Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Development Partner for cBN Film Formation by PVD

Request Number
Due Date
Oct 1, 2019
Program Manager

Joint/contract development, licensing, product supply


Phase 1 – Basic technology verification by sample tests: within 6 months
Phase 2 – Technology establishment on a lab basis: within 3 years


Necessary development expense will be covered
(Details to be discussed).


How to  Apply
  • Click "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available.
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.
If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at:
RFP was closed on
Oct 2019

RFP Title


Development Partner for cBN Film Formation by PVD
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a leading manufacture with multi-billion-dollar sales (“Client”), seeks a development partner for development of physical vapor deposition (PVD) process to form cubic boron nitride (cBN). We welcome proposals from both organizations with a track record in forming cBN coatings and those with technical strength in film formation of other nitrides etc.

Key Success Criteria

Development Target
The goal is to develop technology that meets the following criteria, but this is not prerequisite at present. We welcome proposals from organizations that have film formation technology serving as a basis of development.

  • cBN serving as a main component of the film
    • A peak originating from cBN is observed in a FT-IR spectrum
    • A peak originating from cBN is observed in an XRD spectrum
    • An automorphic shape of crystalline grain is observed by SEM, etc.
    • Small amounts of other elements may be contained
  • High adhesion with a base material
    • Base material (Substrate): Cemented carbide alloy (WC + Co), aluminum, other metals/ceramics
    • Capable of forming a stable film without delamination from the base material
  • Capable of forming a film with a thickness of at least 1 μm
  • Nanoindentation hardness: ≥40 Gpa
    • Measurement method: nanoindentation test with indenting load of 200 mgf on more than 10 points as an averaged value
  • Reproducible film formation
Possible Approaches

Possible Approaches

The Client expects film formation technologies such as the following approaches, but is also open to others:

  • Sputtering
    • Sputtering using BN targets
    • Reactive sputtering using N2 gas
  • Ion plating
  • Ion-beam-induced deposition
  • Pulsed laser deposition

In addition to the above, it would be more desirable to have the following technologies for improved adhesion of BN film:

  • Formation of interlayers (metals, nitrides)
  • Gradient composition
Items to be Submitted

The Client engages in the development of technology to form a film made of high-quality cBN in order to apply it to hard coatings on industrial tools, heat radiation members, and tribological members. However, a film-forming technology meeting the required quality has not been established.

In spite of efforts to form a film by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) thus far, the film is of high quality yet poor adhesion with a base material, and also compatible substrate for film deposition is limited. On the other hand, cBN has hardly been observed in film formed by PVD so far as the Client investigated.

The Client has therefore decided to make this RFP to seek a development partner in order to establish a safe and high-quality film-forming technology by PVD on a collaboration basis.


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.


Response Evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences


Anticipated Project Process

After the submission due date, the client will review all submitted proposals. NineSigma will send the review results to each proposer 6-8 weeks after the due date. The client possibly asks clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest