Generic Processing of Homogeneous Nanoparticle-containing Coatings on Large Surfaces

O. Sublemontier, Y. Rousseau
CEA - Paris-Saclay University,

Keywords: nanocomposite coatings, nanoparticles, physical vapor deposition, aerodynamic lens


We present here an original single step and safe-by-design method for the elaboration of nanostructured films that are composed of nanoparticles embedded in a matrix. This versatile process operates under vacuum by combining the emerging jet of nanoparticles technology with classical magnetron sputtering. The hybridization of these two techniques is made possible by routing nanoparticles in the aerosol form to the substrate, either immediately after their synthesis in the gas phase, or from colloidal suspensions. The simultaneous deposition of the particles and the matrix is achieved on the same face of the same substrate. The main advantage of the technique is based on the possibility to choose independently both chemical natures of the nanoparticles and of the matrix. The jet of nanoparticles is obtained by the use of an aerodynamic lens system, which is composed of chambers separated by diaphragms. This apparatus is currently used to produce a collimated beam of nanoparticles under vacuum, for example, for gas phase characterization of freestanding nanoparticles or for precision 3D printing with a high deposition rate. We show here that it is possible to obtain an angle-controlled divergent and homogenous jet of nanoaerosols by changing the geometry of a classical lens. We demonstrate the adaptation of aerodynamic lenses with pressure environments required for running a classical magnetron sputtering device that is used for depositing the material constituting the matrix of the composite film. The possibility to elaborate large and homogenous nanostructured films were investigated with different types of nanoparticles with different sizes and densities and different materials for the matrix. The ability to achieve the covering of large surfaces is provided by the use of a series of several aerodynamic lenses implemented on a prototype set up.