Functional Thin-Film Materials

A functional thin film is either a conductive or a non conductive coating applied directly onto a given substrate for purposes other than merely appearance. This paper presents the fundamentals, applications and future trends of thin film technology as well as the process of thin film coating application, and definitions for different terms associated with thin film technology. The various advantages of thin film coatings are described, stating the difference between vacuum metallizing and thin film coating technology, and the applications of conductive thin films such as aluminum, stainless copper, and stainless steel are reviewed along with different methods of testing thin film coatings. Also featured are the cost considerations of thin film coatings, and an overview of future growth of thin film shielding market.

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