This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will prove the principle of using a new low temperature sputtering technique to deposit crystalline films of A1203 on substrates heated to <300 Cc. crystalline films of A1203 exhibit high corrosion and oxidation resistance. Acceptable films formed by conventional sputtering methods require substrate temperatures higher than 350 0C. Lowering substrate temperatures below 350 CC will allow coatings on aluminum and other temperature sensitive materials. We propose to use an unbalanced magnetron powered by synchronized pulsed power and pulsed biasing. This will result inan enhanced ion bombardment of growing films and production of hard, transparent, and environmentally stable oxide films - all at low substrate temperatures. The technology can be scaled up linearly for large area depositions. In Phase I, we will evaluate the technology, deposit A1203 films and characterize them. In Phase I Option, together witha collaborator and potential end-user, we will further optimize the deposition process, evaluate the films' mechanical, structural and environmental properties, and perform technology cost analysis. In Phase II, we will further refine the technology, by interacting with end users, and design and produce crystalline A1203 coatings with improved interface adhesion on various substrates. Phase III will consist of marketing the technology and processing services. Benefits:
The proposed technology has the potential to 5ignificantly improve the existing A1203 film manufacturing technologies. Further, the materials focus of this effort could significantly impact the lifetime and performance of many existing and future coatings.