Optimizing Cost of Ownership for Precious Metal Coatings

Nuggets of gold on a black background

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Material transfer efficiency may not be the biggest concern for all coatings, but when using precious metals, it becomes a major factor in cost of ownership. For applications that require the use of precious metals to ensure performance, like metal contacts and superconducting tape, your thin film deposition system design will play a major role… Read More

Enabling Thickness Uniformity and Control for Curved Optics

Spherical external surveillance camera on building facade

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One of the most important requirements for precision optics is thickness uniformity of thin film coatings. Achieving a high degree of uniformity on flat optics usually requires complex motion or restricted deposition zoned, which often lowers deposition rates. For curved optics, there is no practical way to achieve the uniformity needed through a conventional thin… Read More

Improving Adhesion During Lift-Off For Indium Bump Deposition

Side-by-side comparison of indium bump arrays without pre-clean and with pre-clean, respectively.

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To form indium bumps, a patterned mask is applied to the wafer and then indium is deposited. The patterned mask has “holes” that allow some indium to deposit directly onto the wafer, while the rest of the indium is deposited onto the mask. After indium bump deposition, the unwanted indium and the mask must be… Read More

Benefits of an Inverted Cylindrical Cathode Configuration

Diagram showing a cylindrical cathode configuration with the substrate inside the cathode, sputtering inward.

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An inverted cylindrical cathode configuration, compared to a planar or confocal configuration, has a few notable benefits because of its highly unique design. Unlike most cathode arrangements, where the cathodes sputter down, up or across the chamber, an inverted cylindrical cathode sputters inward toward the center of the cylinder. This offers several advantages for precision… Read More

Why You Need to Focus on Continuous Improvement for Your Thin Film System

Hand Drawing Gears on a Chalkboard

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When investing in thin film deposition equipment, you need to think beyond the short-term results you want to achieve and focus on long-term goals and improvements. Your vendor should have the same focus, as well as the engineering capability to deliver continuous improvement, so you gain reliability, functionality and added value in your system over… Read More

4 Reasons to Consider Upgrading Your Thin Film Deposition System

Before and after images showing thin film deposition equipment before upgrades and refurbishment.

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Upgrades deliver a number of benefits without the need to invest in brand new equipment. They provide a cost-effective way to lower your cost of ownership, improve process capabilities and reduce maintenance and downtime. The ability to upgrade your thin film deposition configuration depends largely on your specific system, your application and process needs and… Read More

3 Benefits of Optical Monitoring During Thin Film Deposition

Seven Layer Bandpass Wave Lengths

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Precision optics applications require thin film coatings to meet very exacting specs for factors such as refractive index, optical loss, thickness, optical transmission and uniformity. To do this, manufacturers need a full precision optics coating system configured with in-situ control that directly monitors optical properties. Effects on Performance and Yield In precision optics, the acceptable… Read More

Denton Receives Patent for RF Ion Source

The Endeavor ion source, powered on during thin film deposition

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Denton Vacuum was recently assigned patent number 10,573,495 B2 by the U.S. Patent Office for the Endeavor circular ion source. The Endeavor is a filament-free, self-neutralizing ion source that uses a single extraction grid. The Endeavor source is uniquely designed to improve thin film properties and create stress-free, high-density thin films for better performance. With… Read More

How to Handle Varying Wafer Sizes in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing

A central wafer handler, with a wafer carrier, holds a semiconductor wafer and moves it between deposition chambers.

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In large-scale, high-volume silicon semiconductor production, such as for microprocessors and DRAM, manufacturers often prefer direct handling of wafers during the thin film deposition process. This makes perfect sense for mass-producing wafers that are all 300mm in size. However, in the compound semiconductor industry, multiple wafer sizes are quite common. It is not economically viable… Read More

Considerations for Using Magnetron Sputtering for Lift-Off Applications

lift off in magnetron sputtering diagram

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Thin film deposition methods such as evaporation for indium bump deposition are often ideal for achieving good lift-off for patterned coatings. However, evaporation techniques can fall short of production needs for high-volume manufacturing. High-volume applications often require magnetron sputtering as a deposition method. The challenge for these manufacturers is to achieve good lift-off while meeting… Read More