Also known as the Sputtering Lab, the Materials Coating Laboratory is home to a single machine: a LAB Line KJL plasma sputtering system.

Plasma sputtering processes are used in industry to deposit thin films for microchips, memory devices, sensors, displays, reflective optical devices and photovoltaic solar cells.

The process involves bombarding ultra-pure sputtering targets with a plasma beam to extract atoms from the target material, which then condense onto a substrate.

Everything takes place inside a sealed High Vacuum chamber, while the films and complex hetero-structures can be coated in the sub nanometer range.

A close up of a flue with a closed transparent valve

The chamber of plasma sputtering machine.

At the School of Mathematics and Physics, Dr Melvin Vopson and researcher Michal Belusky are using the process to investigate the physical properties of thin films coated onto flexible substrates with various roughness levels.

This system is unique in Europe and our laboratory is the official demo site for the Kurt J. Lesker Company, who is co-funding one of our PhD students, who is investigating fabrication of multifunctional nano-thin films on flexible substrates.

As well as PhD students, the Materials Coating Laboratory is also used by our MPhys Physics students and those in the final year of their BSc (Hons) Physics course.


LAB Line KJL plasma spluttering system with DC and RF magnetron guns

Where to find us

Materials Coating Laboratory

Burnaby Building, 
Burnaby Road,