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.
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