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Sputter deposited metal layers embedded in composites : from fundamentals to applications

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Due to the low heat flux towards the substrate, magnetron sputter deposition offers the possibility to deposit thin films on heat sensitive materials such as fiber-reinforced polymers, also known as composite materials. Passive thermal probe measurements during the sputter deposition of metal layers show indeed that the temperature increase remains well below 25 degrees C for film thicknesses up to 600 nm. The latter thickness threshold is based on the influence of embedded metal films on the adhesion of the composite plies. Films thicker than this threshold deteriorate the mechanical integrity of the composite. The introduction of the uncured composite in the vacuum chamber strongly affects the base pressure by outgassing of impurities from the composite. The impurities affect the film properties as illustrated by their impact on the Seebeck coefficient of sputter deposited thermocouples. The restrictions to embed thin films in composites, as illustrated by both the heat flux measurements, and the study on the influence of impurities, are however not insurmountable. The possibility to use embedded thin films will be briefly demonstrated in different applications such as digital volume image correlation, thermocouples, and de-icing.
Journal: Coatings
Issue: 2
Volume: 11
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2021