semiconductor PV with single p-n junctions."

Source: Photonics Spectra,
Image: Photonics Spectra / Heliatek GmbH

A Potential Control Over Superconductivity

From Tokyo Institute of Technology, November 12, 2015: 
"Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology report that an applied potential can reversibly induce a superconducting-insulator transition in lithium titanate thin films.

Observations of a transition between a superconducting and insulating state in certain two-dimensional materials has stimulated debate within the research community as to what might be the mechanisms operating in such a transition. In addition 'high-temperature' superconductivity, as observed in certain transition metal oxides has prompted an interest in future applications using superconducting properties without the need for extreme cryogenic refrigeration."

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

Researchers Make Graphene Production Breakthrough

From the University of Glasgow (Scotland), November 18, 2015: 
"Researchers at the University of Glasgow have now found a way to produce large sheets of graphene using the same cheap type of copper used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries found in many household devices.

A team led by Dr Ravinder Dahiya explain how they have been able to produce large-area graphene around 100 times cheaper than ever before. Graphene is often produced by a process known as chemical vapour deposition, or CVD, which turns gaseous reactants into a film of graphene on a special surface known as a substrate. The research team used a similar process to create high-quality graphene across the surface of commercially-available copper foils of the type often used as the negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries."

Source: University of Glasgow,
Image: University of Glasgow

Coming to a Monitor Near You: A Defect-Free, Molecule-Thick Film

From University of California, Berkeley, November 26, 2015, by Sarah Yang:

"An emerging class of atomically thin materials known as monolayer semiconductors has generated a great deal of buzz in the world of materials science. Monolayers hold promise in the development of transparent LED displays, ultra-high efficiency solar cells, photo detectors and nanoscale transistors. Their downside? The films are notoriously riddled with defects, killing their performance.

But now a research team, led by engineers at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has found a simple way to fix these defects through the use of an organic superacid. The chemical treatment led to a dramatic 100-fold increase in the material's photoluminescence quantum yield, a ratio describing the amount of light generated by the material versus the amount of energy put in. The greater the emission of light, the higher the quantum yield and the better the material quality."


Source: University of California, 
Image: University of California / Der-Hsien Lien

Pickin' Up Good Vibrations with Rock Hard Guitar Picks

From Advanced Materials and Processes, November/December 2015:  
"Genvac Aerospace Inc., Cleveland, launched a crowd funding campaign introducing Rock Hard Metal, a line of diamond-enhanced guitar picks. The picks are coated under high vacuum using the same techniques used to coat military grade night vision optics for the armed services. The pick delivers an aggressive predatory sound and subtly generates new spectral harmonics."
Source: Advanced Materials and Processes, Volume 173, Issue 10, November/December 2015,  (Page 7)
Image: Advanced Materials and Processes, Volume 173, Issue 10, November/December 2015

Ultrasensitive Sensors Made from Boron-Doped Graphene

From Penn State University, November 2, 2015, by Walt Mills:

"Ultrasensitive gas sensors based on the infusion of boron atoms into graphene -- a tightly bound matrix of carbon atoms -- may soon be possible, according to an international team of researchers from six countries.

With the addition of boron atoms, the boron graphene sensors were able to detect noxious gas molecules at extremely low concentrations, parts per billion in the case of nitrogen oxides and parts per million for ammonia, the two gases tested to date. This translates to a 27 times greater sensitivity to nitrogen oxides and 10,000 times greater sensitivity to ammonia compared to pristine graphene."


Source: Penn State, 
Image: Penn State

Researchers Make Thinnest (Aluminum Oxide) Plates That Can Be Picked up by Hand

From the University of Pennsylvania, December 3, 2015: 
"Scientists and engineers are engaged in a global race to make new materials that are as thin, light and strong as possible. These properties can be achieved by designing materials at the atomic level, but they are only useful if they can leave the carefully controlled conditions of a lab.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now created the thinnest plates that can be picked up and manipulated by hand. Despite being thousands of times thinner than a sheet of paper and hundreds of times thinner than household cling wrap or aluminum foil, their corrugated plates of aluminum oxide spring back to their original shape after being bent and twisted."

Source: University of Pennsylvania,
Image: University of Pennsylvania

Researchers Fabricate a Virtually Perfect Single Layer of Hexagonal Boron Nitride
From Nanowerk News,
December 1, 2015: 


"A new era of electronics and even quantum devices could be ushered in with the fabrication of a virtually perfect single layer of "white graphene," according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The material, technically known as hexagonal boron nitride, features better transparency than its sister, graphene, is chemically inert, or non-reactive, and atomically smooth. It also features high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. Unlike graphene, however, it is an insulator instead of a conductor of electricity, making it useful as a substrate and the foundation for the electronics in cell phones, laptops, tablets and many other devices.

That process consists of standard atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition with a similar furnace, temperature and time, but there's a twist. The difference is a gentler, controllable way to release the reactant into the furnace and figuring out how to take advantage of inner furnace conditions."


Source: Nanowerk, 
Image: Nanowerk

Photonic "Sintering" may Create New Solar, Electronics Manufacturing Technologies

From Oregon State University, December 1, 2015 by Rajiv Malhotra: 

"Engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have made a fundamental breakthrough in understanding the physics of photonic "sintering," which could lead to many new advances in solar cells, flexible electronics, various types of sensors and other high-tech products printed onto something as simple as a sheet of paper or plastic.

In the new research, OSU experts discovered that previous approaches to understand and control photonic sintering had been based on a flawed view of the basic physics involved, which had led to a gross overestimation of product quality and process efficiency. Researchers now believe they can create high quality products at much lower temperatures, at least twice as fast and with 10 times more energy efficiency."


Source: Oregon State University, 
Image: Oregon State University 

"Invisible Wires" that Could Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

From Stanford University, November 25, 2015, by Mark Shwartz:  

"A solar cell is basically a semiconductor, which converts sunlight into electricity, sandwiched between metal contacts that carry the electrical current. The critical but shiny metal on top of the cell reflects sunlight away from the semiconductor where electricity is produced, reducing the cell's efficiency.

Now Stanford scientists have discovered how to hide the reflective upper contact and funnel light directly to the semiconductor below. For the study, the Stanford team placed a 16-nanometer-thick film of gold conducting metal on a flat sheet of silicon. The gold film was riddled with an array of nanosized square holes, but to the eye, the surface looked like a shiny, gold mirror. The solution: Create nanosized pillars of silicon that "tower" above the gold film. The nanopillars act as funnels that capture light and guide it into the silicon substrate through the holes in the metal grid."


Source: Stanford University, 
Image: Stanford University / Vijay Narasimhan

Oxford Spin-Out to Use Phase Change Materials for Smart Glazing, Displays

From University of Oxford, November 9, 2015:

"The discovery by researchers at the University of Oxford that it is possible to use extremely thin, flexible, transparent layers of a new smart material to create low-energy, high-resolution displays and glazing is to be commercialised by spinout company Bodle Technologies.

Oxford Sciences Innovation, the 320m investment company established to provide capital and scaling expertise to Oxford spinouts, is the lead investor in the new company. Other investors include the University of Oxford Isis Fund II, managed by Parkwalk Advisors and the Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund led by George Robinson. Dr David Fyfe, former CEO of Cambridge Display Technologies and currently Executive Chairman of Oxford PV, will join as Executive Chairman."


Source: University of Oxford, 
Image: University of Oxford

Higher Efficiency Thanks to Perovskite Magic Crystal

From Empa (Switzerland),
November 18, 2015 by Rainer Klose:  


"Stacking two solar cells one over the other has advantages: Because the energy is "harvested" in two stages, and overall the sunlight can be converted to electricity more efficiently. Empa researchers have come up with a procedure that makes it possible to produce thin film tandem solar cells in which a thin perovskite layer is used. The processing of perovskite takes place at just 50 degrees Celsius and such a process is potentially applicable for low cost roll-to-roll production in future."

Source: Empa, 
Image: Empa

Onion-Like Layers Help this Efficient New Nanoparticle Glow

From the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, November 10, 2015, by Charlotte Hsu: 
"A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

The particle's innovation lies in its layers: a coating of organic dye, a neodymium-containing shell, and a core that incorporates ytterbium and thulium. Together, these strata convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light with record-high efficiency, a trick that could improve the performance of technologies ranging from deep-tissue imaging and light-induced therapy to security inks used for printing money. The research led by the Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics at University of Buffalo (NY), and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, found that near-infrared light could be used to activate the light-emitting nanoparticles deep inside the body, providing high-contrast images of areas of interest."

Source: University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 
Image: University at Buffalo, The State University of New York / Kaiheng Wei

Sunscreen Ingredient may Prevent Medical Implant Infections

From the University of Michigan, November 11, 2015: 

"A common ingredient in sunscreen could be an effective antibacterial coating for medical implants such as pacemakers and replacement joints.

University of Michigan researchers found that a coating of zinc oxide nanopyramids can disrupt the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), reducing the film on treated materials by over 95 percent. About a million implanted medical devices are infected each year with MRSA and other bacterial species."


Source: University of Michigan, 
Image: University of Michigan/ Steve Alvey

New Technology Colors in the Infrared Rainbow

From Duke University, November 9, 2015 by Ken Kingery: 

"Traditional infrared imaging systems may look colorful on screen, with warm objects appearing redder and whiter than their surroundings. But these images are not created from actual colors. They are based on the amount of thermal radiation -- or infrared light -- that the camera captures.

In a new study, a team at Duke University demonstrates perfect absorbers for small bands of the electromagnetic spectrum from visible light through the near infrared. The fabrication technique is easily scalable, can be applied to any surface geometry and costs much less than current light absorption technologies."


Source: Duke University, 
Image: Duke University / Maiken Mikkelsen and Gleb Akselrod

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Partner2016 SVC TechCon
Promotional Partners

The following publications and organizations are playing an important role promoting the 2016 SVC TechCon within and outside the Vacuum Coating Community.


Personal Message
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is where you will find the latest R&D in coatings, new materials, thin films, lenses, optics, photonics and more. Events include SPIE Photonics West, SPIE Optics + Photonics, SPIE Advanced Lithography, and SPIE DCS. Learn more at
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Paper, Film & Foil Converter (PFFC) reaches converters of flexible/semi-rigid materials that print, coat, laminate, metallize, extrude, slit, die-cut, and make bags/pouches, labels, tapes, tags, cartons, boxes, fiber tubes, magnetic media, sanitary, and disposable products. Features: Technical/testimonial articles, expert columns, news/events, videos, webinars, and new products. Online Buyer's Guide complements weekly E-Clips e-newsletter. 

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SPIE Photonics West 2015
SPIE Photonics West
February 13-18, 2016
The Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA 

SPIE Photonics West, the #1 laser, photonics, and biomedical optics conference: 20,000 attendees, two exhibitions with more than 1,250 exhibiting companies, 70 special events, 4,800 papers in the areas of biomedical optics, optoelectronics, industrial lasers, nanophotonics, MOEMS-MEMs, and more.

One Week. A Variety of Events.
BiOS Hot Topics * Translational Research * LASE * OPTO * Green Photonics * 3D Printing * BiOS, LASE, OPTO Plenary sessions * Courses * BiOS Expo * Photonics West Exhibition * Industry Events * and More.

NCCAVS 37th Annual Equipment Exhibition
February 24, 2016
Holiday Inn San Jose Airport
1350 N. First Street | San Jose, California

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.

Held In Conjunction with:
  • 5th Annual Student Poster Session
  • NCCAVS Symposium / Joint User Group Meeting 
    "Materials, Devices, and Systems for Intelligent Engineering Solutions"

2016Flex Conference 2016FLEX
February 29 - March 3, 2016
Monterey Marriott
Monterey, CA, USA 

Spend several productive days seeing and hearing the latest breakthroughs and developments in Flexible, Printed and Hybrid Electronics. Join other electronics professionals as they gather to explore bringing technology and products successfully to market through presentations, courses, exhibits and networking.

Passes are available for any combination of days, courses or events. Pick and choose items that work for your schedule and interests, while leaving plenty of time to meet with new customers and vendors also at the event. 

Don't miss the best technical event in the industry - guaranteed to advance your technical and business interests in flexible, printed, hybrid electronics and their applications.

MRS SPring Meeting 2016
2016 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit
March 28-April 1, 2016
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, Arizona 

Symposia Include:
  • Characterization and Modeling of Materials 
  • Energy and Environment
  • Electronics and Photonics
  • Materials Design
  • Nanotechnology
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials 
Held in conjunction with the MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, the exhibit provides a unique opportunity to present innovative products and services to a large and diverse global audience who walk the floor seeking technical solutions to their challenges. Reserve your exhibit space today to be part of the materials science community's premier event of the year.

AIMCAL Logo AIMCAL Web Coating and Handling Conference
May 30 - June 2, 2016
Dresden, Germany

The AIMCAL Web Coating and Handling Conference brings together the converting community to advance the technologies of web processing, handling and finishing. Organized and hosted by the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) the conference convenes leading industry professionals to improve efficiencies, reduce waste and introduce new technologies designed to improve competitiveness. The conference brings the state of the art to the plant floor, addressing the problems and opportunities that are part of every manufacturing process. AIMCAL is partnering with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV (Fraunhofer IVV), Freising, Germany, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP (Fraunhofer FEP), Dresden, Germany, to present the event.

ICCG11 2016

The International Conference on Coatings on Glass and Plastics ICCG11 
June 12-16, 2016 
Conference Center, Braunschweig, Germany

With an excellent scientific program, several social events, plenty of exhibitors, and a historically remarkable venue, the ICCG11 offers a unique platform to discuss the latest trends and the implementation of new technologies or products into the field of coatings on glass and plastics. The focus of the conference is to bring together science and industry to discuss the latest trends in the field of coatings on glass and plastics. Besides universities and research institutes, the conference addresses coating manufacturers, material and equipment suppliers, and user industries.

The application of coatings is an area which has become extremely important for large-area or high-volume
products. The topics will cover all of the required steps and techniques to control the coating process, to characterize, and to finish the coated product. Finally, the 11th ICCG provides information on the different technologies at a general level for new product designers, as well as technical aspects, safety measures, and environmental and economic factors.

Abstract Submission Deadline: December 15, 2015
Early Bird Registration Deadline: March 4, 2016

Learn More:


Seventh International Conference on Fundamentals and Industrial Applications of HIPIMS 2016
June 27-30, 2016
Cutler's Hall
Sheffield, United Kingdom

HIPIMS 2016 will provide a forum for presenting the latest research by scientists and engineers from industry, engineering institutes and academia. Contributions will cover fundamental scientific aspects as well as application-oriented research and development. In addition, successful introduction to market of new products utilizing HIPIMS will be addressed:

HIPIMS 2016 will focus on the following topics:
  • Generation of HIPIMS and highly ionized plasmas
  • Plasma diagnostics and discharge physics
  • Coating characterization and performance
  • Reactive and non-reactive HIPIMS processes
  • Simulation of HIPIMS processes
  • HIPIMS systems and hardware
Featuring SVC Tutorial Courses:
Monday, June 27
C-323: High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering
Prof. Arutiun P. Ehiasarian, Sheffield Hallam University and Dr. Andre Anders, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Tuesday, June 28 - half-day morning
C-338: Application of Reactive Sputtering
Dr. Ralf Bandorf, Fraunhofer IST

Tuesday, June 28 - half-day afternoon
C-333: HIPIMS Applications
Dr. Ralf Bandorf, Fraunhofer IST and Prof. Arutiun P. Ehiasarian, Sheffield Hallam University

Conference Deadlines:
Abstract submission: Feb 26, 2016
Acceptance Notification: March 25, 2016

PSE 2016

PSE 2016
15th International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering
Congress Centre
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
September 12-16, 2016

The biennial PSE conference series is organized by the European Joint Committee on Plasma and Ion Surface Engineering.
PSE 2016 will feature an SVC Tutorial, September 15, 2016:
C-328: Properties and Applications of Tribological Coatings
Prof. Allan Matthews, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
With a continuously growing interest in the preceding PSE events, with more than 750 participants from all over the world in 2014, PSE is a well-established and leading forum in the field of plasma as well as ion- and particle-beam assisted surface modification and thin film technologies, which is accompanied by a prosperous industrial exhibition.
PSE provides an opportunity to present recent progress in research and development and industrial applications. Its topics span a wide range from fundamentals such as process modelling and simulation of plasmas or thin film physics through experimental studies, which establish the relationships between process parameters and the structural and functional properties of modified surfaces and/or thin films, towards the application in industrial production.
The PSE 2016 will be dedicated to "Plasma, Surface and Mobility". The importance of plasma on the modification of materials surfaces and their impact on the diversity of areas of mobility such as transportation, low CO2 emission, improved engines efficiency or quality of life, will be enhanced in many scientific and technological contributions allocated to the conference topics. The more applied aspects with direct impact on the mobility for tomorrow will be discussed and addressed in the industrial workshop.
Visit the Conference Web Page:

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