A thin film coating usually is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness and a fundamental application is the controlled synthesis of materials as thin films (a process referred to as deposition). The metal layer is deposited using techniques such as sputtering. Advances in thin film deposition techniques have enabled a wide range of technological breakthroughs in areas such as magnetic recording media, electronic semiconductor devices, LEDs, optical coatings (such as antireflective coatings), hard coatings on cutting tools, and for both energy generation (e.g. thin film solar cells) and storage (thin-film batteries).
These systems are used for coating wafers with thin layers of metal for compound semiconductor manufacturing and other precision metallization applications.