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Photonics Dictionary

thin-film coating

Thin-film coatings are layers of material applied to the surface of an object or substrate, typically to modify its optical, electrical, or mechanical properties. These coatings are composed of thin layers of materials, often just a few nanometers to micrometers thick, deposited onto a substrate using various techniques such as physical vapor deposition (PVD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), sputtering, or thermal evaporation.

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Thin-film coatings can serve various purposes:

Optical coatings: These coatings alter the transmission, reflection, absorption, or polarization of light. Examples include antireflective coatings on lenses, mirrors, or displays, and coatings for optical filters or mirrors used in lasers.

Protective coatings: These coatings provide protection against corrosion, wear, or scratching. They are often applied to metal surfaces, electronic components, or optical elements to enhance their durability.

Decorative coatings: These coatings are used for aesthetic purposes, providing decorative finishes such as metallic, colored, or reflective surfaces on various objects, including jewelry, architectural elements, or consumer electronics.

Functional coatings:
These coatings serve specific functional purposes, such as providing electrical conductivity, insulation, or lubrication. Examples include coatings for electronic components, solar panels, or medical devices.

Thin-film coatings are crucial in various industries, including electronics, optics, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare, where precise control over surface properties is essential for performance and functionality.
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