E! 9736 - AP3-Hard (Advanced pulsed plasma processing tools for hard coatings), Organization: Ionautics AB
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 1 737 415|
|Project duration||October 2015 - March 2018|
Purpose and goal
The goal of project AP3-Hard was to develop a new type of hardware and process for industrialized plasma-based high-power pulsed thin film deposition. Project partner Ionautics developed a novel power supply, HiPSTER 10, which was successfully implemented in project partner Platit’s 411 industrial deposition system. New non-reactive as well as reactive thin film recipes for hard coatings were developed for the new system, where the thin films exhibited very good hardness, adhesion and 3D coverage on tools.
Expected results and effects
The idea behind the use of high-power pulsed thin film deposition is to ionize a significant fraction of the depositing material to enable guiding and acceleration of the material flux and ultimately improved thin film properties. The required hardware was developed and successfully tested on an industrial scale. The expected ionization of the material flux was verified by characterization of the process plasma. Several batches of coated samples were produced and improvements in microstructure and wear resistance compared to existing techniques were verified.
Planned approach and implementation
Ionautics developed the required power supply technology enabling high-power pulsed thin film deposition, which was implemented on an industrial scale thanks to Platit’s expertise in industrial coating systems. BFH was then able to verify that the developed technology led to a significant ionization of the deposition flux, which is key for the proposed technology. Based on suitable deposition conditions, several batches of hard coatings were produced, and EMPA could verify that the films exhibited excellent properties.