Physical vapor deposition, otherwise known as PVD, is a coating process that takes solid materials and evaporates them to deposit thin coatings down to the atomic level onto a desired surface. Physical vapor deposition is used for several purposes. PVD can improve hardness and wear resistance, reduce friction of mechanical parts, and slow down the oxidation process of metal surfaces. PVD is a completely physical process. It can be accomplished by using high temperature vacuum evaporation and condensation, or can be done by using a technique called plasma sputter coating.
Physical Vapor Deposition Applications
Physical vapor deposition is utilized in the manufacturing of many items and for many purposes. Common materials that can be applied as a coating using physical vapor deposition are titanium nitride, zirconium nitride, chromium nitride, and titanium aluminum nitride. PVD is an important step in many manufacturing processes including the fabrication of semiconductor devices and coated cutting tools. They make parts or surfaces harder, more corrosion resistant, and abrasion resistant. PVD coatings can be useful in almost all scientific fields including, aerospace, automotive, surgical, optics, etc.