See how Denton Vacuum has pioneered thin film for 6 decades.

Sample Preparation and Prototyping

Denton offers a variety of thin film coating solutions for Research, R&D and Quality Assurance (QA) applications, whether that be for sample preparation in electron microscopy, microanalysis in QA, or prototyping in product research and development.

SystemApplicationTechnologySubstrate Size
Desk VMicroscopySputtering
4” (100mm)
Benchtop TurboMicroanalysisEvaporation
8” (200mm)
Desktop ProR&DSputtering8” (200mm)
8” (200mm)
8” (200mm)

Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis

Microscopy is critical to understanding th­­e structure and composition of the materials that make up our world. Biological materials like blood, tissue, and microscopic organisms such as viruses and bacteria are only fully understood when they can be viewed.

In manufacturing, microstructure or chemical analysis is often necessary to ensure product consistency and quality. In addition, manufacturing defects in a high-volume production environment can cost companies millions of dollars if not realized in QA inspection. Electron microscopy and microanalysis offers the ability to see beyond and understand the building blocks that drive the behavior of materials.

Thin Film Coatings Protect Samples and Enhance Imaging

Thin film deposition is often necessary to enable or improve the imaging of samples used in electron microscopy. The specific coating materials and techniques vary based on the unique requirements of the sample and the type of analysis. For scanning electron microscopes (SEM), a sample coating creates a very thin, continuous and conductive coating that inhibits charging, reduces thermal damage and improves the secondary electron signal required to generate three-dimensional-like images of the sample surface. For transmission electron microscopes (TEM), fine-grained, transparent, conductive carbon layers coat the sample to support imaged films on grids and backup replicas. Glow discharge for TEM is useful for making the grids hydrophilic.

Consistency and Repeatability are Key

When preparing samples for SEM or TEM, achieving consistent and repeatable results that are stable from test to test is a challenge. Denton Vacuum’s sample prep solutions are designed to ensure maximum repeatability for the highest confidence in the results, all while saving space in the lab:

  • The flexible and compact BenchTop Turbo is capable of full-range, low-voltage (resistive) thermal evaporation and can also produce fine-grained thin films via sputtering for high resolution microscopy applications. It can support up to two low voltage sources with optional co-deposition. The BenchTop Turbo is easy to maintain and run.
  • The space-saving Desk V Sample Preparation system, equipped for both carbon evaporation and metal sputtering, can deposit a broad range of coating materials, including iridium. Adjustable rotating and tilting ensures a highly uniform coating with excellent conformity and coverage, even on samples with highly irregular surfaces.
  • The cabinet-sized DV-502 Thermal Evaporation system evaporates many of the metals and compounds involved in optical coatings, metallization, and electron microscope specimen preparation with no discernible contamination. A fast-cycle, high-vacuum system, the DV-502 can reach the 10-6 torr range within three minutes. Its contamination-free performance makes it a great choice for sample preparation for electron microscopy.

electron microscope

Flexibility and Productivity for Prototyping, R&D and Pilot Projects

Different markets have different driving forces at play, whether it’s the growth of IoT (Internet of Things), consumer demand for smaller and higher-resolution (or touch-sensitive) screens, or concerns for safety and regulations, as in the medical world. At Denton Vacuum, we understand how those unique drivers are shaping the markets we support. Denton solutions are designed to help accelerate and perfect product development and achieve outstanding operational efficiency and return on investment.

Denton Vacuum solutions for R&D are designed for flexibility and versatility, capable of supporting a wide range of deposition methods and thin film coatings in order to enable experimentation and prototyping. Their high accuracy makes it possible to fine-tune product designs through careful iteration.

Denton offers a range of R&D solutions capable of supporting production runs from single, one-off prototypes to small batch pilot projects:

  • The Desktop Pro is a compact, high-vacuum sputtering system that offers superior productivity using less than 36 inches (914 mm) of desk space. Truly versatile, the Desktop Pro can provide co-sputtering and the deposition of metal and/or dielectric materials.
  • The floor-mounted Explorer thin film deposition platform is a versatile high-vacuum R&D and pilot production platform that can be configured for electron beam (e-beam) evaporation, resistance evaporation, or magnetron sputtering.


Benchtop Turbo



The flexible and compact Benchtop Turbo for thermal evaporation and sample preparation is a powerful, versatile high vacuum evaporation and sputtering system.



Desk V HP Cold Sputter Coater w/ Tilt & Rotation



The Desk V Sample Preparation system, equipped for both evaporation and sputtering, is a high productivity solution that delivers exceptional, consistent and highly repeatable results.




The DV-502 evaporates many of the metals involved in optical coatings, metalizing and electron microscope specimen preparation, including carbon, gold, gold/palladium and platinum.



denton vacuum desktop pro thin film deposition solution



The compact and versatile Desktop Pro can support confocal co-sputtering for the deposition of metal and/or dielectric materials.


denton vacuum explorer thin film deposition system



The floor-mounted Explorer can handle substrates as large as 8 inches and is capable of support small batch and pilot production. It can be configured for e-beam evaporation, resistance evaporation, or magnetron sputtering. Ion-assisted deposition is available as an option.