Ultra-Thin Coatings

Smooth, uniform and very thin coatings thanks to microgravity environment.

Last updated: 2018-11-29

Status

Fabrication of thin coatings in microgravity has been demonstrated, but no profitable commercial applications have been found.

Applications

  • Biocompatible coatings for implanted batteries and devices.
  • Photovoltaic coatings.
  • Manufacture of semiconductor components.
  • Magnetic information storage systems.
  • Photoresist microelectronics.1

Why & Solution

In a gravitational field the gravitational force acts parallel to the flow thereby creating shear stresses in the film and introducing 3D instabilities (Waves, ribs, streaks) that interfere with the manufactured device performance. In microgravity the surface tension forces and viscous forces in the meniscus region would lead to smooth, uniform and highly accurate thin films. 1

Earthly Solution Risk

Exists, but requires more research to be able to quantify.

References

  1. Ioana Cozmuta et al. Space Portal NASA Ames Research Center. Microgravity-Based Commercialization Opportunities for Material Sciences and Life Sciences: A Silicon Valley Perspective. Source

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