Thin film deposition laboratory

Laboratorio per la Deposizione di Film Sottili

The Thin Film Deposition Laboratory investigates fundamental mechanisms of thin-film growth using physical vapour deposition (PVD) methods. PVD processes are studied by means of commercial high-vacuum evaporation systems with e-gun and thermal evaporators.

Evaporation parameters, such as deposition rate and thickness of growing thin layers, can be computer-controlled and monitored with nanometer resolution in real time. The thin film characterization is supported by a wide range of imaging modalities and supporting equipment available at the Edison Research Center, including techniques such as X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and electron probe microanalysis.

Current research topics concern the design and fabrication of thin layers of the solid electrolyte as well as the interconnection material for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). These processes are applied to ceramic and metallic materials in order to overcome technology bottlenecks that might stop a large scale development of fuel cells. Some of these current challenges are addressed to reduce electrolyte thickness and costs and prevent cell poisoning from other stack constituents.