Thin films can be applied to materials of varying qualities by using CVD technology (Chemical Vapor Deposition). Here, a solid film is created from gaseous materials and is deposited as a crystal or amorphous film on the material (substrate) to be coated. In traditional CVD coating processes, the process gas breaks up into its reaction products only on the heated substrate.
In plasma enhanced CVD (PECVD) processes, however, the gas molecules dissociate themselves under the influence of the plasma. They then react toward the film material and deposit themselves on the substrate. The coating process is faster with a higher utilization of the process gas.
PECVD operates at substantially lower temperatures than CVD without plasma. In PECVD processes, the temperatures may be below 500°C, which protects the substrate materials to be coated.