Nano-Product Engineering, LLC

Advanced Industrial Plasma Technologies

Filtered Arc-Assisted Magnetron Sputtering (FAAMS™)

NPE’s FAAMS™ hybrid coating processes combine LAFAD™ sources and magnetrons or electron beam sources in one universal vacuum chamber layout. The hybrid system is capable of depositing a large variety of coating compositions and architectures, and provides a significant improvement in the performance of surface engineered components by addressing critical issues of coating microstructure and interface integrity.

The FAAMS™ system consists of two powerful LAFAD™ plasma sources in combination with conventional unbalanced magnetrons (UBM), either planar or rotary, all of which are integrated into one universal coating chamber layout. This design enables the evaporation of different ceramics and metals in a highly ionized vapor plasma immersion environment.

FAAMS™ technology is capable of depositing nano-structured coatings having functionally graded or multi-layer architectures. These coatings are characterized by improved adhesion and toughness, and are noted for their smoothness and structural integrity. FAAMS™ can also provide plasma immersion thermal-chemical treatment of substrates (ionitriding, carbonitriding, carburizing). Combinations of thermal-chemical treatments (e.g. ionitriding) followed by coating deposition (duplex process) can be accomplished in a single vacuum cycle. The FAAMS™ process results in improved adhesive and cohesive toughness, reduced coating residual stresses, and allows deposition of relatively thick and extremely hard cermet coatings such as BCN, TiB2, and B4C, which would otherwise be impossible due to high residual stress adhesion failures.

Schematic of the hybrid FAAMS™ surface engineering system.
The multi-level FAAMS™ quadro surface engineering system, using four LAFAD™ sources alongside cathode targets and magnetron sputtering sources.