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Case Study

University Investigates Gold Grain Size

How is a large university going to investigate the grain size of Gold?

A large university research group sought a sputtering thin film deposition system to perform research into Au (Gold) grain sizes but also wanted a low cost solution.

The grain size of a deposited thin film is directly affected by method of deposition. Processing parameters such as deposition rate, film thickness, substrate temperature and vacuum pressure have strong influences on the grain size of the thin film but they are secondary factors. Choosing the right deposition method is important for the type of film growth you want. Two of the most common deposition methods are evaporation and sputtering.

The research group had an evaporation thin film deposition system and wanted to know if a sputtering thin film system could help in their investigation of grain size. Enter the Customer Applications Development Center (CADC) at Denton Vacuum. The Research & Development Engineers in the CADC at Denton produced equivalent sputtered thin film samples to those produced at the University on their evaporator system.

The evaporated and sputtered films were analyzed and compared by the University. They found that the grain size for the sputtered film is smaller and finer than that of the evaporated film. While the research group was excited by the results, they also wanted a low cost solution.

The solution: Denton’s DV502-M sputtering coater. The DV502-M provides consistent, repeatable sputtering results in a compact and economical configuration. With up to two 3.0” diameter magnetrons confocally configured over a 6” diameter heated rotating substrate stage and RF or DC power supplies, the DV502-M sputters both dielectric and metal films. The DV502-M provides uptime, product yield and throughput for your most demanding research and development applications.

We employ our expertise in thin films to help our customers address challenges, reduce risk and develop optimized processes that can be simulated in a real-world environment during their development phase. Contact us today to find out how you can leverage our CADC to test your own process development.