Physical Vapor Deposition. A type of vacuum deposition process where a material is vaporized in a vacuum chamber, transported atom by atom across the chamber to the substrate, and condensed into a film at the substrate’s surface. The concept has been stretched to include reactive processes that form a coating compound by bombardment of different species on the substrate’s surface, and processes that rely on low pressure plasma interactions for greater energy levels and film density.
There are actually several different PVD processes, including: thermal evaporation, electron beam gun, ion plating, sputtering, cathodic arc, and laser ablation.