By Cameron Chai
Nanotrons announced the availability of an automated coating system called the spray assisted layer-by-layer assembly system (SPALAS) that employs a layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly process to fabricate nano-enabled optical coatings.
The SPALAS Coating System
The SPALAS coating system enables the designing and assembling of multilayer, ultrathin films with accurate control of composition and thickness at molecular sizes and at significantly lower processing times.
The self-assembly system produces thin film coatings by arranging mere 1-10 nm-sized nanoparticles and molecules in layers for a broad range of technological applications. It is environmentally friendly as it can produce coatings in a factory or laboratory environment without the requirement for controlling pressure or temperature.
The novel self-assembly system employs a wet chemistry LbL adsorption process to produce coatings through electrostatic or chemical interplays between the material building blocks. Oppositely charged functional groups in a solution can be applied alternatively using this system, which also allows for concurrent application of manifold solutions.
The ultrathin films produced by SPALAS demonstrate several benefits over conventional sol-gel or vacuum-based coatings. These benefits include uniformity, user-friendliness, compact footprint, low material and purchase costs, and scalability for huge substrates. The advanced system offers programmable spraying control to produce self-assembled coating over 6-10-inch-sized substrates, including intricate surfaces such as fibers and tubes.
The compact system can be readily mounted on a bench top. It can create optical grade coatings over different substrates such as glass, plastics, and semiconductor substrates for applications, including infrared optical coatings, anti-reflective optical coatings, improvement of solar panel light absorption, and other nanostructured multi-purpose coatings.