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Ultra-short pulsed laser deposition sets new standards for diamond-like coatings

15 July 2013

Finnish coating technology specialist Picodeon has developed a technique for depositing diamond-like films onto a wide range of substrates using its patented ultra-short pulsed laser deposition (US PLD) technology.

Diamond-like coating on a silicon wafer
Diamond-like coating on a silicon wafer

Diamond-like coatings create super-hard surfaces (greater than 40Gpa) with a low coefficient of friction and excellent coating adhesion. The US PLD deposition process uses a high laser pulse repetition rate and fan-shaped plasma bloom which enables high production rates and makes feasible the industrial coating of large surfaces at film thicknesses down to nano-scale.

Applications for diamond-like coatings range from machine tooling components through to wear components for medical, optical and sensor applications. 

“Any components that need to have the highest possible hardness or wear-resistance can achieve improved lifecycles, greater heat and pressure resistance and/or improved performance with diamond-like coatings,” said Picodeon CEO Marko Mylläri. “Our US PLD deposition process can deliver the exact surface defined by our customers’ engineers because of the high level of tuning enabled by our process.”  

Picodeon’s US PLD deposition is a cold ablation technology which works across a vast range of coating materials and substrates. By adjusting processing parameters, the structure and properties of the coating can be tailored to the requirements of the application, even for nanostructure-scale surface coatings.  

Coated cutting tool
Coated cutting tool

The US PLD technology delivers very high coating integrity without pinholes, giving improved reliability in applications where through-thickness defects may cause delamination of thin films and serious damage to components.

In addition to diamond-like coatings, US PLD technology, under the trade name ColdabR, enables the deposition of carbon nitrides, carbon nitride composites containing PTFE or boron nitride (BN) as well as a wide range of other borides, oxides and precious metal thin films.  

The high production rates and excellent coating qualities of Picodeon Coldab US PLD technology opens new possibilities and applications for pulsed laser deposition coatings. In selected areas it may even enable the development of exclusive coating methods.

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