Atomic layer deposition (ALD), is a common method to precisely control the growth of materials and fabricate thin films on a substrate- i.e. the formation of a coating. ALD is a vapor phase technique and the process of formation utilizes a layer-by-layer (LbL) method to grow and build the film using a bottom-up nucleation-growth approach.
Typically, the method needs to be conducted in a controlled temperature range, also known as the ‘ALD temperature window’, otherwise the process is inefficient. So, despite it being a useful technique, with a greater efficiency than CVD and PVD, it is one that requires expert monitoring and implementation.
ALD is a growing area which is used across many industries and academic laboratories. In today’s ever-growing science market, ALS offers the ability to accelerate the growth of new and innovative products, in a cost-efficient manner.
Benefits of Atomic Layer Deposition
There is a myriad of benefits associated with ALD, that covers both the experimental procedure and the properties of the product.
From an experimental point of view, ALD offers a process which can be used when a high aspect ratio and/or complex structures are required. On top of this, ALD achieves a pin-hole and particle free deposition, excellent conformality independent of geometry, thickness control at the Angstrom level and the ability to easily tune a film’s composition. The deposition process can also be used with a variety of metal oxides.
Looking at the properties of an ALD-fabricated film, they have a high stability and are resistant to time-dependent, chemical, physical and thermal degradation, are ready for real-world applications, and possess an even coverage of coating- no matter the size or shape.
On a more specific basis, the use of an ALD film gives the underlying material excellent stability against many environmental processes, including transition metal dissolution, electrode-electrolyte interactions, active material instability, high-temperature operations, fast cycling rates and overvoltage conditions.
Forge Nano coatings are known to be tailored to give you, the end user, the exact properties you need. These include introducing corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, improved dispersion, lower viscosity, dielectric properties, electrical conduction, electrical insulation, Ion conduction, improved strength, improved bonding, greater catalytic activity, resistance to coking, optical tuning and an adherence base layer into the coating.
Applications of Atomic Layer Deposition
As you can imagine, the ability to deposit atoms and grow a material finds its use across many applications, none more so than those in the chemical and nanotechnology sectors. To date, atomic layer deposition is commonly used in the academic laboratory, and on a commercial scale you may find that ALD is used in/on:
- Semiconductor Engineering
- Li-ion Batteries
- Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
- Conformal and nano-coatings
- Fuel cells
- Solar cells
- Drug Delivery
- Tissue Engineering
And these represent just a few of the industries/research areas utilizing ALD today.
Atomic Layer Deposition at Forge Nano
Forge Nano are at the forefront of ALD manufacturing and possess a patented high-throughput nano-coating manufacturing process, which allows for the quick and easy deposition of a coating at low cost. Their technology is used to create ALD coatings, with specialties in precise nanoscale surface coatings, with common uses in Li-ion battery electrodes and catalysis applications.
To find out more how Forge Nano’s ALD process can help you, please contact us.