Intlvac Develops New Process Recipes for its PECVD Diamond-Like Coating Machine

diamond like carbonTaking advantage of its knowledge in plasma‐based processing and thin film fabrication, Intlvac supplies turnkey Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating machines. Our DLC machine employs chemical vapor deposition technology, however we have enhanced the reaction kinetics by incorporating plasma activation.  By coupling a dense plasma to carbon‐based precursor gases, we create favorable reaction energetics needed to form diamond like material, including ta‐C microstructure. As a result, our machine, along with an Intlvac designed process recipe, regularly produces hard, wear and abrasion resistance DLC coatings to protect substrates exposed to harsh environments, complying to MIL‐Specs.

In addition to hardness, these same DLC coatings are very smooth making them applicable for tribological, low friction applications. The carbon constituency and bonding of DLC makes its chemical inert in many cases, such as resisting corrosion and its bio‐compatibility nature to where it is suitable for in‐situ biomedical uses. Our DLC coatings perform to the multifunctional demands required by our customer’s applications. These applications may simultaneously require the DLC satisfy mechanical, optical, and chemical properties. For example, where both hardness and optical performance are necessary, the DLC machine incorporates a predefined process to deposit a single hard DLC layer, but also satisfies optical anti‐reflection (AR) performance at the infra‐red wavelengths.

Driven by productivity metrics, the standard Intlvac DLC platform is a compact footprint. It can produce DLC thicknesses which range from several microns to 10nm on a variety of substrate materials. The substrate materials include Si, Ge, II‐VI  compounds, optical glasses, chalcogenonides, sapphire, metals, and plastics. Due to our ability to control and isolate the plasma volume, coating temperature sensitive substrates is possible. While compact, it is capable of processing a 500mm diameter area with uniformities and run to run repeatability demanded by commercial enterprises.