Thin Films: What are They and How do They Work?
Most people have probably never even heard of thin films before. This isn’t surprising considering they’re a relatively overlooked area of manufacturing and science despite their strong presence in everyday objects. So, with that being said, what are thin films? How do they work? What kind of things are they used for? Let’s examine all these questions and more right now.
What are Thin Films?
A thin film’s name is fairly self-explanatory; it’s just a thin film of material. Typically less than a single nanometer in thickness, thin films can be made from any number of different substances with the intent of stacking them on top of each other to create a complete whole.
How do Thin Films Work?
As touched on before, thin films are stacked together in layers on top of a substrate (base layer of material). By doing this, the layers build up to a single whole known as a multilayer. This is a process known as deposition, which utilizes either a physical or chemical process to build their layers.
What are Thin Films Used For?
There are numerous uses for thin films and thin film deposition in plenty of different places, many of them even pertaining to your everyday life. Mirrors are one example, one side of the glass being coated in thin films of reflective material in order for them to be usable, with this same principle being applied to reflective sunglasses lenses and even smart phone camera lenses today.
Magnet-based recording media like the VHS tape was also made using this process, as are many types of electrical semiconductors that build up layer after layer of material and circuitry. Even drug manufacturing has made use of the process for creating certain types of medication.
If you were ever in need of this for yourself, you could even contact various thin film deposition services to assist you.
This has only scratched the surface layer of what thin films are capable of, though. There’s a whole world of this fascinating technology out there to explore.