In Reply to: Re: Hollow cathode discharge(HCD) technology posted by Alex Yuan on 03/31/00 at 7:14 AM:
We tried to do aluminum deposition using HCD but had very poor results. I think that cathodic arc might work better. There is an equipment maker that specializes in ZrN coatings for decorative applications. They are Vaportech at www.vaportech.com and they are located in Colorado.
I tried to sell two of thier systems to a customer in Taiwan last year, but the deal fell through at the last moment. The problem with zirconium is the high melting temperature and low vapor pressure. Aluminum, on the other hand, melts easily but does not react easily to nitrogen (or oxygen) by PVD process very well. It is also a very high temperature process.
Mahing good Al2O3 (alumina) coatings has been an objective of the tool coating industry for a long time.
AlN has been of interest to the semiconductor community for LEDs, along with GaN.
Good luck in your work,