A history of the Cathodic Arc from the 18th century forward is well documented in the book, Cathodic Arcs, From Fractal Spots to Energetic Condensation. The research performed at the National Science Center, Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology in the Soviet Union (KIPT),played a primary role in developing what we know today as the PVD process of cathodic arc vapor deposition, known as Bulat technology (Sablev et al. patent). Because of the number of companies that exist today supplying cathodic arc equipment and processes, and the research that still needs to be done to present their work, we have limited the timeline to 1986.

Coating Applications
Typical uses for coatings produced with cathodic arc are: tribological applications for wear and corrosion protection of cutting tools, medical tooling and implants, plastic injection molds and components,automotive engine and transmission components, etc.Decorative coatings are produced for plumbing facets,door hardware, automotive trim and lighting, etc.These PVD coatings have saved billions of dollars in reducing wear and have greatly reduced environmental impact of waste materials by replacing hazardous wetplating processes. 

Cathodic arc vapor deposition is based on a high current(>40 amps), low voltage (<100 volts) discharge producing fully ionized plasma that often contains multiple ion charge states. Cathodic arc ion energies are higher than sputtering or evaporation, but lower than ion implantation. Plasma is produced instantaneously from a solid cathode into metal ion plasma and is not a sputtering or evaporation process. Metal coatings can be produced using a noble gas background, or coatings (such as titanium nitride) can be produced using a reactive gas background, such as nitrogen. There are many forms of cathodic arc processes including DC, pulsed, laser and filtered to name a few.

Dongguan Huicheng Vacuum Technology Co., Ltd. is a well-known manufacturer of vacuum coating, specializing in a variety of vacuum coating equipment, to provide customized process solutions and coating techniques for the industry.