Continuous Sputter Deposition Coating of Long Monofilaments

Report No. ARL-TR-6896
Authors: William G. Pritchett; Daniel M. Baechle; Eric D. Wetzel
Date/Pages: April 2014; 24 pages
Abstract: Monofilaments with continuous, conformal metal or ceramic coatings could be used to develop new sensing and photonic technologies. This paper discusses the application of thin coatings onto meter-long monofilaments of millimeter-scale diameters. Two separate devices were designed and fabricated to produce uniform coatings over the entire surface area of a monofilament. One device enabled coatings to be applied onto multiple medium-length monofilament segments, the other onto a single longer monofilament. The magnetron sputter deposition (MSD) process was used to apply copper coatings on the order of 10-100 nanometers thick onto both nylon and polycarbonate monofilaments. The resistivity of each coating was measured, and scanning electron microscope and optical microscope analyses were performed. The process was proven viable and produced a useful product; however, a more consistent apparatus may be designed for continuous coating of monofilaments. Though only copper coatings are discussed in this report, the system could also be used to apply a variety of sputtered metal or ceramic coatings and enable new monofilament functionalities.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2014