This article discusses several examples of applications of vacuum technology in the important field of inorganic coatings.
Through the use of vacuum it is possible to create coatings with a high degree of uniform thickness ranging from several nanometers to more than 100 mm while still achieving very good reproducibility of the coating properties. Flat substrates, web and strip, as well as complex molded-plastic parts can be coated with virtually no restrictions as to the substrate material. The variety of coating materials is also very large. In addition to metal and alloy coatings, layers may be produced from various chemical compounds or layers of different materials applied in sandwich form. A significant advantage of vacuum coating over other methods is that many special coating properties desired, such as structure, hardness, electrical conductivity or refractive index, are obtained merely by selecting a specific coating method and the process parameters for a certain coating material.