ALD involves the targeted application of individual atomic layers. This enables highly compliant and error-free depositioning featuring previously unattainable layer qualities. In practice, this technology has established itself for relatively thin films with high requirements in semi-conductor production, especially in the manufacture of DRAMs from 45 nm technology (2008). New applications for ALD include barrier layers against moisture and oxygen, electrical passivation layers in photovoltaics, and display technology. PEALD (or P-ALD):
Plasma activation rather than thermal activation enables coating of temperature-sensitive substrates such as plastics. Furthermore, starting materials can then be used which would be difficult to activate thermally. Applications include electrical passivation of semi-conductor surfaces and high-quality barrier layers on plastics, a key technology for the extremely thin and flexible displays of the future, especially when using OLEDS.