In advanced Materials Science courses, students learn that a lot of action takes place right on the surfaces of materials. Forms of environmental attack like corrosion, ultraviolet radiation, and wear usually destroy materials by working their way into the bulk of the material from the outside. Signals in microelectronic devices pass through thin films of conductive and semiconductor material on the surface of silicon substrates. Supported catalysts are materials that encourage chemical reactions to occur while resting on a more stable substrate material. This allows them to be separated out from the materials that they have encouraged a reaction so that they can be re-used. New forms of activated carbon for water purification and gas masks are produced on the surfaces of glass fibers.
Purposes of Surface Coatings
Methods for Applying Surface Coatings
Everyday Surface Coatings