Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn  Society of Vacuum Coaters
March 2016
In This Issue

How Laser Cooling Is Changing the Ion-Beam Game

From Chemical and Engineering News, January 25, 2016, by Matt Davenport: 
"Researchers have long relied on narrowly focused ion beams to sculpt and probe materials at the nanoscale. But the choice of elements capable of providing the ions for the beams is limited. The tool developed at National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) adds roughly one-fifth of the periodic table to that portfolio.

NIST's technology, which was recognized by the magazine Microscopy Today as one of the top innovations of 2015, could help push the frontiers in energy research, analytical chemistry, and computer chip development. The pivotal difference between the NIST instrument and existing beams is how they generate ions. Instead of using powerful electric fields to rip charged particles from cusps of molten gallium or puffs of noble gases, the NIST prototype accelerates particles from a cold atomic cloud. To create the cloud, the team built what's known as a magneto-optical trap."

Source: Chemical and Engineering News,
Image: Chemical and Engineering News / Matt Davenport

Metallic Glue for Ambient Environments Making Strides

From Advanced Materials and Processes, January 2016, by Stephen Stagon, et al.: 
"Metallic glues feature the combined advantages of the ambient condition of gluing and the superior properties of the joint from high temperature soldering (or welding and brazing). These glues can serve as excellent conductors for heat dissipation and electrical current in electronic devices and also as leak-resistant seals for vacuum environments. The potential market for these applications is extensive and growing rapidly.

Advancements in nanoscience are making it possible to metallically glue two solids together at room temperature, in air, and under a small amount of mechanical pressure. One important subject of investigation in nanoscience has been nanorod growth using glancing angle physical vapor deposition. A recent breakthrough involves the development of a theory for both the diameter and separation of nanorods."

Source: Advanced Materials and Processes, Volume 174, Issue 1, January 2016, (page22)
Image:Advanced Materials and Processes,  Volume 174, Issue 1, January 2016

Holography: Nanoscale Sieves Snare Would-Be Thieves

From Nanowerk News, January 20, 2016: 
"Bank notes and credit cards may soon feature improved anti-counterfeiting holograms thanks to a 'photon sieve' developed by A*STAR researchers and co-workers.

Holograms contain complex, three-dimensional image information that makes them difficult - but not impossible - to counterfeit. One way to improve their security is by using sophisticated devices that enhance holographic resolution. Nanophotonic devices deploy arrays of nanoscale light scattering pixels that encode additional layers of information through 'near field' optical interactions between lasers and the pixels.

Recently, researchers at A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have shown nanoscale holes carved into thin metal sheets to be effective light scattering pixels. Researchers used electron-beam lithography to turn their design into a practical device by etching over 34,000 aperiodic nanoholes into a thin chromium film. The resulting prototype boosted diffraction efficiency by nearly 50 per cent compared to conventional nanophotonic devices with image resolution hundreds of times better."

Image: A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering

Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

From MIT News, January 20, 2016, by David L. Chandler:

"Two MIT researchers have developed a thin-film material, called a strontium cobaltite, or SrCoOx, whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its new configuration until switched back by another voltage. The discovery could pave the way for a new kind of "nonvolatile" computer memory chip that retains information when the power is switched off, and for energy conversion and catalytic applications."

Source: MIT News, 
Image: MIT

New Battery Shuts Down at High Temperatures and Restarts When it Cools

From Stanford University News, January 11, 2016, by Mark Shwartz:  
"Stanford researchers have invented a lithium-ion battery that turns on and off depending on the temperature. The new technology could prevent battery fires that have plagued laptops, hoverboards and other electronic devices.

The researchers coated the spiky nickel particles with graphene, an atom-thick layer of carbon, and embedded the particles in a thin film of elastic polyethylene. To conduct electricity, the spiky particles have to physically touch one another. But during thermal expansion, polyethylene stretches. That causes the particles to spread apart, making the film nonconductive so that electricity can no longer flow through the battery. During cooling, the particles reunite and the battery starts producing electricity again. They can even tune the temperature higher or lower depending on how many particles are put in or what type of polymer materials is selected."

Source: Stanford University,  
Image: Stanford University / Mark Shwartz

Novel Nanotechnology Technique for Table-Top Production of Flat Optics

From University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering, January 27, 2016, by Rick Kubetz:

"Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simplified approach to fabricating flat, ultrathin optics. The new approach enables simple etching without the use of acids or hazardous chemical etching agents.

Researchers present plasmon-assisted etching as an approach to extend the do-it-yourself (DIY) theme to optics with only a modest tradeoff in quality, specifically, the table-top fabrication of planar optical components. Their method uses the intuitive design aspects of diffractive optics by way of simple surface modification, and the electric-field enhancement properties of metal nanoantennas."


Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 
Image: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

New Industrial Possibilities for Nanoporous Thin Films

From KU Leuven (The Netherlands), December 14, 2015: 
"Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new type of materials with nanoscale pores. Bioscience engineers from KU Leuven have developed an alternative method that produces these materials in the form of very thin films, so that they can easily be used for high-tech applications such as microchips.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a recently developed type of materials that consist of a nanoporous grid of both organic molecules and metal ions. MOFs take shape as the organic molecules push the metal ions apart, so that a regular pattern of tiny holes or nanopores develops. The size of the pores can be tuned at the nanoscale level. MOFs can be seen as microscopic sponges that can absorb a lot of material.

KU Leuven researchers are the first to use vapor-phase deposition for the production of these highly porous materials. They first deposit layers of zinc and let them react with the vapor of the organic material. The organic material permeates the zinc, the volume of the whole expands, and it is fully converted into a material with a regular structure and nanopores."

Source: KU Leuven,
Image: KU Leuven

Nanoengineered Film Has Refractive Index Near 1
From Photonics Spectra, December 2015: 

"A dielectric film with a refractive index close to that of air could be used to make photonic devices more efficient and mechanically stable. Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a film made of aluminum oxide that has a refractive index as low as 1.025 but that is mechanically stiff.

The key to the film's performance is the highly ordered spacing of the pores, which gives it a more mechanically robust structure without impairing the refractive index. The pores are created in a polymer substrate using a new nanolithography technique. The porous polymer then serves as a template, which the researchers coat with a thin layer of aluminum oxide using atomic layer deposition. The polymer is then burned off, leaving behind a 3D aluminum oxide coating."


Source: Photonics Spectra,
Image: North Carolina State University / Chih-Hao Chang

Simplifying Solar Cells with a New Mix of Materials

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, January 27, 2016, by Glenn Roberts Jr.: 

"An international research team has simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. The special blend of materials-which could also prove useful in semiconductor components-eliminates the need for a process known as doping that alters the device's properties by introducing foreign atoms. This doping process adds complexity to the device and can degrade its performance.

The new study demonstrated a dopant-free silicon cell, referred to as a DASH cell (dopant free asymmetric heterocontact), with an average efficiency above 19 percent. The team used a room-temperature technique called thermal evaporation to deposit the layers of lithium fluoride and moly oxide for the new solar cell."


Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 
Image: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

Metal Oxide Sandwiches: New Option to Manipulate Properties of Interfaces

From Helmholtz Zentrum, Berlin, February 4, 2016:  
"A Franco-German team has investigated a sandwich system of transition metal oxides at BESSY II. The scientists discovered a new option to control properties of the interface between the two layers, for instance the amount of charge transferred from one layer to the other or the emergence of ferromagnetism. Their insights might help to create new properties at the interface, not present in the primary materials, maybe even novel forms of High Tc superconductivity."
Source: Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, 
Image: Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin / M. Bibes

Flexible and Transparent Pressure Sensor

From Phys.Org, January 25, 2016:

"Healthcare practitioners may one day be able to physically screen for breast cancer using pressure-sensitive rubber gloves to detect tumors, owing to a transparent, bendable and sensitive pressure sensor newly developed by Japanese and American teams.

Conventional pressure sensors are flexible enough to fit to soft surfaces such as human skin, but they cannot measure pressure changes accurately once they are twisted or wrinkled, making them unsuitable for use on complex and moving surfaces.

To address these issues, an international team of researchers led by the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Engineering has developed a nanofiber-type pressure sensor that can measure pressure distribution of rounded surfaces such as an inflated balloon and maintain its sensing accuracy even when bent over a radius of 80 micrometers, equivalent to just twice the width of a human hair. The sensor is roughly 8 micrometers thick and can measure the pressure in 144 locations at once." 
Image: 2016 Someya Laboratory

Beetle-Inspired Engineering Could Control Frost and Reduce Energy Costs

From Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), January 25, 2016:  

"In a discovery that may lead to ways to prevent frost on airplane parts, condenser coils, and even windshields, a team of researchers led by Virginia Tech has used chemical micropatterns to control the growth of frost caused by condensation.

Researchers describe how they used photolithography to pattern chemical arrays that attract water over top of a surface that repels water, thereby controlling or preventing the spread of frost. The inspiration for the work came from an unlikely source - the Namib Desert Beetle, which makes headlines because it lives in one of the hottest places in the world, yet it still collects airborne water. The insect has a bumpy shell and the tips of the bumps attract moisture to form drops, but the sides are smooth and repel water, creating channels that lead directly to the beetle's mouth."


Source: Virginia Tech, 
Image: Virginia Tech / Saurabh Nath

Light and Graphene

From SPIE Professional, January 2016, by Frank Koppens: 
"Graphene and other 2D materials may be the basis for the next killer application in optical sensing. The European Union Graphene Flagship program aims to act as a catalyst for the development of groundbreaking applications by bringing together academia and industry to take graphene into society within 10 years.

One of the largest programs is centered on optoelectronic applications. Graphene and other 2D materials are expected to offer an all-in-one solution to the challenges of future optoelectronic technologies because of their tunable optical properties, broadband absorption (from UV to THz), high electrical mobility for ultrafast operation, and novel gate-tunable plasmonic properties. For example, 2D material-based photodetectors are extremely fast, with intrinsic limits exceeding 250GHz."

Source: SPIE Professional, 
Image: SPIE Professional / ICFO

NREL Theorizes Defects Could Improve Solar Cells

From NREL, January 12, 2016: 

"Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are studying what may seem paradoxical - certain defects in silicon solar cells may actually improve their performance.

Deep-level defects frequently hamper the efficiency of solar cells, but NREL theoretical research suggests that defects with properly engineered energy levels can improve carrier collection out of the cell, or improve surface passivation of the absorber layer. Researchers at NREL ran simulations to add impurities to layers adjacent to the silicon wafer in a solar cell. Namely, they introduced defects within a thin tunneling silicon dioxide (SiO2) layer that forms part of "passivated contact" for carrier collection, and within the aluminum oxide (Al2O3) surface passivation layer next to the silicon (Si) cell wafer. In both cases, specific defects were identified to be beneficial.


Source: NREL, 
Image: NREL

A Graphene Barrier to Precisely Control Molecules for Making Nanoelectronics

From University of California, Los Angeles, January 19, 2016, by Shaun Mason: 

"Gardeners often use sheets of plastic with strategically placed holes to allow their plants to grow but keep weeds from taking root. Scientists from UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute have found that the same basic approach is an effective way to place molecules in the specific patterns they need within tiny nanoelectronic devices. The technique could be useful in creating sensors that are small enough to record brain signals.

The researchers developed a sheet of graphene material with minuscule holes in it that they could then place on a gold substrate, a substance well suited for these devices. The holes allow molecules to attach to the gold exactly where the scientists want them, creating patterns that control the physical shape and electronic properties of devices that are 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair."


Image:UCLA California NanoSystems Institute

Scientists See the Light on Microsupercapacitors

From Rice University, December 3, 2015 by Mike Williams: 

"Rice University researchers who pioneered the development of laser-induced graphene have configured their discovery into flexible, solid-state microsupercapacitors that rival the best available for energy storage and delivery. Microsupercapacitors are not batteries, but inch closer to them as the technology improves.

Rice's microsupercapacitors charge 50 times faster than batteries, discharge more slowly than traditional capacitors and match commercial supercapacitors for both the amount of energy stored and power delivered. The devices are manufactured by burning electrode patterns with a commercial laser into plastic sheets in room-temperature air, eliminating the complex fabrication conditions that have limited the widespread application of microsupercapacitors. The researchers see a path toward cost-effective, roll-to-roll manufacturing."


Source: Rice University, 
Image: Rice University / The Tour Group

The Semiconductor Industry's Wild Ride in 2015 and Thinking Two Steps Ahead in 2016

From SEMI, January 5, 2016, by Denny McGuirk: 

"While initial expectations forecasted a double-digit growth year, the world economy faded and dragged the semiconductor industry down to nearly flat 2015/2014 results.

However, 2015 will be remembered for its wild ride that fundamentally changed the industry. In 2015 a wave of M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) activity swept across the industry supply chain-unlike any single year before-with scores of transactions and notable multi-billion dollar companies absorbed. In 2016 we'll be working within a newly reconfigured supply chain.

Current projections for semiconductor equipment and materials suggest that 2016 will not be a high growth year. The span of forecasts ranges from almost -10% to +5%. Increasingly in this business landscape, collaboration is required simultaneously across the extended supply chain-customers' customers' customers are now routinely part of the discussion in unit process development."


Source: SEMI, 
Image: SEMI

Advertising Index

Thin Films Research Inc

Buerkert  Burkert April 2015
Ulvac April 2015
Advanced Energy March 2015


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
Solid State Technology
Solid State Technology.  The leader in covering semiconductor manufacturing and packaging technology, materials, products and news for over 50 years provides the same level of expertise and insights to decision makers for MEMs, display, LED and power electronics manufacturing-in our magazine, six e-Newsletters, comprehensive website and at The ConFab.

Personal Message

The Association of Vacuum Equipment Manufacturers (AVEM) is the only U.S. association dedicated completely to companies that manufacture vacuum equipment and supplies that serve and advance vacuum science and technology. AVEM was founded in 1969 and is the only non-profit source for market data across the vacuum industry.

Personal Message
Materials Today Logo
Materials Today is a community dedicated to the creation and sharing of materials science knowledge and experience. Supported by Elsevier, we publish high impact peer-reviewed journals, organize academic conferences, broadcast educational webinars and so much more. For more information visit our website:

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

SEMICON West 2016

July 12-14, 2016
Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA

At SEMICON West 2016, it's definitely not business as usual. The industry is different and so is SEMICON West-bigger, wider, more in-touch with market-makers. SEMICON West is the one place the new, interconnected supply chain comes together and the reimagined industry comes into focus. Here, not business as usual means new players and demand generators, new programs, and new industry segments-all connecting in one place. Nearly 700 international exhibitors showcasing products and services for across the manufacturing ecosystem-from design to final manufacturing. More than 80 hours of technical and business programs, including in-depth technical sessions. Forums for advanced packaging, test, advanced manufacturing, extended supply chain, sustainable manufacturing and the Silicon Innovation Forum.
SEMICON West pavilions and special exhibit areas showcase companies from around the world and special technology segments who are bringing new products, solutions, and innovations to the global microelectronics industry. Visit pavilions for 3D printing/additive manufacturing, compound semiconductors, secondary equipment, regional pavilions, the World of IoT Showcase, and Innovation Village - a research and startup showcase. SEMICON West connects the extended supply chain to make sense of the new industry. We can't predict what will happen next, but one thing is certain: if you want to be in a position not just to survive, but to thrive, a trip to the completely new, completely re-engineered SEMICON West is mandatory. Connect to opportunity at SEMICON West 2016 and leave "business as usual" behind. Be there -- July 12-14, 2016, Moscone Center, San Francisco, California.

Do You Have an Interesting Article to Share?

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 in this newsletter by contacting SVC at 

Society of Vacuum Coaters 
71 Pinon Hill Place NE 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122