CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio


  • Günter BräuerEmail author
Reference work entry


Coating technologies are used to modify mechanical, chemical, electrical, or optical properties of surfaces. A distinction can be made between “thick” and “thin” film technology. “Thin films” in general have thicknesses less than 10 μm, but the demarcation line is not so clear-cut.

The most important processes for thin-film formation are physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes. Basic PVD processes are evaporation and sputtering. The coating material is solid; thin films are deposited by solid-liquid-vapor-solid phase transition in the case of evaporation and solid-vapor-solid transition in the case of sputtering.

Figures 1 and 2show the principles of thermal and electron beam evaporation. Materials with a low melting point (many metals) are evaporated from graphite boats by resistive heating. For materials with a higher melting point (e.g., metal oxides), electron beam evaporation is commonly used. Evaporation is a fast process with deposition rates of 500–5000 nm/s for...
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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films ISTBraunschweigGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ludger Overmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Transport- und AutomatisierungstechnikGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität HannoverGarbsenDeutschland