A vacuum deposition system was built enabling
flexible polymer sheet, wound on a roll-to-roll transport
mechanism, to be coated by any or all of three planar
magnetron sputtering sources. Using this machine a large
variety of coatings were produced in long lengths
onto heat sensitive substrates and with controlled
stoichiometry. Within the system the coating was
monitored soon after deposition which allowed fast
response to changing film properties, a critical factor
in the continuous production of high quality coatings.
An area of current interest has been the production
of large area optical filters, the basis of which is the
deposition of thin metal and thin metal oxide films. Of
particular interest have been the 'heat mirror' type
filters, the transparent conducting oxides and more
recently the electrochromic devices. All these have been
deposited at high rates onto flexible polyester
substrates ostensibly at room temperature.
Analysis of the films has been carried out by a
variety of techniques in order to establish the precise
chemical composition and structure of the films. Once
optimum conditions had been established for individual
films multilayer filters were produced and their optical
performance determined. In the case of the 'heat mirror'
type filters their performance was compared to
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.