A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness. The film is formed at the atomic or molecular level, one layer at a time. Thin film deposition materials can range from metals and pure elements to more complex compounds, such as oxides, nitrides and polymers. These materials require high levels of purity to ensure optimal properties of thin film coating. With the increase in demand for optics and opto-mechanical components in the biomedical, industrial, scientific and military optics applications, thin film technologies can be applied to either flat substrates or objects with very complex geometrical shapes.
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