Denton Receives Patent for Linear Plasma Ion Source

A CAD drawing of Denton Vacuum's patented linear plasma-ion source.

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Denton Vacuum was recently assigned U.S. patent number 10,815,570 for a linearized energetic radio-frequency plasma ion source. This source is designed as a large area, filament-free source that is fully compatible with high-throughput, in-line sputtering systems. Some of the unique, patent-protected features of this source are: Plasma ion source with independent control over ion current… Read More

What is Ion Beam Etching?

Diagram showing the step-by-step process for creating gold contacts using ion beam etch.

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Ion beam etching (IBE) is a thin film technique that utilizes an ion source to carry out material removal processes on a substrate. IBE is a type of ion beam sputtering and, whether it’s used for pre-clean or patterned etching, it helps ensure excellent adhesion and precise formation of 3D structures. Benefits of Ion Beam… Read More

Thin Film Requirements for Emerging Display Applications

A 3D rendering of a foldable smartphone, showing the lock screen with the date in the left panel and the time in the right panel.

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As manufacturers look to introduce exciting new features to customers and increase device lifespan in consumer electronics applications, thin film coating requirements are beginning to change as well. Durability and performance continue to be critical but flexibility and ultra-thin coatings are increasingly in demand. Emerging display applications are seeing new form factors and a heavy shift… Read More

Reducing Resistivity and Stress in Tungsten Coatings

Graph showing the average resistivity of two layer W films at the given substrate temperature.

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Tungsten coatings are commonly used in semiconductor applications and have the potential to be used in emerging solar energy applications. These thin films are commonly subject to high stress and low adhesion, but when manufacturers try and compensate for stress, it leads to increased resistivity. In order to achieve the best performance and repeatability for… Read More

Managing Spit Defects During Evaporation

A side-by-side comparison of spit during evaporation with a standard source design, and with Denton's proprietary source design. With Denton's design, you see significantly less spit particles.

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Spit defects are some of the biggest obstacles to ensuring thickness uniformity and production efficiency in evaporation and indium bump deposition. There are ways to adjust your process to eliminate spit defects and improve yield, but if you work with a partner who has solved for these defects in their system design, you will realize… Read More

Enhancing Thickness Uniformity for Medical Device Coatings

Surgeons inserting a stent during heart surgery.

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Medical devices often require thin film coatings to optimize performance and longevity, while also ensuring patient safety. Because these devices often feature unique properties compared to “normal” substrates, such as a completely curved or flexible structure, they have challenging thin film deposition process requirements. Magnetron sputtering with an inverted cylindrical cathode is one thin film… Read More

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