The Old Bishop's Almanac: Prognostications for the Future of Vacuum Coating The "Good News" Edition

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Dr. Charles A. Bishop, C.A. Bishop Consulting Ltd.

Over the last few years there have been some concerns about the availability of certain materials (1). The ones hitting the news include indium and the rare earth as a whole group of materials. Indium is of interest because of the need for transparent conducting coatings for the display industry as well as more recently in copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaics as well as for the transparent electrodes of the devices. The rare earth group includes neodymium as used in strong magnets, erbium for doping optical fibres, tellurium for CdTe solar cells, hafnium oxide that can be used as an insulator or can be used in semiconductors and can outperform silica, tantalum that is used in high density storage capacitors, dysprosium that can change shape in magnetic fields as in magnetostriction, technetium as used in medical imaging, lanthanum & cerium that can be alloyed to make mischmetal to make one of the electrodes in batteries, europium & terbium that have phosphorescent properties and are used in displays as well as to modify the colour in the low energy light bulbs, rhenium that can be alloyed for use in superalloys in jet engines.

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