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Novel low cost process for the deposition of metallic and compound thin films on plastics

: Kälber, T.; Jung, T.

Plasma surface engineering 1996. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1996
International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering <5, 1996, Garmisch-Partenkirchen>
Fraunhofer IST ()
hollow cathode; plastics; reactive gas flow sputtering; Ti-C:H

We describe a new sputter deposition process for the coating of polymers with metallic and compound wear-resistant thin films at a low vacuum level (millibar range) and at rates higher than standard magnetron sputtering. Since no high vacuum equipment is needed this process represents an inexpensive alternative to traditional coating techniques. Various plastics like polyamide (PA) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) have successfully been coated with titanium and chromium, as well as their oxides, nitrides and carbides. As the most promising example of wear-resistant, low-friction thin films on plastics, a detailed characterization of Ti-C:H films on PA is presented. Very good wear rates have been achieved even without substrate biasing, thus reducing substrate heating.