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Liquid Deposition

Liquid deposition processes are very versatile methods to produce highly homogeneous coatings, with controlled thickness typically ranging from few nanometers to few micrometers, through the spreading of a solution onto a substrate and evaporation of volatile compounds. They are seen as serious alternatives to dry deposition techniques, such as PVD, CVD or PECVD, because they combine excellent control of the inner layer structure and composition with rapidity and low cost. Amongst the various available techniques, some are already commonly used in various R&D and production industries, such as dip coating or spin coating, while others are still in their infancy and are in the process of being better understood and mastered, such as spray coating. For a better understanding, all available liquid deposition techniques are usually described by a sequence of identical successive steps: (i) the initial chemical solution formulation, (ii) the solution spreading on the surface of the substrate, (iii) the evaporation of the liquid solution layer, (iv) the layer post processing, and finally (v) the layer final treatment for stabilization. These steps can all be individually addressed because they are separated in time, except for steps (ii) and (iii) since they are intimately linked in the space-time dimension of the processing. However, because controlling both the solution spreading and evaporation simultaneously is extremely difficult, one needs to be able to select the best conditions in which viscous flow dynamics and evaporation can be separately addressed.