In this paper, we present a combined morphological and optical characterization of aluminum-coated thermoplastic polymer surfaces. Flat plastic substrates, obtained by means of an injection molding process starting from plastic granules, were coated with ultra-thin aluminum films evaporated in vacuo, on top of which a silicon-based protective layer was plasma deposited in order to prevent oxidation of the metal reflective surface. Different sample treatments were studied to unravel the influence of substrate chemistry, substrate thickness, aluminum and protective layer thickness, and surface roughness on the actual optical reflectance properties. Bidirectional reflectance distribution function measurements, corroborated by surface morphological information obtained by means of atomic force microscopy, correlate reflectance characteristics with the root-mean-square surface roughness, providing evidence for the role of the substrate and the thin films’ morphology. The results unravel information of interest within many applicative fields involving metal coating processes of plastic substrates as an example in the case of automotive lighting.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Carraro, C, Maboudian, R, Magagnin, L, “Metallization and Nanostructuring of Semiconductor Surfaces by Galvanic Displacement Processes.” Surf. Sci. Rep., 62 499–525 (2007)
Richter, J, Seidel, R, Kirsch, R, Mertig, M, Pompe, W, Plaschke, J, Schackert, HK, “Nanoscale Palladium Metallization of DNA.” Adv. Mater., 12 507–510 (2000)
Parbukov, AN, Beklemyshev, VI, Gontar, VM, Makhonin, II, Gavrilov, SA, Bayliss, SC, “The Production of a Novel Stain-Etched Porous Silicon, Metallization of the Porous Surface and Application in Hydrocarbon Sensors.” Mater. Sci. Eng. C. Mater. Biol. Appl. C, 15 121–123 (2001)
Josell, D, Burkhard, C, Li, Y, Cheng, YW, Keller, RR, Witt, CA, Kelley, DR, Bonevich, JE, Baker, BC, Moffat, TP, “Electrical Properties of Superfilled Sub-micrometer Silver Metallizations.” J. Appl. Phys., 96 759–768 (2004)
Sharma, RK, Geyer, HJ, Mitchell, DG, “Metallization Scheme Providing Adhesion and Barrier Properties.” US Patent 4,927,505, 1990
Papavinasam, S, Attard, M, Arseneult, B, Revie, RW, “State-of-the-Art of Thermal Spray Coatings for Corrosion Protection.” Corr. Rev., 26 105–145 (2008)
Kim, HC, Alford, TL, “Improvement of the Thermal Stability of Silver Metallization.” J. Appl. Phys., 94 5393–5395 (2003)
Wu, Z, Wu, D, Qi, S, Zhang, T, Jin, R, “Preparation of Surface Conductive and Highly Reflective Silvered Polyimide Films by Surface Modification and In Situ Self-metallization Technique.” Thin Solid Films, 493 179–184 (2005)
Hao, Y, Sim, PC, Toner, B, Frank, M, Ackermann, M, Tan, A, Kuniss, U, Kho, E, Doblaski, J, Hee, EG, Hoelke, A, Wada, S, Oshima, T, Liew, M, “A 0.18 μm SOI BCD Technology for Automotive Application.” 27th International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices & IC’s (ISPSD), Hong Kong, May 2015
Kilian, A, Schmidt, LP, “A Novel Fabrication Process for Printed Antennas Integrated in Polymer Multi-layer Car Body Panels.” 2009 European Microwave Conference (EuMC), Rome, September 2009
Mattox, DM, Handbook of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Processing. William Andrew, Burlington (2010)
Wang, J, Huang, H, Kesapragada, SV, Gall, D, “Growth of Y-Shaped Nanorods Through Physical Vapor Deposition.” Nano Lett., 5 2505–2508 (2005)
Richter, G, Hillerich, K, Gianola, DS, Monig, R, Kraft, O, Volkert, CA, “Ultrahigh Strength Single Crystalline Nanowhiskers Grown by Physical Vapor Deposition.” Nano Lett., 9 3048–3052 (2009)
Sproul, WD, “Physical Vapor Deposition Tool Coatings.” Surf. Coat. Technol., 81 1–7 (1996)
Nicodemus, FE, Richmond, JC, Hsia, JJ, “Geometrical Considerations and Nomenclature for Reflectance.” US Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards, 160 (1977)
Leloup, FB, Forment, S, Dutré, P, Pointer, MR, Hanselaer, P, “Design of an Instrument for Measuring the Spectral Bidirectional Scatter Distribution Function.” Appl. Opt., 47 5454–5467 (2008)
ASTM E2387-19, Standard Practice for Goniometric Optical Scatter Measurements, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019
Haugstad, G, Atomic Force Microscopy: Understanding Basic Modes and Advanced Applications. Wiley, Hoboken (2012)
Nečas, D, Klapetek, P, “Gwyddion: An Open-Source Software for SPM Data Analysis.” Cent. Eur. J. Phys., 10 181–188 (2012)
Granier, A, Vervloet, M, Aumaille, K, Vallée, C, “Optical Emission Spectra of TEOS and HMDSO Derived Plasmas Used for Thin Film Deposition.” Plasma Sources Sci. Technol., 12 89 (2003)
Gosar, Ž, Kovač, J, Mozetič, M, Primc, G, Vesel, A, “Characterization of Gaseous Plasma Sustained in Mixtures of HMDSO and O2 in an Industrial-Scale Reactor.” Plasma Chem. Plasma Proc., 40 25–42 (2020)
Bruckman, LS, Murray, MP, Richardson, S, Brown, SA, Schuetz, MA, French, RH, Degradation of Back Surface Acrylic Mirrors: Implications for Low Concentration and Mirror Augmented Photovoltaics. IEEE EnergyTech, Cleveland, OH (2012)
Bernacki, BE, Johnson, TJ, Myers, TL, Blake, TA, “Modeling Liquid Organic Thin Films on Substrates.” Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIX. International Society for Optics and Photonics, Orlando, FL, May 2018
Freniere, ER, Gregory, GG, Chase, RC, “Interactive Software for Optomechanical Modeling.” Lens Design, Illumination, and Optomechanical Modeling, International Society for Optics and Photonics, San Diego, CA, September 1997
Harvey, JE, “Light-Scattering Characteristics of Optical Surfaces.” Stray Light Problems in Optical Systems, International Society for Optics and Photonics, Reston, VA, September 1977
Audenaert, J, Leloup, FB, Durinck, G, Deconinck, G, Hanselaer, P, “Bayesian Deconvolution Method Applied to Experimental Bidirectional Transmittance Distribution Functions.” Meas. Sci. Technol., 24 035202 (2013)
Harvey, JE, Choi, N, Schroeder, S, Duparré, A, “Total Integrated Scatter from Surfaces with Arbitrary Roughness, Correlation Widths, and Incident Angles.” Opt. Eng., 51 013402 (2012)
Hass, G, Hunter, WR, Tousey, R, “Reflectance of Evaporated Aluminum in the Vacuum Ultraviolet.” J. Opt. Soc. Am., 46 1009–1012 (1956)
Karoui, A, “Aluminum Ultra Thin Film Grown by Physical Vapor Deposition for Solar Cell Electric Nanocontacts.” ECS Transactions, 41 21–28 (2011)
Schmauder, T, Sauer, P, Ickes G, “New Reflectors and Reflector Coaters.” In 57th Annual Technical Conference Proceeding of the Society of Vacuum Coaters, Chicago, IL, May 2014
Schmauder, T, Küper, S, Wohlfahrt, P, “High Reflective Silver Coatings on 3D Plastic Parts for Solar Concentrators.” In 52nd Annual Technical Conference Proceedings of SVC, Santa Clara, CA, May 2009
TF, IP, VL, and EV acknowledge financial support from UniTs and Marelli Automotive Lighting Italy through the project “Caratterizzazione sperimentale e/o numerica delle proprietà ottiche ed elettroniche di materiali da impiegare per la generazione e la focalizzazione di fasci di luce con lo scopo di sviluppare nuovi sistemi ottici per il settore automotive”.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Fontanot, T., Audenaert, J., Hanselaer, P. et al. BRDF characterization of Al-coated thermoplastic polymer surfaces. J Coat Technol Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11998-020-00361-0
- Aluminum coating
- Thin film
- Surface roughness