A maker of thin-film vacuum deposition equipment for applying metals to rigid and flexible substrates won the top technical innovation award at the 2005 biennial International Converting Exhibition (ICE) in Munich, Germany.

A maker of thin-film vacuum deposition equipment for applying metals to rigid and flexible substrates won the top technical innovation award at the 2005 biennial International Converting Exhibition (ICE) in Munich, Germany. Applied Films GmbH, Alzenau, Germany won the award for a system that can apply reflective coatings onto PET film at economical speeds. The company uses its Topbeam 1100 electron-beam evaporation system to apply color-shifting reflective layers onto plastic film in a vacuum chamber. Production rates are 20 times higher than standard sputter coating, the company says-up to 20 meters/min vs. less than 1 meter/min for sputtering such a multilayer coating. The reflective coating is a so-called Fabry Perot filter, which changes color when viewed from different angles. It consists of three layers: a thick aluminum base, which acts as a mirror; a transparent mid-layer of aluminum oxide, which reflects different colors depending on thickness; and a top semi-transparent aluminum layer. Optical properties of the middle layer are controlled by measuring the reflected light spectra with Applied Film's Escosys and Optoplex systems and changing the E-beam evaporation accordingly. Reflective films are used for security labels and decorative packaging. Tel: +49 (6023) 926-0000 . www.appliedfilms.com