Large-Scale ECR-CVD Preparation of Integrated Thin-Film Structures For Space Applications
ECR plasma discharges, with their characteristic high activation of reactive precursors and low ion energies, have facilitated new deposition chemistries, as well as the low-temperature processing of more delicate substrate materials. MPBT, with the assistance of the Canadian Space Agency, has extended the many positive attributes of ECR plasma-processing to the handling of large, flexible substrates such as those required by the space industry.
ECR processing can be employed to tailor the surface characteristics of existing space materials such as Kapton and Teflon. facilitating better optimization of the design of space craft. Since coatings such as dense SiO2 do not exhibit reliable adhesion when directly applied to plastics due to interfacial stress, MPBT has devoted considerable effort to develop a proprietary process that facilitates the adhesion of high-quality ECR-CVD SiO2 through covalent bonding to various polymers and resins including Kapton, Polycarbonate, Teflon and even fiberglass in an integrated thin-film structure. A broad range of thin-film structures can be prepared by ECR-CVD to meet various space requirements such as AO-resistance, thermal control and electrostatic protection. An overview is presented of ECR-CVD, the relevant plasma diagnostics, and the preparation of large-scale ECR-CVD thin-film structures for space applications. Experimental results are presented on the wear-resistance, VUV AO-resistance, and thermal characteristics of ECR-CVD SiO2 thin-film structures on Teflon and Kapton.
KeywordsElectron Cyclotron Resonance Optical Emission Spectrum Canadian Space Agency Atomic Oxygen Exposure Reliable Adhesion
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