Pulsed Chemical Vapour Deposition
Advance Energy and Material Systems Lab
Breakthrough research at the University of Canterbury has led to an industrially-relevant process that can apply a protective ceramic coating to metal objects - a "holy grail" of modern healthcare and advanced energy technologies. The process was invented by Professor Susan Krumdieck during her PhD thesis research in 1999 at University of Colorado, USA. It has since been developed into a platform technology with potential applications in industries such as health-care, air pollution, water purification, and electrochemical devices.
A group of students is working together on different aspects of the MBIE-funded project to develop a novel antimicrobial solid ceramic coating for hospital touch surfaces like door handles, bed rails and elevator buttons.
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a high tech manufacturing process widely used in the electronics, sensors and optics industries. CVD is used to make thin layers of absolutely pure materials through what is essentially additive manufacturing at the atomic scale. CVD manufacturing is almost exclusively developed in well-funed advanced materials, chemistry and physics research labs in the USA and Europe.
Professor Krumdieck’s innovation unlocks the power of CVD for applications outside electronics by engineering a new kind of process control. The secret to the PP-MOCVD process is that it eliminates the “carrier gas” that had always been used in conventional CVD. Use of the carrier gas has limited applications to flat objects and extremely thin layers. With PP-MOCVD any shape surface can be coated with a thick and uniform ceramic layer. This is very important to industrial customers for whom wear and tear is a major contributor to cost and where a hard ceramic coating could provide significant performance benefits, improved safety or cost savings.
PP-MOCVD is a promising coating technique that affords the quality of materials and control of microstructure and composition only achieved by CVD, but with low equipment costs, and high growth rates usually only achievable with plasma spray. We are in the unique position of being able to put a ceramic coating on an ever expanding list of metal or glass products at a reasonable cost. The research group has specializations in a range of applications that involve both international and New Zealand companies.
Koti Technologies, Ltd. is a company at the forefront of commercialization of the PP-MOCVD technology. There are working with the UC research group to develop new coating materials, and the optimal coating manufacturing technology for a customer’s needs. Another line of research is working with a top New Zealand manufacturer to develop the antimicrobial touch surface products.
Race to the Finish Team 2017
Sam Talwar-Davies (Koti Technologies CEO), Dr. Catherine Bishop (MECH), Prof. Jack Heineman (BIOL), Ethan Huang, Darryl Lee (Koti Technologies), Alibe Wasa, Dr. Sarah Masters (CHEM), Rukmini Gorthy, Johann Land, Prof. Susan Krumdieck (MECH), Dr. Matt Polson (CHEM), Dr. Aleksandra Gardecka (MECH).