It is thin at the top

TOP 3 of industrial ALD applications

At our ALD factory, we have worked with a huge amount of Atomic Layer Deposition applications on a multitude of materials. There have been hundreds of different ALD recipes, some of which have been truly special and many also very secret. We have coated everything from tiny components and standard wafers to large machine parts and world-record-size glass panes. The end products with Beneq ALD inside are everywhere around us.

But which are the most common, popular and typical industrial ALD applications? That is question we get asked every now and then, so we did a little research and looked at the list of all customer projects from our Coating Services unit and checked what industrial ALD applications our customers have run on Beneq equipment. These were the 3 most popular industrial ALD applications:

1. Moisture barriers

We have always known, of course, that Atomic Layer Deposition is the ultimate moisture barrier, but we were still somewhat surprised to see how many moisture barrier, encapsulation and humidity protection projects there have been in Beneq’s history. Hot areas right now are encapsulation of OLED micro-displays and conformal coatings on sensitive electronics components, but there were also many powder coating projects, such as encapsulation of phosphor powder, on the list. Many moisture barrier projects for PCB’s were expected, but we also found wafer-level moisture barriers and batch ALD processing of conformal coatings on sensitive components on the list. Many projects were linked to encapsulation of LED’s and OLED’s in different forms, but we have also protected scintillators, microchannel plates, sensors and many more. The list really goes on. The most popular ALD application so far is indisputably moisture barriers.

2. Optical coatings

Almost as clear a number 2 on the list of our most common ALD apps was optical components. Also in this case there were quite many different optical coating applications on the list, from conformal high-performance coatings on complex 3D surfaces to relatively simple optical coatings of lenses of all kinds. The favorite of our researchers, however, have for a long time been multi-layered filters, such IR and NIR filter coatings, and other nanolaminates, simply because they are so difficult to get right. The end products in this category range from high-power lasers to night vision equipment.

3. Anti-corrosion coatings

Number 3 on our list of most popular ALD coatings was corrosion protection. Again, the variety in the collection of different products that had been coated against corrosion was startling. There were naturally many projects where we had created ALD coatings on sensitive electronics, from distinct components to complete circuit boards, but we have also helped our customers with corrosion protection of for example LED packaging. Protection of silver and copper against tarnishing falls under this category as well, and we have over the years used ALD to protect coins, jewelry, mirrors and various other parts.

That is the top of the list to get your imagination going. We may return to the rest of the list later. Oh, there would be so many more: decorative coatings, barriers of all kinds, mirrors, passivation, insulation, conductive coatings, detectors, probes, machine parts, battery electrodes and separators, food packaging, textiles, strengthening, catalytic coatings… Stay tuned for the Top 100 of industrial ALD coatings from the Home of ALD!

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