SCHOTT has developed hydrophobic coatings for pharmaceutical vials that are also applied using PICVD
. The water-repellant coatings have an extremely smooth surface that are ideal for drug formulations subjected to lyophilization (freeze drying) to extend their shelf lives.
Although already in use within the Schott company for high-volume production of telecommunications and automotive products, the PICVD technology will be disclosed for the first time to the packaging industry at the Nova-Pack Americas 2002.
The PICVD process uses a pulsed plasma in combination with oxygen and a volatile precursor gas to apply an oxide coating to the inside or outside of a plastic container.
SIG's Plasma Impulse Coating Vapor Deposition (PICVD
) system, which applies a silicon oxide coating less than 0.1 microns thick inside PET bottles, reportedly raises the shelf life of 12-oz bottles almost three-fold to more than 25 weeks.
Schott HiCotec's Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapor Deposition (PICVD) is being adapted for use on PET bottles.
The PICVD process has been used on mirrors, polycarbonate optical lenses, and pharmaceutical vials.