The vacuum deposition techniques can be subdivided in two main families, known as PVD (acronym of Physical Vapour Deposition) and CVD (acronym of Chemical Vapour Deposition).
In the PVD techniques the vapours which, condensing, form the film are obtained by physical means (heating, sputtering), in the CVD techniques instead vapours are obtained by means of dissociation of suitable gaseous species. Each of these two big families includes many different techniques: amongst the PVD techniques can be mentioned for example the evaporation from an electronic gun, the evaporation from a cathodic arc, the sputtering, the molecular beam epitaxy; amongst the CVD techniques can be mentioned the thermal (conventional) CVD and the plasma activated one (PECVD).