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

What to Expect in the Laser Market in 2020

Financial bar chart and growing graphs with depth of field on dark blue background

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Laser Focus World recently released their annual report on the laser market, and there are some major industry trends that are expected to impact thin film deposition requirements. Manufacturers who focus on precision and performance for their thin film coatings will be best positioned to take advantage of expected growth. Laser Market Outlook According to… Read More

Thin Film Requirements for EUV Systems

CO2 Laser and Multilayer Coated Reflectors

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Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light requires a very complex process to produce, but this technology has major implications for lithography and nano-machining in semiconductor manufacturing. To ensure performance and precision during manufacturing, components of EUV systems must be produced with high-precision optics and coatings. What is Extreme Ultraviolet Light? Extreme UV light has wavelengths anywhere between… Read More

Horizontal vs. Vertical Orientation in Sputtering: Advantages and Drawbacks

Comparison showing a vertical Phoenix sputtering system configuration on top, and a horizontal Phoenix sputtering system configuration below.

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One design consideration that can affect your process and thin film coating performance is the collective orientation of the substrate and cathodes during magnetron sputtering. Your system configuration may be oriented either horizontally or vertically, and both orientations have their benefits and tradeoffs. Vertical Sputtering: Benefits In a vertical sputtering configuration, the substrate and cathodes… Read More