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Special Issue "Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 October 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Liviu Duta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lasers Department, National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: thin film and nanoparticles synthesis; biocompatible and bioactive materials for medical applications; pulsed laser technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrei C. Popescu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Advanced Laser Technologies (CETAL), National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: laser additive manufacturing; enhanced topology; metal matrix composites; laser processing; biocompatible materials; laser thin film deposition techniques
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We warmly invite you to submit your recent work in the field of thin film/nanoparticles synthesis by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) to this Special Issue “Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition”.

In industry, thin films proved invaluable for protection of tools withstanding high frictions and elevated temperatures, but also found successful applications as sensors, solar cells, bio-active coatings for implants and in lithography. Other envisaged applications are currently researched for energy-storage devices, drug delivery or in situ microstructuring for boosting surface properties.

Using PLD, there are endless possibilities for tunning thin films composition and enhancing their properties of interest due to: (i) the easiness of a congruent transfer even for very complex target materials, (ii) versatility of the experimental set-up which allows for simultaneous ablation of multiple targets resulting in combinatorial maps or consecutive ablation of multiple targets producing multi-layered structures, and (iii) adjustment of the number of laser pulses, resulting in either a spread of nanoparticles, islands of materials or a complete covering of a surface. Moreover, a variation of PLD, known as Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation, allows for deposition of organic materials, ranging from polymers to proteins and even living cells, otherwise difficult to transfer unaltered in form of thin films by other techniques. Furthermore, the use of laser light as transfer agent ensures purity of films and pulse-to-pulse deposition allows for an unprecedented control of film thickness at the nm level.

Taking into account the wide range of PLD possible applications, this Special Issue of Coatings aims to publish state-of-the art research papers and reviews on the latest trends in laser deposition of thin films and nanoparticles. There is no restriction regarding the field of applications, as PLD is one of the most versatile techniques that can find its place in numerous research and industry fields.

In particular, the topics of interest are devoted but not limited to thin films and nanoparticles with applications for:

  • Medical implants and drugs
  • Sensors
  • Protection of cutting and drilling tools
  • Protection of aerospace modules
  • Lithography
  • Decorative objects
  • Magnetic devices
  • Superconductive appliances
  • Plasmonic effects
  • Catalysts
  • Energy storage

The Special Issue will also cover thin film surface microstructuring, structure transformation (crystalization, amorphisation, doping), and also novel characterization techniques for thin films.

Dr. Liviu Duta
Dr. Andrei C. Popescu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition
Coatings 2021, 11(3), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11030274 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 427
Abstract
In industry, thin films proved invaluable for protection of tools withstanding high frictions and elevated temperatures, but also found successful applications as sensors, solar cells, bioactive coatings for implants, photocatalysis and in lithography [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Relevance of the Preparation of the Target for PLD on the Magnetic Properties of Films of Iron-Doped Indium Oxide
Coatings 2019, 9(6), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9060381 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
This paper concerns the importance of the preparation of the targets that may be used for pulsed laser deposition of iron-doped indium oxide films. Targets with a fixed concentration of iron are fabricated from indium oxide and iron metal or one of the [...] Read more.
This paper concerns the importance of the preparation of the targets that may be used for pulsed laser deposition of iron-doped indium oxide films. Targets with a fixed concentration of iron are fabricated from indium oxide and iron metal or one of the oxides of iron, FeO, Fe3O4 and Fe2O3. Films from each target were ablated onto sapphire substrates at the same temperature under different oxygen pressures such that the thickness of the films was kept approximately constant. The films were studied using X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption (both XANES and EXAFS), optical absorption and magnetic circular dichroism. The magnetic properties were measured with a SQUID magnetometer. At the lowest oxygen pressure, there was evidence that some of the iron ions in the films were in the state Fe2+, rather than Fe3+, and there was also a little metallic iron; these properties were accompanied by a substantial magnetisation. As the amount of the oxygen was increased, the number of defect phases and the saturation magnetisation was reduced and the band gap increased. In each case, we found that the amount of the oxygen that had been included in the target from the precursor added to the effect of adding oxygen in the deposition chamber. It was concluded that the amount of oxygen in the target due to the precursor was an important consideration but not a defining factor in the quality of the films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Article
Macrophage in vitro Response on Hybrid Coatings Obtained by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation
Coatings 2019, 9(4), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9040236 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
The improvement in the research area of the implant by surface functionalization when correlated with the biological response is of major interest in the biomedical field. Based on the fact that the inflammatory response is directly involved in the ultimate response of the [...] Read more.
The improvement in the research area of the implant by surface functionalization when correlated with the biological response is of major interest in the biomedical field. Based on the fact that the inflammatory response is directly involved in the ultimate response of the implant within the body, it is essential to study the macrophage-material interactions. Within this context, we have investigated the composite material-macrophage cell interactions and the inflammatory response to these composites with amorphous hydroxyapatite (HA), Lactoferrin (Lf), and polyethylene glycol-polycaprolactone (PEG-PCL) copolymer. All materials are obtained by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE) technique and characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Macrophage-differentiated THP-1 cells proliferation and metabolic activity were assessed by qualitative and quantitative methods. The secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) cytokine, in the presence and absence of the inflammatory stimuli (bacterial endotoxin; lipopolysaccharide (LPS)), was measured using an ELISA assay. Our results revealed that the cellular response depended on the physical-chemical characteristics of the coatings. Copolymer-HA-Lf coatings led to low level of pro-inflammatory TNF-α, the increased level of anti-inflammatory IL-10, and the polarization of THP-1 cells towards an M2 pro-reparative phenotype in the presence of LPS. These findings could have important potential for the development of composite coatings in implant applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Article
Pulsed Laser Deposition of Aluminum Nitride Films: Correlation between Mechanical, Optical, and Structural Properties
Coatings 2019, 9(3), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9030195 - 17 Mar 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Aluminum nitride (AlN) films were synthesized onto Si(100) substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in vacuum or nitrogen, at 0.1, 1, 5, or 10 Pa, and substrate temperatures ranging from RT to 800 °C. The laser parameters were set at: incident laser fluence [...] Read more.
Aluminum nitride (AlN) films were synthesized onto Si(100) substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in vacuum or nitrogen, at 0.1, 1, 5, or 10 Pa, and substrate temperatures ranging from RT to 800 °C. The laser parameters were set at: incident laser fluence of 3–10 J/cm2 and laser pulse repetition frequency of 3, 10, or 40 Hz, respectively. The films’ hardness was investigated by depth-sensing nanoindentation. The optical properties were studied by FTIR spectroscopy and UV-near IR ellipsometry. Hardness values within the range of 22–30 GPa and Young’s modulus values of 230–280 GPa have been inferred. These values were determined by the AlN film structure that consisted of nanocrystallite grains, strongly dependent on the deposition parameters. The values of optical constants, superior to amorphous AlN, support the presence of crystallites in the amorphous film matrix. They were visualized by TEM and evidenced by FTIR spectroscopy. The characteristic Reststrahlen band of the h-AlN lattice with component lines arising from IR active phonon vibrational modes in AlN nanocrystallites was well detectable within the spectral range of 950–500 cm−1. Control X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy data were introduced and discussed. All measurements delivered congruent results and have clearly shown a correlation between the films’ structure and the mechanical and optical properties dependent on the experimental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Communication
Synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanostructures via Carbothermal Reaction of Fe Microspheres Generated by Infrared Pulsed Laser Ablation
Coatings 2019, 9(3), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9030179 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2025
Abstract
Iron oxide nanostructures were synthesized using the carbothermal reaction of Fe microspheres generated by infrared pulsed laser ablation. The Fe microspheres were successfully deposited on Si(100) substrates by laser ablation of the Fe metal target using Nd:YAG pulsed laser operating at λ = [...] Read more.
Iron oxide nanostructures were synthesized using the carbothermal reaction of Fe microspheres generated by infrared pulsed laser ablation. The Fe microspheres were successfully deposited on Si(100) substrates by laser ablation of the Fe metal target using Nd:YAG pulsed laser operating at λ = 1064 nm. By varying the deposition time (number of pulses), Fe microspheres can be prepared with sizes ranging from 400 nm to 10 µm. Carbothermal reaction of these microspheres at high temperatures results in the self-assembly of iron oxide nanostructures, which grow radially outward from the Fe surface. Nanoflakes appear to grow on small Fe microspheres, whereas nanowires with lengths up to 4.0 μm formed on the large Fe microspheres. Composition analyses indicate that the Fe microspheres were covered with an Fe3O4 thin layer, which converted into Fe2O3 nanowires under carbothermal reactions. The apparent radial or outward growth of Fe2O3 nanowires was attributed to the compressive stresses generated across the Fe/Fe3O4/Fe2O3 interfaces during the carbothermal heat treatment, which provides the chemical driving force for Fe diffusion. Based on these results, plausible thermodynamic and kinetic considerations of the driving force for the growth of Fe2O3 nanostructures were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Article
Pulsed Laser Deposition of Indium Tin Oxide Thin Films on Nanopatterned Glass Substrates
Coatings 2019, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9010019 - 29 Dec 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1939
Abstract
Indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were grown on nanopatterned glass substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. The deposition was carried out at 1.2 J/cm2 laser fluence, low oxygen pressure (1.5 Pa) and on unheated substrate. Arrays of periodic pillars [...] Read more.
Indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were grown on nanopatterned glass substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. The deposition was carried out at 1.2 J/cm2 laser fluence, low oxygen pressure (1.5 Pa) and on unheated substrate. Arrays of periodic pillars with widths of ~350 nm, heights of ~250 nm, and separation pitches of ~1100 nm were fabricated on glass substrates using UV nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL), a simple, cost-effective, and high throughput technique used to fabricate nanopatterns on large areas. In order to emphasize the influence of the periodic patterns on the properties of the nanostructured ITO films, this transparent conductive oxide (TCO) was also grown on flat glass substrates. Therefore, the structural, compositional, morphological, optical, and electrical properties of both non-patterned and patterned ITO films were investigated in a comparative manner. The energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) confirms that the ITO films preserve the In2O3:SnO2 weight ratio from the solid ITO target. The SEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images prove that the deposited ITO films retain the pattern of the glass substrates. The optical investigations reveal that patterned ITO films present a good optical transmittance. The electrical measurements show that both the non-patterned and patterned ITO films are characterized by a low electrical resistivity (<2.8 × 10−4). However, an improvement in the Hall mobility was achieved in the case of the nanopatterned ITO films, evidencing the potential applications of such nanopatterned TCO films obtained by PLD in photovoltaic and light emitting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Article
Shellac Thin Films Obtained by Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE)
Coatings 2018, 8(8), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8080275 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
We report on the fabrication of shellac thin films on silicon substrates by matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) using methanol as matrix. Very adherent, dense, and smooth films were obtained by MAPLE with optimized deposition parameters, such as laser wavelength and laser fluence. [...] Read more.
We report on the fabrication of shellac thin films on silicon substrates by matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) using methanol as matrix. Very adherent, dense, and smooth films were obtained by MAPLE with optimized deposition parameters, such as laser wavelength and laser fluence. Films with a root mean square (RMS) roughness of 11 nm measured on 40 × 40 µm2 were obtained for a 2000-nm-thick shellac film deposited with 0.6 J/cm2 fluence at a laser wavelength of 266 nm. The MAPLE films were tested in simulated gastric fluid in order to assess their capabilities as an enteric coating. The chemical, morphological, and optical properties of shellac samples were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Review

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Review
In Vivo Assessment of Synthetic and Biological-Derived Calcium Phosphate-Based Coatings Fabricated by Pulsed Laser Deposition: A Review
Coatings 2021, 11(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11010099 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
The aim of this review is to present the state-of-the art achievements reported in the last two decades in the field of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of biocompatible calcium phosphate (CaP)-based coatings for medical implants, with an emphasis on their in vivo biological [...] Read more.
The aim of this review is to present the state-of-the art achievements reported in the last two decades in the field of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of biocompatible calcium phosphate (CaP)-based coatings for medical implants, with an emphasis on their in vivo biological performances. There are studies in the dedicated literature on the in vivo testing of CaP-based coatings (especially hydroxyapatite, HA) synthesized by many physical vapor deposition methods, but only a few of them addressed the PLD technique. Therefore, a brief description of the PLD technique, along with some information on the currently used substrates for the synthesis of CaP-based structures, and a short presentation of the advantages of using various animal and human implant models will be provided. For an in-depth in vivo assessment of both synthetic and biological-derived CaP-based PLD coatings, a special attention will be dedicated to the results obtained by standardized and micro-radiographies, (micro) computed tomography and histomorphometry, tomodensitometry, histology, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, and mechanical testing. One main specific result of the in vivo analyzed studies is related to the demonstrated superior osseointegration characteristics of the metallic (generally Ti) implants functionalized with CaP-based coatings when compared to simple (control) Ti ones, which are considered as the “gold standard” for implantological applications. Thus, all such important in vivo outcomes were gathered, compiled and thoroughly discussed both to clearly understand the current status of this research domain, and to be able to advance perspectives of these synthetic and biological-derived CaP coatings for future clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Review
Pulsed Laser Deposited Films for Microbatteries
Coatings 2019, 9(6), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9060386 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
This review article presents a survey of the literature on pulsed laser deposited thin film materials used in devices for energy storage and conversion, i.e., lithium microbatteries, supercapacitors, and electrochromic displays. Three classes of materials are considered: Positive electrode materials (cathodes), solid electrolytes, [...] Read more.
This review article presents a survey of the literature on pulsed laser deposited thin film materials used in devices for energy storage and conversion, i.e., lithium microbatteries, supercapacitors, and electrochromic displays. Three classes of materials are considered: Positive electrode materials (cathodes), solid electrolytes, and negative electrode materials (anodes). The growth conditions and electrochemical properties are presented for each material and state-of-the-art of lithium microbatteries are also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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Review
Current Status on Pulsed Laser Deposition of Coatings from Animal-Origin Calcium Phosphate Sources
Coatings 2019, 9(5), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9050335 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1881
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present the current status on animal-origin hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique for medical implant applications. PLD as a thin film synthesis method, although limited in terms of surface covered area, still [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to present the current status on animal-origin hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique for medical implant applications. PLD as a thin film synthesis method, although limited in terms of surface covered area, still gathers interest among researchers due to its advantages such as stoichiometric transfer, thickness control, film adherence, and relatively simple experimental set-up. While animal-origin HA synthesized by bacteria or extracted from animal bones, eggshells, and clams was tested in the form of thin films or scaffolds as a bioactive agent before, the reported results on PLD coatings from HA materials extracted from natural sources were not gathered and compared until the present study. Since natural apatite contains trace elements and new functional groups, such as CO32− and HPO42− in its complex molecules, physical-chemical results on the transfer of animal-origin HA by PLD are extremely interesting due to the stoichiometric transfer possibilities of this technique. The points of interest of this paper are the origin of HA from various sustainable resources, the extraction methods employed, the supplemental functional groups, and ions present in animal-origin HA targets and coatings as compared to synthetic HA, the coatings’ morphology function of the type of HA, and the structure and crystalline status after deposition (where properties were superior to synthetic HA), and the influence of various dopants on these properties. The most interesting studies published in the last decade in scientific literature were compared and morphological, elemental, structural, and mechanical data were compiled and interpreted. The biological response of different types of animal-origin apatites on a variety of cell types was qualitatively assessed by comparing MTS assay data of various studies, where the testing conditions were possible. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of some doped animal-origin HA coatings was also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Pulsed Laser Deposition)
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