Highly precise and stable surface coatings are essential for many applications, whether for eyeglasses, or for optics for lasers or telescopes. The project PluTO created a basic understanding of plasma-based coatings. The aim of the project PluTO+ is now to transfer these to industrial applications. For this, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is working on controlling ion beam sputtering (IBS).
Up to now, IBS processes, in comparison to magnetron processes for example, could only be guided by using set parameters, but without online control. Fundamental knowledge of the influence of plasma parameters was missing.
For this reason, the Process Development Group of the LZH investigated how exactly IBS coating processes work, within the framework of the joint project PluTO (Plasma and optical technologies). For example, they were able to quantify the ions of sputtered materials separately from the background plasma.
Furthermore, they could analyze in detail the reactive processes on the target surface. With this knowledge, they were able to develop new strategies to decisively improve the quality, reproducibility and exploitation of IBS processes.
Simulation of the process beforehand
Additionally, the scientists developed a new, versatile tool for describing layer condensation. This tool can be used to simulate processes on an atomic level, so that in the future it is possible to adapt the parameters to the demands of deposition processes, for example for the stoichiometry, thickness or roughness of the layers.
In the recently started follow-up project PluTO+, information from the project PluTO are to be transferred into industry. For this, the LZH has developed control sequences for the IBS process. In combination with innovative plasma diagnostics, it would be possible to follow the course of a process online, to make predictions, and accordingly intervene in these processes. This would make the coating processes more precise, more stable and faster and thus less expensive.
In the collaborative project PluTO, five research organizations in the fields of plasma technology and optical thin-film coating technology have worked on gaining basic knowledge on plasma supported coating processes. The PluTO+ network consists of four research institutes and eight industrial partners under leadership of the Bühler Alzenau GmbH. Both PluTO and PluTO+ have been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Lena Bennefeld | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University
Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy