Thin film facility

The Thin Film Facility provides a comprehensive coating design, manufacture and measurement service for departments around The University of Oxford and outside industry. The Facility is able to provide custom coatings for the optical, electronic, semicond

Coating types

There are two main types of coating that can be deposited in the Facility.


Most metals can be deposited as either single layers or layered with other metals. Thicknesses can range from 3nm to 500nm per layer. Thicker layers can be deposited under special circumstances.

Metals that are commonly evaporated in the facility

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Aluminium
  • Titanium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Platinum


Mainly for use in optical coatings, these can be single or multi-layered coatings up to thirty layers. The thicknesses of individual layers and number of layers depend on the specific application of the optic that is to be produced.

Dielectric materials which are commonly deposited in the facility

  • Magnesium Fluoride (MgF2)
  • Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)
  • Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3)
  • Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)
  • Hafnium Dioxide (HfO2)
  • Lithium Fluoride (LiF)
  • Zinc Sulfide (ZnS)
  • Indium Tin Oxide (Commonly known as ITO)


Thin film coatings can be deposited on a wide variety of substrate materials such as: metals, plastics, semiconductors, ceramics and glass.

Substrate sizes that can be accommodated in the machines range anywhere from 1mm (any shape) up to 254mm (diameter).