News & Articles

Learn about vacuum sputtering and thin film evaporation technologies.

Features of In-Line Sputtering Systems

in-line sputtering system

An “In-Line” PVD Sputtering System is one in which substrates pass linearly beneath one or more Sputter cathodes to acquire their Thin Film coating. Normally the substrates are loaded onto a carrier or pallet in order to facilitate this motion, and some smaller systems handle just one pallet per batch run. Larger systems may have the capability of handling multiple pallets through the use of end station pallet handlers that send and receive one pallet after another in a continuing convoy passing through the transport subsystem, the tip of each following behind the tail of the prior one. …

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What is Patterned Thin Film Deposition For Lift Off?

lift offThin Film Coatings are sometimes applied to entire surfaces of substrates, “wall to wall” so to speak, in a continuous unbroken film. But many times the final form of whatever particular material is being applied is patterned so that it is coated in certain specific areas and bare in others. …

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Advanced Thin Film Deposition Control by Quartz Crystal Monitor

wafer patternedPhysical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is a common class of techniques for applying very pure coatings usually in the thickness of angstroms to microns onto substrates, and includes Thermal Evaporation from a heated source. This paper discusses principles of Advanced Thin Film Deposition thickness and rate control by use of quartz crystal monitoring. In particular it will go beyond the basics into topics including co-deposition and multi crystal systems for PVD by Thermal Evaporation. …

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What is Reactive Sputtering?

Reactive Sputtering EquipmentSputtering is a common technique for Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), one of the methods of producing Thin Film Coatings. Standard Sputtering uses a target of whatever pure material is desired, and an inert gas, usually argon.

If the material is a single pure chemical element, the atoms simply come off the target in that form and deposit in that form. However, it is also possible to use a non inert gas such as oxygen or nitrogen either in place of, or (more commonly) in addition to the inert gas (argon). …

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Confocal Cathode Sputtering

conforcal cathode sputteringAn introduction to the confocal method of magnetron sputtering that allows serial and co-sputtering of materials in the production of thin films.

INTRODUCTION

Confocal sputtering is the technique of arranging magnetrons within a vacuum chamber in such a way that multiple materials can be applied onto the substrate without breaking vacuum.  Confocal sputtering also allows the user to co-sputter, or to create a film of two or more materials at once.  This method is popular for research and development tools and for small scale batch productions.

BENEFITS OF CONFOCAL SPUTTERING

For conventional top-down sputtering, only one material can be sputtered at a time. This is because of the geometric relation that the magnetron has with the substrate. Generally, when sputtering in this way, the target material must be larger than the substrate to yield acceptable film uniformity. …

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Thin Film Deposition Control By Quartz Crystal Monitor Tooling Factor

Diagram of Thermal Evaporation Process

Diagram of
Thermal Evaporation Process

Thin Film Deposition is a vacuum technology for applying coatings of pure materials to the surface of various objects. The coatings, also called films, are usually in the thickness range of angstroms to microns and can be a single material, or can be multiple materials in a layered structure. This paper discusses the basic principles of thickness and rate control by use of quartz crystal monitoring. …

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Advantages of Small Chamber Confocal Sputtering Equipment for R&D

Small chamber confocal sputtering systemOne popular method of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is Sputtering, which has numerous product applications. Whereas commercial Sputter systems are often geared to large scale production volume of established processes, there is also a need for smaller scale sputtering systems for research and development where versatility is generally more important than volume throughput. These same smaller sputtering systems can also serve for lower volume initial production. …

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What are Planar Magnetrons in PVD Coatings?

magnetron sputtering in PVD coatingsThe Planar Magnetron is, in essence, a classic “diode” mode sputtering cathode with the addition of a permanent magnet array behind the cathode. This magnet array is arranged so that the magnetic field is normal to the electric field in a closed path and forms a boundary “tunnel” which traps electrons near the surface of the target. This electron trapping improves the efficiency of gas ion formation and constrains the discharge plasma, allowing higher current at lower gas pressure and achieves a higher sputter deposition rate for PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coatings. …

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Semicore Equipment, Inc. Commits to Alternative Energy Development

Recent studies show that nanotechnology is making the Alternative Energy equipment market at least 250 times the size of the famous California Gold Rush – and that opportunity will last for generations rather than be a one-time historical event.

Semicore suggests that everyone who is nano-tech oriented should be looking seriously at Alternative Energy technologies for financial; if not environmental reasons. …

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Semicore Equipment, Inc. Announces New Tri-Axis PVD System

Citing customer requests for the ability to reduce costs and increased development flexibility in today’s uncertain economy, Semicore Equipment, Inc. has released their Tri-Axis system that offers evaporative deposition and triple axis sputter in a single platform. …

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