An enhanced protective coating to prevent interaction between constituents of the environment and devices that can be damaged by those constituents. This coating is provided by applying a synergistic combination of diffusion barrier and physical barrier materials. These materials can be, for example, in the form of a plurality of layers of a diffusion barrier and a physical barrier, with these barrier layers being alternated. Further protection in certain instances is provided by including at least one layer of a getter material to actually react with one or more of the deleterious constituents. The coating is illustrated by using alternating layers of an organic coating (such as Parylene-C.TM.) as the diffusion barrier, and a metal coating (such as aluminum) as the physical barrier. For best results there needs to be more than one of at least one of the constituent layers.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and the U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.