Where Films meet Foils, Some Perspectives on Thicker Vacuum Coatings

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by R. Swisher, Sheidahl

Billions of square meters per year of plastic films are coated with 400 to 600 Å of
Aluminum and provide wonderful service to the food and decorative packaging industry. Many other rolls of oxide coated films in the 600 to 1000 Å range provide some environmental barrier and a peek at the food in the package. Other, much more expensive, oxide coatings look at you from your cell phone or computer monitor and soon will from your home TV screen. Metal coatings from 500 to 5000 Å (0.05 to 0.5 μ) have a variety of uses in electronics: Magnetic Tapes, Durable visible light reflectors, rf antennas, shielding, and etc. This paper addresses some of the physical limits to roll coatings in these thicker regimes. Its purpose is to stimulate your thinking about such films as replacements for foils where they may be cost effective. We attempt to offer some practical rules of thumb that can be useful in your evaluations.

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