Ultra Smooth Surfaces


Surface roughness, particularly at the micro- and nano-scale, can be the root cause of a multitude of problems in many low-tech and high-tech applications, and obtaining materials with ultra-smooth surfaces via micro-polishing can improve performance, but it often comes at a price. Cerablak® coatings can help reduce surface roughness and produce better substrates for a wide range of applications.


The Problem with Surface Roughness at the Microscale/Nanoscale
Surface roughness at the micro-scale, and often even in the nano-scale, can lead to problems in certain electronic products, and consistent quality surface preparation to meet these requirements is very expensive. This micsro-scale roughness parameter is also relevant in applications as diverse as fluid flow, optical reflection, fouling, electronic device performance, and many others. Surface functionality, such as hydrophobic or hydrophilic treatments, can also provide advantages in many processes such as improving fluid flow and aerodynamics. Despite the recognition of the negative impact of surface roughness, obtaining the appropriate degree of surface micro-planarization on materials with the proper functionalization can be a difficult and costly proposition. 


Cerablak® Can Microplanarize a Variety of Materials
Cerablak® coatings are solution-derived and can impart micro-planarization to surfaces by preferentially filling pits and valleys before conversion to a solid oxide.   Due to its unique glassy structure, Cerablak® is inert and stable against high temperatures and corrosive environments.  Average surface micro-roughness (micron or less) can be reduced by several orders of magnitude in some cases, yielding a high-quality ultra-smooth surface ready for direct deposition of electronic or semiconductor-quality layers.   At the same time, the coating imparts a unique set of properties including low surface energy, low reactivity, and resistance to fouling.