ionotec 

INNOVATION WITH ELECTROCERAMICS

energy storage

 

Ionotec's fabrication technology for ceramic parts, coatings and thin films is based on electrodeposition or electrophoretic deposition.

Electrodeposition

Electrodeposition involves plating of metals or alloys from a solution of salts and is most suited to thin film deposition. Our main application at present is in growing photovoltaic semiconductor thin films on conductive glass substrates.

Electrophoretic deposition

Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is used to build up thick films of ceramic material from suspensions of particles in a liquid. The principle is shown below whereby charged particles migrate to an electrode of opposite sign under an electric field. Usually one charge (+ or -) dominates so that only one electrode is coated or plated.

 

electrophoretic deposition

 

EPD is used for the fabrication of ion-conductive ceramic tubes and plates and for ceramic coatings. As shown in the photograph on the right, quite large ceramic components can be fabricated by this method.

Ionotec has expertise in manufacturing process scale-up, particularly in taking research laboratory processes to pilot scale production.  This is often a difficult stage in translating research ideas into industrial practice.  Pilot scale deposition facilities can involve semi-automatic operation with accurate deposit thickness control.  Suspension and solution handling systems can be either water-based or solvent-based, and are specially designed to remove air bubbles that can cause defects in the product.  Uniform or graduated thickness as required is done by control of electric field strength and fluid flow to avoid stagnation points. Full sequencing of operations is provided by PLC.