Nano-coatings for electronic devices, what are they, how do they work, and what do they do? Answers to these and other questions are provided through this brief introduction to nano-coatings.
The prefix “nano” is a term of measurement meaning one billionth which is an incredibly small measurement. In regards to electronics nano-coatings, the coatings are made up of synthetic particles which have been purposefully developed to be a specific size and shape. These “nanoparticles” are then arranged together in a consistent structure to form a polymer coating.
In some cases, the term “thin-film coating” is used interchangeably with “nano-coatings,” Both terms are used to indicate the relative thickness of the coatings which is actually quite thin. In fact, the coatings are so thin that they are imperceptible without specialized equipment. The incredible thinness of nano-coatings allows electronic devices to remain slim and means that all electronic components are still visible.
Nano-coatings are applied directly to the electrical components of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The application occurs during a devices manufacturing process and requires the use of highly specialized equipment. While there are a variety of application methods, the most advanced apply thin-film coatings as a chemical vapor. The unique application process allows the coatings to be applied uniformly while remaining ultra-thin.
Vast amounts of time and resources have been devoted to the development and application of nano-coatings. Once applied to the PCB of an electronic device, what purpose do nano-coatings serve? The simple answer is that thin-film coatings are used to provide electronic devices with an unprecedented component level defense.
Ingress protection, or IP, is a two-digit rating system that is used to measure a devices level of defense. The first digit indicates a device’s protection against solid objects such as dust, or sand. The second number of the rating system denotes a device’s protective capabilities against liquids. Nano-coatings offer the highest possible rating in both categories.
The high IP rating of nano-coatings is possible because the coatings are developed at an atomic level and provide a consistent seal across an entire PCB. The unparalleled IP rating means that electronic devices are highly resistant to water and other liquids as well as dust and fine particulates. Devices protected with nano-coatings even remain functional after being submerged in deep water or exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time. In terms of electronic device protection, nano-coatings are the latest and greatest.