Project Details


Due to increasing demands on size, throughput and precision in the fabrication of smart products, simulation methods are gaining in relevance in the development of coating processes. Nowadays, the increasing availability of high performance computing hardware enables simulation of the deposition process dynamics as well as film growth mechanisms on atomistic scale.
For optimizing the layer quality in the industrial application, it is essential to be able to predict film homogeneity and composition as well as intrinsic film properties as a function of process parameters. To achieve this, a simulation framework is needed, which covers nine orders of magnitude between the typical dimensions of the coating plants and the atomic film structure. Consequently, a multi-scale approach is necessary in order to perform a full simulation of common coating processes including both, transport and plasma as well as the atomistic film growth mechanisms.
The proposed project VICIA is a cooperation between University of Namur and CRM Group in Belgium as well as Laserzentrum Hannover e.V. and Fraunhofer IST in Germany. Based on TiO2 and SiO2 as coating materials of interest, it realizes the above mentioned multiscale simulation framework while addressing metal working industries in Belgium and optical precision coating technology in Germany.
In a previous Cornet project CAPRICe such a concept of a »virtual coater« (virtual coater is a registered trademark of the University of Namur) has been set up and successfully validated on several experimental research coating facilities. In VICIA, the virtual coater will be made ready for application in industrial deposition technology. The participating SMEs will apply the virtual coater framework on their own industrial deposition technology in cooperation with the research institutes. The use of the software and setup of use cases will be elaborated in joint workshops. Consequently, this cooperation leads to improved deposition processes at the SMEs and to a more robust and user friendly virtual coater as future tool in commercial process development and research.
A novel topic in optical technologies is the PVD deposition of layers stacks on curved 3D substrates such as lenses with high coating uniformity. For this purpose, the process simulation module will be extended to handle moving substrates, while in the atomistic film growth modules time varying source conditions will be included. A further topic of interest in VICIA is the behavior of interfaces, in particular between SiO2 and TiO2, which requires extension of the atomistic growth models towards multi-component materials. In metal working industries, the PECVD deposition of scratch resistant SiO2 layers is highly relevant. In VICIA a simplified model of a PECVD process will be established where plasma ignition and diffusion of radicals are treated separately. The validity of this simplified approach will be evaluated via experiments on a test PECVD reactor installed at CRM group. The long term goal of VICIA is to establish the virtual coater as development tool in deposition technology for an increasing number of process configurations and material combinations. This requires the implementation of the industrial coating technology, which is often located at the SMEs, into the virtual coater.
Short titleVICIA
Effective start/end date1/09/1729/02/20

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

  • NISM