A method and apparatus for forming patterned coatings of thin film, non-polymerizable compounds on a substrate. A mixture of the non-polymerizable compound and a liquid carrier is pumped into the interior of a heated evaporation box having an internal temperature sufficient to convert substantially all of the non-polymerizable compound and liquid carrier to a gaseous form. The non-polymerizable compound and liquid carrier are then removed from the evaporation box via exit slit in the evaporation box. Adjacent to the exit slit, and maintained in a vacuum, is a first substrate upon which the non-polymerizable compound condenses. The first substrate is in motion, for example on a web roller, thereby allowing a continuous coating of the non-polymerizable compound to be applied to the first substrate. Once the non-polymerizable compound is applied to one side of the first substrate, an energy source is then directed toward the opposite side of the first substrate. In this manner, a portion of the non-polymerizable compound is removed from the first substrate. A second substrate is then provided adjacent to the first substrate, and the non-polymerizable compound is thereby transferred from the first substrate onto the second substrate. By repeatedly transferring portions of the non-polymerizable material from the first substrate to the second substrate in this manner, the thin film, non-polymerizable materials can be formed onto the second substrate in a predetermined pattern, and in a continuous and highly efficient process.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.