Glossary of terms used on NANO MagazineThere are 130 entries in this glossary.
- Thin Films
Thin films are atomically engineered layers of a wide variety of materials including metals, insulators and semiconductors. The major applications of thin films are in modification of the surface properties of solids. Individual films may be electrically conductive or non-conducting, hard or soft, thermally conducting or insulating, optically transparent, or opaque. A thin film coating can transform the electrical, mechanical and/or optical properties of a solid base material in a cost-effective way. Common examples are scratch-resistant coatings for spectacles, anti-reflection coatings for lenses, transparent conducting coatings for flat-panel displays, and low-friction coatings for bearings. Hard coatings can significantly enhance the lifetime of cutting, drilling, and forming tools. Oxygen and moisture barrier films are in widespread use in the packaging of foodstuffs, contributing to the long shelf life of many convenience foods. Thin film coatings also have unique properties that may be exploited in the polarization, reflection, transmission and absorption of light. Complex coatings can be used to provide eye-protection from lasers without significant reduction in overall transmission and other high-performance films are in use for the multiplexing of telecommunication laser signals. Other inherent properties of thin films are used in microelectronics, magnetic recording and optical recording media.
Refers to making nanoscale structures by machining and etching techniques. cf. bottom-up.