Instrument & System Options
The HEX series of thin film PVD systems has a wide range of deposition sources and instruments available including; single and four pocket e-beam evaporators, RF and DC magnetron sputtering sources (HiPims available), thermal evaporation sources, organic low temperature sources, in-situ measurement equipment and quartz crystal monitors.
The HEX platform also allows for various sample stage configurations including heating, rotating, cooling, temperature gradient and static options in both 100mm and 150mm sizes and also has a high vacuum load lock in the range.
Due to the systems flexibility and broad range of standard instrumentation, the HEX can provide the solution to a variety of coating and research applications, whilst maintaining a compact footprint and user friendly operation. The unique modular design also means that custom panels such as PLD and Spectroscopy interfaces can be created quickly and simply.
Please see the links below for more details regarding our DC & RF Sputtering, EBeam, Organic and Thermal sources and also thin film accessories such as in-situ measurement and integrated load locks, contact us for further information.
Electron-beam evaporation allows direct heating of target materials and is consequently useful for evaporating even the most difficult materials such as tungsten. Other thermal evaporation techniques employ radiative heating, which limits the evaporation temperature of the target to substantially below the temperature of the heating element. In E-beam evaporation, a high-energy electron beam is directed towards the target material, thereby heating it to evaporation temperature.
TAU – E-Beam Evaporation Source
The TAU series of e-beam evaporators are ‘mini’ sources, which operate with the target material at high voltage and the emission filament at low voltage, eliminating the need for the beam-bending magnets seen in larger sources.
Sputter deposition is a widely-used technique for the deposition of thin films. A plasma is ignited above a negatively-biased ‘target’ which has the effect that ions are drawn from the plasma and accelerated towards the target material. On impact, the argon ions eject atoms/molecules from the surface – a process known as sputtering. The sputtered material forms a vapour, which can be re-condensed on a substrate to form a thin film.
Fission – Sputtering Source
The Fission series magnetron sputtering sources enable rapid, contaminant-free deposition of metal or dielectric films in the Hex modular deposition system. Water-cooling and gas connections are made using quick-release connectors, removing the need to find tools to dismount the source and eliminating the hazard and inconvenience of draining coolant-water every time the source is removed from the chamber. Source mounting is also made simple and without the need for any tools.
Thermal evaporation sources are generally used for basic thin film deposition processes. The evaporant material is placed in a conductive boat or alternatively a crucible held in a resistive coil. The boat or coil is heated by passing a high electrical current through it. As the temperature of the boat rises, the material in the boat begins to evaporate. The temperature, and hence the evaporation rate of the material, is controlled by the amount of applied current.
One important advantage of thermal evaporation is that no process gas is required so the process can be performed under very high vacuum conditions resulting in very few impurities being incorporated into the deposited films.
TES – Thermal Evaporation Source
The Korvus TES thermal boat sources allow quick removal of the sources to allow replenishment of the evaporant material. Boats and filaments can also be easily and rapidly replaced.
The evaporation of materials at low temperature (50-600oC) requires specialised sources which are specifically designed to operate in this range. Conventional evaporation sources are built in order to operate most efficiently at >1000oC which requires that conductive thermal losses are kept to a minimum. This has the consequence that the mechanism which allows accurate PID control relies almost entirely on radiative losses. At lower temperature, radiative losses are dramatically reduced and control loops in conventional cells suffer from overshoot and slow temperature change.
Orca – Organic Evaporator
The ORCA low-temperature evaporation source employs active cooling of the crucible to ensure that the heating process is balanced by a strong opposing cooling process which results in excellent temperature stability and control.
Sample Stage Options
Choosing the correct sample stage for a process is as important as choosing the correct deposition method. The features of the stage can affect the uniformity, the morphology and the resulting film composition.
The HEX base system is shipped with a static sample stage which can accommodate samples up to 4″ in diameter, with the larger HEX-L model capable of taking samples of up to 6″. Included with the stage are sample holders for 4″ or 6″ samples and for multiple smaller samples. All sample stages can be equipped with either a manual or a motor-driven shutter and feature a convenient set of mounting posts on the system to allow the stage to be securely mounted when replacing samples without needing to clear room on desks or workbenches.
The HEX series is a truly modular system and therefore a wide range of accessories can be integrated when the initial system is configured, or simply ordered as an extra item at a later date, if and when the coating or research requirements change.
Some of the thin film system options are listed below, but please Contact us if you have any specific requirements and we will be happy to design a configuration to suit your requirements.