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Article

Power Supplies for Vacuum Thin-Film Deposition and Coating

 
This Vacuum Technology & Coating product showcase includes power supplies used in a wide variety of vacuum-based production deposition and coating applications.
 
Compiled by Terrence Thompson, Contributing Editor
 
 Deposition and coating systems require extremely dependable power supplies. Fortunately, a wide array exists to fit virtually any application. With increasingly demanding deposition and coating system requirements, and the ever-present cost considerations for industrial and scientific applications, the expectations for power supplies increases.
 
 Power supplies provide outputs of DC or AC in a wide range of power levels. Power supplies can have primary outputs ranging from very low to hundreds of kilowatts with frequencies from DC to 13.56 MHz or beyond. Depending upon the application, voltage or current regulation may be more important. Current ratings also can range from low to very high. These are but a few considerations when selecting a power supply.
 
Many Choices To Fit Specific Needs
 
 How crucial is size and are matching networks and cooling systems needed? What kind of output programming and control are needed and what specific computer or network digital interface needs must be met? There are many choices to meet the user needs.
 
 With DC supplies, there are steady and pulsed outputs. Typical DC power options include high current, high voltage and voltage regulation. Pulsed DC supplies, for example, can improve surface uniformity in applications such as semiconductor wafer copper plating.
 
 For AC supplies, many factors must be considered. High-frequency power sources must deliver reliable power for continuous, demanding use in vacuum applications including vacuum processing such as PVD, RF sputtering, plasma etching or deposition and reactive ion etching.
 
Very Reliable Power Sources
 
 Analytical instrumentation power supply voltage requirements can range from just a few volts to several hundred thousand volts, often with multiple critical voltages in a particular instrument. Standard and custom high voltage power supplies are used in instruments for spectroscopy and many other analytical imaging and process applications. Voltage ripple (or lack thereof), stability over time, repeatability and accuracy are factors to consideration if reliable scientific data are the goal. For analytical instrumentation used in production process control, reliability is extremely important.
 
Product Descriptions
 
 In the following product descriptions, vendors often make subtle distinctions to focus on specific intended applications so direct comparisons may be difficult. When in doubt, go to Vacuum Technology & Coating magazine’s home page at  and click on the advertiser links for additional details or telephone numbers for calling to discuss your specific application requirements.
 

 

 

 Paramount© RF Power-Delivery System Offers Precise Control
 
 The Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. half-rack, 3 kW Paramount® RF power supply features an enhanced power and impedance measurement system that delivers exceptional power accuracy and control at 13.56 MHz fixed or variable frequencies into 50 and non-50 loads, beyond 3:1 VSWR. Able to keep pace, in real time, with the most abrupt plasmaimpedance changes, the Paramount RF powerdelivery system enables faster transitions, shorter process steps, and reduced process times for next-generation technology nodes. Its impedance measurement rivals the accuracy of a network analyzer, while optional frequency tuning tunes virtually instantaneously (i.e., ms), faster than most power supplies. The result is truly unprecedented accuracy, repeatability, and process control.  www.advanced-energy.com
 

 

 

 OvationVery-High Frequency (VHF) Power Delivery System
 
 The Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. Ovationfully-integrated, power delivery system enables faster, higher-precision processes, such as those required for demanding narrow-linewidth, dielectric etch processes through implementation of a unique power delivery scheme. It is the first to accurately deliver power into a non-50- environment without an external sensor, reacting faster than traditional power supplies. The use of 60 MHz reduces voltage potential across the plasma sheath, minimizing ion etch damage, thus improving film quality and yields. Its embedded measurement technology enables previously unavailable insight into chamber plasma parameters and performance.  www.advanced-energy.com
 

 

 

 Cesar® RF Power Supplies Offer Customized Performance for Demanding Plasma Applications
 
 The Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. versatile Cesar® platform offers exceptionally consistent RF power-delivery performance, as well as a diverse selection of models, each with a unique set of features and capabilities (2, 4, 13.56, 27.12, and 40.68 MHz; 0.3 to 5 kW; with a variety of user interfaces and input options). This enables users to choose a unit suited specifically to the application—without lengthy custom-generator lead times. Standard platform packaging makes it easy and inexpensive to replace one Cesar unit with another when your power requirements change. This also minimizes training costs and simplifies design and setup for systems with multiple RF power supplies.  www.advanced-energy.com
 

 

 

 Pinnacle® Plus+ Pulsed-DC Power Supply for Critical Reactive Processes
 
 The Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. Pinnacle® Plus+ product line enables higher film quality for reactive sputtering, bias, and high-quality metal sputtering applications. Available in singleand dual-output 5 kW and single-output 10 kW models, this product line extends the performance of existing processes as well as expanding the possibilities for developing new, previously unachievable DC processes. The Pinnacle Plus+ line provides individually controllable, dual-output, pulsed-DC power from a single unit; increased process flexibility (up to 350 kHz pulsing, wide tap range, variable duty cycle up of a minimum of 55% on time or a maximum of 45% reverse time), active front panel; and CE compliance.  www.advanced-energy.com
 

 

 

 Navigator® Digital Matching Networks
 
 The Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. versatile Navigator® matching network’s advanced technology provides rapid, accurate, and reliable matching across a wide range of load impedances—15 W to 30 kW. Equipped with microprocessor-controlled stepper motor circuitry and digital, user-selectable tuning algorithms, it provides greater consistency and accuracy than traditional analog-based tuning methods. An optional internal Z’Scan® RF sensor provides real-time measurement and analysis of process power and impedance, enabling you to identify and significantly reduce process variability. In addition, optional Virtual Front Panel (VFP) software enables users to monitor and command the matching network through a personal computer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.
Fort Collins, CO
www.advanced-energy.com
Contact: Marna Shillman, Global Marketing Communications Director
Tel: 1-970-407-6280
E-mail:  marna.shillman@aei.com
 

 

 

 CDX Dual High Frequency Power Supply
 
 Comdel’s CDX dual frequency power supply is available in dual high frequency sections. With a 1200 or 2000 watt design, the high frequency (HF) section of the CDX provides 600 or 1000 Watts of power, with optional frequencies from 2 to 60 MHz. The former low frequency (LF) section can deliver 600 or 1000 watts, now with an optional fixed or variable frequency of 13.56 MHz. Making the CDX series available with dual high frequency sections provides more flexibility for plasma applications including bias, etch, deposition and ashing in semiconductor processing, as well as solar cell and photovoltaic applications.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 VF100 Triple Synthesizer Module
 
 Comdel’s VF100 Triple Synthesizer Module provides phase adjustable frequency locking to avoid destructive arcing and crosstalk in multiple cathode or magnetron plasma processing chambers. The VF100 is designed with three channels and may be programmed to any frequency between 10 and 40 MHz. Frequency changes are simultaneous and phase continuous. The phase of the adjustable channels can be offset from the phase of the fixed channel to within 0.1 degree resolution or finer. The VF100 allows adjustment for cable length dependencies. More channels and higher frequency synthesizer modules are available.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CLB 5000 Low Frequency RF Power Supplies
 
 The CLB 5000 is the latest addition to Comdel’s line of low frequency RF generators. The new CLB Low Frequency series of generators brings proven superior reliability and small, lightweight packaging of our CB high frequency series to low frequency applications. Delivering 5000 watts of RF power and operating from any fixed frequency from 20 KHz to 2 MHz, the CLB 5000 is an ideal solution for plasma, flat panel display, and thin film processes. The solid-state RF amplifier design provides precise and repeatable power control and low cost of ownership. Features include frequency agile tuning with phase lock tuning or software algorithm, forward or delivered power mode regulation, and safety compliance. This package design combines both the RF generator and switching DC power supply in one compact 7”H × 19”W × 22”D package.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CPMX6000 Match Pro Automatic Tuning Network
 
 Comdel’s CPMX6000 system is engineered with Comdel’s unique PROTRAK, a high-speed tuning algorithm that gradually slows the system as it approaches the tuning point, allowing a precise match even in high “Q” loads. This proportional control circuitry illustrates the critical difference between Comdel’s Match Pro and other matching networks. The Match Pro adjusts input impedance to 50 ohms quickly, accurately and dependably–in response to the changes in load characteristics during your process. The CPMX6000 delivers a 75A load current and features automatic and manual modes with local and remote manual control of tuning capacitors, and the ability to preposition capacitors to the optimal plasma ignition point prior to turn on, resulting in quick and reliable tuning.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CB Series High Frequency RF Power Supplies
 
 RF generators from the Comdel CB product family are available in power ranges from 50 to 5000 Watts with standard fixed frequencies from 2 to 60 MHz. The solid-state design provides precise and repeatable p o w e r control, ultra-stable output and low cost of ownership. The design of the CB series is based on Comdel’s proven RF amplifier technology. Features include forward or delivered power mode regulation, safety compliance, patented “S Technology” for unparalleled stability, and small, lightweight packaging from 15 lb. for the CB600 to 95 lb. for the CB5000. The CB series is designed to meet the performance demand in RF-driven plasma systems for semiconductor processing. Applications include etch, RIE, parallel plate, ICP, RF sputtering, CVD and PVD, as well as induction and dielectric heating processes in industrial systems, and solar photovoltaic applications. Note: The Palm Pilot used in photo to give perspective and is not included with product purchase.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CX Series High Frequency RF Power Supplies with Microprocessor Control
 
 The Comdel CX series RF generators are all solidstate generators with a power range from 600W to 10kW and frequencies from 2 to 30MHz fixed with optional frequency agility. The rugged CX series provides very high reliability, utilizing the highest quality parts throughout with components typically run at half their rated tolerances. Each power source produces maximum transfer of power into a 50 ohm resistive load and is designed to withstand large deviations in load impedance without failure. Comdel’s CX series power supplies use patented “S Technology” for process stability. This stabilizing technology reduces process development time and improves process repeatability. Nearly all of the CX series generators carry the ETL Listed Mark of product safety compliance and have passed SEMI F47 voltage sag immunity testing. The CX series generators are also designed to meet CE Mark directives and standards.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CV Series Very High Frequency (VHF) RF Power Supplies
 
 Comdel CV series power supplies offer stable VHF power at frequencies from 30 to 80 MHz. Configured within the standard control and monitoring package, the CV series offers exceptional ease of operation. RS-232 and analog controls are provided as standard; DeviceNet is optional. Synthesizerdriven, frequency agile configurations are also available on all CV series models. These VHF solid-state generators are ideal for use in VHF plasma systems, solar photovoltaics, CW and pulsed laser systems, and small geometry induction heating applications.  www.comdel.com
 

 

 

 CDX Series Dual Frequency RF Power Supplies
 
 Comdel combined a high and low frequency RF generator to create one compact, versatile power supply. The CDX Series offers ease of control, small physical size, and the ability to withstand large changes of load impedance without failure or premature foldback. The CDX dual frequency power supply comes in a 1000 or 2000 watt design. The high frequency (HF) section of the CDX provides 600 or 1000 watts of power, with optional frequencies from 2 to 60 MHz. The lower frequency (LF) section can deliver 600 or 1000 watts, with optional fixed or variable frequencies ranging from 20 kHz to 13.56 MHz. The LF section also features an optional phase locked output, which eliminates the need for matching networks in many applications. Sharing a common cooling system and DC power source, the CDX simplifies facility requirements and reduces spare parts inventory, which reduces OEM costs without sacrificing performance.
 
Comdel, Inc.
Gloucester, MA
www.comdel.com
Contact: MaryBeth Masterson, Marketing Manager
Tel: 1-978-282-0620 x102
E-mail:  marybeth_masterson@comdel.com
 

 

 

 LQ “Low-Height” Regulated DC Power Supplies
 
 Glassman High Voltage, Inc.’s family of DC power supplies designed for applications having 10 kW output power requirements with improved power density compared to typical supplies. The new “low-height” LQ series offers models from 500 V to 12 kV that provide a fully user-adjustable output voltage and current range, while providing high stability, fast response Arc Quench and Arc Count circuitry, low stored energy and reduced weight in an 8.75 inch height (5U) rack-mount enclosure. A master/slave option will soon be available for increasing power capability to 50 kW. The LQ series can be utilized in a host of OEM and Research applications including Electron-beam processing, Physical Vapor Deposition, Microwave drying systems and Particle accelerator research as well as a general laboratory supply.
 

 

 

 5kW LH Series
 
 Glassman High Voltage, Inc.’s 5 kW LH series offers output voltages from 500 V to 100 kV to satisfy a host of vacuum processing equipment applications, providing DC power for ion sources, Glow discharge and Electron gun systems. User is able to program down to 5% of full output without oscillation. The LH features fast arc response with proprietary Arc Quench (1 to 10 ms recovery to full output) and Arc counter for load protection without interference to user process. Master/slave option is available for increasing to power capability to 25 kW. RS-232 serial control and 400V input option also available. It is CE mark Certified.
 

 

 

 Compact 300W FX Series User-Adjustable Output
 
 Glassman High Voltage, Inc.’s low-height, compact 300W FX series offers user-adjustable output voltages from 500 V to 60 kV in a 1U package. Unit features advanced arc-management, low-stored energy and high repeatability for optimum, reliable performance. It has a 3-year full service warranty. Typical applications include DC Bias, ion sources and general laboratory requirements. It is CE mark Certified.
 

 

 

 EQ Series for Small Source Magnetron and Diode Sputtering
 
 Glassman High Voltage, Inc.’s 1.2 kW EQ series is utilized for DC Magnetron and diode sputtering applications, ion sources as well as DC bias for both OEM and Laboratory requirements. Offering user output voltages ranging from 50V to 1200 V, output current up to 1.5A, the EQ series provides reliable and highly stable operation for vacuum processes. It features proprietary arc response circuitry, low-stored energy and compact sized. Options include Constant power programming and control loop and RS-232 serial digital interface. It is CE mark Certified.
 
Glassman High Voltage, Inc.
High Bridge, NJ
Tel: 1-908-638-3800
 

 

 

 Series SCALO Family Of DC Power Supplies
 
 High power density combined with flexibility make Huettinger’s Series SCALO a very compact 30 kW DC plasma power supply unit. Due to its scalable architecture, up to four modules may be connected in parallel, resulting in a total power output of up to 120 kW. For lower power requirements, a 20 kW module is also available. The SCALO is suitable for a wide spectrum of plasma process applications. Equipped with an arc management system and having very little stored energy, SCALO can be used to deposit thin films with superior characteristics, thus enhancing productivity. A variety of data interfaces allow for both process data acquisition and power supply control. The power supplies provide reliable power for a wide range of applications including a broad spectrum of DC sputtering applications. These include high-power applications such as the deposition of copper and tantalum during semiconductor fabrication, or the deposition of high quality ITO layers on flat-panel display substrates. SCALO provides the process energy required for hard coating processes as well as the deposition of optical and decorative coatings. SCALO features ARCtelligent;™ Huettinger’s intelligent arc management system that is both fast and highly effective. Combined with the benefit of extremely low stored energy, this yields films with superior characteristics while significantly enhancing productivity. Detection settings may be adjusted through any one of a number of data interfaces. ARCtelligent™ advances arc management to high levels of performance. SCALO’s modular design means flexibility in power delivery. Modules may be conveniently combined or disconnected for scaling the power available for individual process requirements. Total power outputs from 20 to 120 kW are obtainable in increments of 20 or 30 kW. All SCALO modules are available in water-cooled and air-cooled versions.
 
Huettinger Electronic, Inc.
Farmington, CT
www.huettinger.com
Tel: 1-860-255-6555
E-mail:  info-us@huettinger.com
 

 

 

 R-Series RF Power Generators
 
 The Kurt J. Lesker Company R-Series RF power generators are used for magnetron sputtering and plasma etching with available output ranges from 300 W to 3 kW at a 13.56 MHz fixed frequency. All units are air cooled to exceed the most stringent vacuum pro- cessing demands. Available features include: master and slave modes, automatic and matching networks, programmable high-speed pulsing, and CE marking for all R-Series units. Various control modes allow you to regulate DC and RF voltage as well as forward and load power leveling. Complete packages are available that include the power supply, automatic matching network, matching network controller, and all connecting cables that make ordering simple and quick.  www.lesker.com
 

 

 

 Ion Source Power Supply
 
 The Kurt J. Lesker Company Ion Source Power Supply system is specifically designed to power the KJLC filamentless ion sources. The compact, rack mountable unit is 5¼ inches high and less than 18 inches deep, including all connections. The unit is capable of supplying an ion energy voltage up to 1200 eV and an output current up to 67 mA. All internal connections are keyed header/socket connections. Control voltages are derived from a high efficiency 300-watt supply. The overall efficiency of the supply is over 80%. The power supply is designed to allow complete manual control of all ion source functions. Individual digital meters are used to constantly display operating parameters. Standard ten-turn trimpots adjust each of the three power supply levels. Individual supplies and displays include Anode, Emitter and Accelerator. Momentary “On” and “Standby” buttons control the output to the gun and LEDs indicate whether or not the source interlocks are satisfied and whether or not the source has started.  www.lesker.com
 

 

 

 M.A.P.S. Family of Power Supplies
 
 The Kurt J. Lesker Company M.A.P.S. power supply is a versatile unit typically used for applications involving heating and evaporation in a vacuum environment. Its modular design allows the unit to be configured with a variety of options. Standard features include a phase angle fired SCR to control power delivery. The M.A.P.S. power supplies are available in the models below and are appropriate with the applications described:
 High Temperature Heater power supply–Model HTR is for process heater applications including substrate heating with quartz lamps; substrate heating with custom elements (graphite, etc); and bakeout heaters. Available power output is from 2kW to 8kW.
 Resistive Thermal Evaporation power supply–Model EVP is for basic thermal evaporation applications including boats; crucibles; and filaments. Optional transformers from 2kW to 6kW allow deposition from a wide range of materials. Manual or computer controlled switching is available to allow the deposition of multiple sources sequentially.
 High-Temperature Metal Evaporation power supply–Model HTE is for high temperature evaporation (typically used with a furnace style source for higher melting temperature materials). When coupled with our HTE source high precision evaporation of up to 1500ºC is possible.
 Organic Source power supply–Model LTE is for low temperature evaporation up to 15 amps for the evaporation of organic materials. Coupled with our Organic sources, precise control (± 3 ºC) of source temperatures from 100ºC to 600ºC is possible. Custom configurations are readily available with output power up to 4 kW.
 
Kurt J. Lesker Company
Clairton, PA
www.lesker.com
Contact: Justin Poziviak, Deposition Product Manager, Process Equipment Division
Tel: 1-800-245-1656 Ext. 7433
E-mail:  justinp@lesker.com
 

 

 

 HELIUSRF Generator with ACCU-MATCHImpedance Matching Network
 
 Manitou Systems Inc.’s has two RF power system components: the Helius RF power generator and the Accu-Match automatic impedance matching network. These components comprise a complete, full-featured RF power delivery system designed to power all types of plasma processes. Both units are available in various output power ratings. The platform concept enables this system to also be easily configured with (other than 13.56 MHz) operating frequencies to accommodate today’s plasma process requirements. An embedded high-speed microprocessor controller enables the Helius to provide enhanced operating controls in addition to advanced internal diagnostic reporting. All hardware is compliant with industry accepted regulations. Please see the product data sheets for additional information and specifications.
 
Manitou Systems Inc.
Newtown, CT
Tel: 1-203-270-8797
 

 

 

 R*evolution® Remote Plasma Source
 
 MKS Instruments’ R*evolution® Remote toroidal plasma source delivers up to 6 kW of plasma power and up to 5 slm flow of clean radicals to the process, making ashing rates twice as fast as more conventional technologies. The high performance capabilities of the R*evolution extend far beyond strip and etch. This all-in-one remote plasma source is also ideal for advanced applications that include wafer pre-cleaning, thin film deposition, and material/surface modifications. The R*evolution’s simple, compact and self-contained design allows for installation directly on the process chamber. Because of its efficiency and lower cost, the R*evolution remote plasma source significantly reduces overall investment and tool operating costs.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 Mid-Frequency NOVA® Series RF Generators
 
 MKS Instruments’ NOVA® RF plasma generators are compact, high-reliability, mid-frequency RF sources for PECVD and etch applications. DSP-Based power control provides excellent control, and stability for reliable, repeatable processing. Advanced features such as automatic frequency tuning enable fast and reliable methods of impedance matching to a plasma load. Models include the NOVA-25 generator with rated power of 2.5 kW and the NOVA-50 generator with 5 kW rated power, both at key frequency of 2 MHz. Mid-frequency models operate between 1 and 4 MHz with key frequency at 2 MHz.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 Mid-Frequency Spectrum® RF Plasma Generators
 
 MKS Instruments’ Spectrum® 11002 mid-frequency RF generators are available in 11 kW of power at 2 MHz. Spectrum generators feature high power density, excellent stability, generous power margins and high reliability for lower cost of ownership and improved yield, wafer to wafer and run to run. These generators contain sophisticated control systems which enable such features as automatic frequency tuning. Midfrequency models operate between 1 and 4 MHz with key frequency at 2 MHz.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 High-Frequency SurePower® RF Plasma Generators
 
 The MKS SurePower® platform of RF plasma generators is the most advanced class of 13.56 MHz generators commercially available. The SurePower® architecture incorporates state-of-the-art RF topologies, patented intrinsic power amplifier protection, improved design margins, and embedded V-I Probe® sensors to achieve the highest reliability, reproducibility, and accuracy of any generator in the marketplace today. The platform offers the highest power (15 kW) at 13.56 MHz in a 3U height package. Optional auto frequency tuning allows the use of fixed matching networks for faster tuning, greater overall system reliability, and lower cost. SurePoweris available in power levels from 3.5 kW to 15.0 kW and provides exceptional performance, higher power levels than competitive offerings, greatest delivered power to the plasma, and excellent reliability. SurePower RF power generators are designed for all 13.56 MHz applications including: PECVD, HDPCVD, PVD, ALD, etch, and strip for the manufacture of integrated circuits, flat panel displays, and data storage devices.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 High-Frequency Genesis GHW RF Plasma Generators
 
 MKS Instruments ENI® ’s Genesis Series is a production proven, rack-mountable, RF plasma generator platform that provides power from 1.25 kW to 5 kW at 13.56 MHz. Genesis generators feature high reliability, unconditional RF stability, precise DSP-based control and load mismatch protection. Models include the GHW 12 (1.25 kW), GHW-25 (2.5 kW), and GHW-50 (5 kW). High-frequency models typically operate at 13.56 MHz, a frequency most commonly used for plasma processes.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 High-Frequency ACG Air-Cooled RF Plasma Generators
 
 MKS Instruments’ ACG Series is a family of lower power microprocessor-controlled RF plasma generators. The ACG features precise power control, low power operation, unconditional RF stability, and load mismatch protection. Models include the ACG-3B with 300 watts output power, the ACG-6B with 600 watts output power, and the ACG-10B with 1000 watts output power. High-frequency models typically operate at 13.56 MHz, a frequency most commonly used for plasma processes.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 Extended-Frequency RF Plasma Generators
 
 MKS also offers extended-frequency RF plasma generators in both 27.12 MHz/2.5 kW (GEW2527) and 40.68 MHz/3 kW (GEW3040) models.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 Optima® Continuous DC Generators
 
 The MKS Instruments ENI® Optima® series is a family of highly reliable, accurate, and flexible DC generators in power levels ranging from 5 to 60 kW or higher. DC power output is provided through the entire safe operating area without tap changes. In the Optima series, low intensity arc management is automatic, bipolar, fast and very low energy. The CE marked Optima series DC generators exhibit exceptional ±0.1% accuracy and linearity for advanced process repeatability, chamber-to-chamber and wafer-to-wafer. The product line has space-efficient 3U-rack height per 20 kW. Models include the following power levels: 5 kW, 7.5 kW, 10 kW, 15 kW, 20 kW, 40 kW, 60 kW and higher.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 RPG Pulsed DC Generators
 
 The MKS Instruments ENI® RPG series is a family of pulsed DC generators in power levels from 5 to 10 kW in a single 3U chassis. RPG generators provide asymmetric bipolar and unipolar pulsed DC power while maintaining the exceptional accuracy, repeatability and flexibility of the Optima continuous DC generators. RPG generators offer user-adjustable frequency and duty cycle controls. Frequency is adjustable from 25 kHz to 125 kHz or 50 kHz to 250 kHz depending on model making it possible to find the optimal process parameters for a wide variety of films. Duty cycle can be adjusted between 0 and 40% to enhance film uniformity. Built in interfaces include 9-pin digital RS-232/422/485 and 15/25/37 pin analog. Optional digital interfaces include DeviceNetand Profibus.  www.mksinst.com
 

 

 

 ASTeX® SmartPower® Intelligent Microwave Power Generators
 
 MKS Instruments’ SmartPower® AX2500 Series intelligent microwave power generators consists of three models which cover a spectrum of continuous microwave power from 250 W to 6 kW. The compact AX2500 design architecture incorporates MKS field-proven technology, and combines new design features aimed at improved performance and lower cost of ownership. All generators share a common, modular architecture and improved power measurement, feedback and con- trol for increased process control and repeatability. Models include the AX2520 with maximum performance of 2 kW, the AX2530 at 3 kW, and the AX2560 at 6 kW. Frequency output is 2.455GHz ±15 MHz.
 
 
MKS Instruments, Inc.
Andover, MA
www.mksinst.com
Contact: Applications Engineering
Tel: 1-978-284-4000
E-mail:  mks@mksinst.com
 

 

 

 Low-Voltage, High-Current Power Supplies
 
 The R. D. Mathis “LV Series” power supplies are low voltage, high current AC and uniquely designed for thermal evaporation. The power supply’s primary use in the thin film industry is supplying power to resistive evaporation sources. The low voltage, high current AC power supplies were designed to meet a growing need for versatility and reliability in the industry. Both units incorporate a hand held remote control that displays amperage and voltage outputs while allowing an operator more freedom to move closer to the viewing port or the monitoring instrumentation. The low voltage, high current tap switch enables voltage range changes with ease and without having to relocate bulky cables. The units are SCR controlled and can receive up to 4 different type input signals to operate in a semi-automatic mode. The current limiting, soft start and interlock switches make these units extremely user friendly and easy to operate. Available in either 4 kW (800 amps at 5 volts) or 7.5 kW (1,500 amps at 5 volts), the conservative power ratings allow the units to run cool, while rugged construction and quality components make them reliable. Also available are 250 amp and 500 amp welding cables, cut to size, with a variety of terminal lugs (installed) to complete your power set-up.
 
R.D. Mathis Company
Long Beach, CA
www.rdmathis.com
Tel: 1-562-426-7049
E-mail:  info@rdmathis.com

 

 

 

 

Thin-Film Deposition Rate Monitoring and Controller

 
This Vacuum Technology & Coating product showcase describes the thin-film deposition rate monitoring and controlling equipment used in a wide variety of production, R&D and other thin-film deposition applications. Also, see the related “Power Supplies for Vacuum Thin-Film Deposition and Coating Product Showcase” in this issue.
 
Compiled by Terrence Thompson, Contributing Editor
 
 Depositing precise thin film layers requires knowing both the rate of deposition and how to control it to obtain the desired layer thickness. Deposition monitors/controllers determine film thickness during the coating/deposition process itself by acquiring continuous rate and thickness data. Depending upon the item being coated, in-process monitoring and control may be desirable. In other applications, checking the finished film is certainly sufficient.
 
Getting and Maintaining Control
 
 There are several ways to monitor and control thin-film deposition parameters as well as ways to characterize the deposited films and coatings. Knowing exactly what materials are being deposited, the deposition rates, film thicknesses and uniformity can make a significant difference in process costs as well as suitability for the task at hand.
 
 Quartz crystal monitors are mass monitors. QCM deposition monitors only provide continuous rate and thickness data. There are differences in the frequency with which measurements are made which makes a difference. Monitors do not control deposition rates.
 
 Deposition controllers automatically control the deposition rate, typically by adjusting the deposition power as required to maintain the desired rate. Their main advantage of controllers is that they provide very accurate rate control that results in more-consistent coatings. Controllers provide mass programming that is typically described in terms of density, Z-ratio or tooling factor.
 
 Optical transmission monitoring works for transparent substrates (optical density) and is widely used with many variations on the theme. Sensors are specified by frequency range in wavelength (nm). Also, the number of inputs and type can be used to index the substrate and thickness of film while monitoring the wavelength and coating rate. Associated controller outputs can help model the transmission curve or signal the process to terminate each layer when desired thicknesses are achieved.
 
 With non-transparent substrate optical reflection sensors, the frequency (wavelength) range and sensor polarization is checked. Controllers monitor the index of substrate, index and thickness of film, monitoring wavelength and coating rate. Controller outputs can model a transmission curve and signal to terminate each layer.
 
 Product Descriptions
 
In the following product descriptions, vendors make distinctions to focus on specific intended applications so direct comparisons may be difficult. When in doubt, go to Vacuum Technology & Coating magazine’s home page at  and click on the advertiser links for additional details or telephone numbers for calling to discuss your specific application requirements.
 
NOTE: A related, but separate, “Product Showcase – Film Thickness and Flatness Testers, Metrology” will follow in the Vacuum Technology & Coating August 2008 issue.
 

 

 

 Model 590 Thin Film Optical Monitor for Real Time Monitoring of Thin Film Coatings
 
 The Dyn-Optics Model 590 Optical Monitor has a solid, fieldproven design, earning a reputation as being bullet proof and the workhorse of the coating industry. By continuously measuring the reflectance and/or transmission of each coating optically, the 590 Optical Monitor provides a more accurate measurement of each layer as its being deposited than with conventional crystal monitoring. With improvements in coating tolerances as much as an order of magnitude optical monitoring is essential for advanced multi-layer coating designs. An optional PC interface (USB or RS-232) allows remote control of the 590 as well as an End of Layer termination signal to communicate with the coating system process controller. The 590 features extended operation into the UV and IR spectrum. Dyn-Optics offers a full line of accessories to compliment the optical monitor including vacuum windows, gimbal mounts, and chip changers. In additional to our standard line, our engineers are available to support custom and OEM requirements.
 
Dyn-Optics
Sparta, NJ
Tel: 1-949-581-7430
 

 

 

 TIC Controller with Six-Gauge and Capacitance Manometer Capability
 
 The Edwards Vacuum TIC instrument controller is a compact instrument controller with a large clear graphical display, an intuitive user interface and serial communications providing full remote control. It is supplied with a Windows™ PC program which provides a comprehensive data logging ability, and enables full setup and control from a PC using the RS232 interfaces as standard. The controller supports and automatically recognizes up to three gauges from the BOC Edwards range, with coverage from 2000 to 6.6 x 10-10 mbar. The TIC is available in threechannel, six-channel and sixchannel capacitance manometer capable versions. When combined with the optional external relay box that allows for control of three 250 VAC 3 Amp changeover relays, the instrument controller provides for flexible operation of a wide range of vacuum system measurement and control configurations. Additional features include: direct pressure readout of common gasses (N2, He, Ar, CO2, Kr & Ne) without conversion factors; up to Six 0 to 10 V buffered analog outputs; and a user-configurable display options including: Four-character alphanumeric name for each channel and an option to display one, three, or six channels simultaneously.
 
Edwards Vacuum
Wilmington, MA
www.edwardsvacuum.com
Tel: 1-800-848-9800
E-mail:  info@edwardsvacuum.com
 

 

 

 F30 In-situ Deposition and Etch Monitor
 
 The Filmetrics F30 in-situ monitor measures deposition rate, layer thickness, optical constants (n and k) and uniformity of semiconductors and dielectric layers in real-time. Applications include MBE, MOCVD, and optical coatings. Smooth and translucent, or lightly absorbing films may be evaluated. The F30 is fully contained outside the process chamber—special lens mounts are available for restricted-access applications. For growing layers, the F30 continuously monitors sample reflectance at one or more wavelengths. The deposited layers optical properties produce unique time-dependant interference oscillations in the reflectivity signal. Analysis of these oscillations allow for determination of the layers deposition rate and optical constants. Up to three measurement locations can be measured with a single F30 system.
 
 
 
 
 
Filmetrics, Inc.
San Diego, CA
www.filmetrics.com
Tel: 1-858-573-9300
E-mail:  info@filmetrics.com
 

 

 

 DigiSEL In-Situ Laser Ellipsometer Monitors Thickness and Refractive Index of Single Layer Films
 
 The HORIBA Jobin Yvon 2nd generation DigiSEL in-situ laser ellipsometer provides a rapid, accurate quality control solution for the deposition and etching of films in-situ. The DIGISEL takes advantage of an advanced optical design that ensures accurate real-time calculation of the thickness and refractive index of single layer films in-situ. The compact ellipsometric heads are easily mounted onto CVD, electron-beam, MBE, sputtering as well as any other chamber that has an entrance and exit window for the measuring beam. The DigiSEL is simple to operate and adaptable to many types of processes, and is the tool of choice for simplifying everyday process characterization and development for demanding research and industrial quality control applications. Key applications include: thickness monitoring; growth and etch rates; endpoint detection; surface damage; and contamination. Due to its very high sensitivity insitu ellipsometry is ideal for investigating any change in surface properties, such as oxide formation, chemisorption, surface contamination or protein adsorption very accurately, in real-time. Inclusion of the DigiSEL as part of a process monitoring system supplies precise thin-film process information in an many applications. The DigiSEL may be included with the MultiCPM process metrology platform, and used together with the DigiSEL interferometric end point detection system and DIGICPM optical emission system.  www.jobinyvon.com
 

 

 

 LEM: In-Situ Etch/Deposition Rate Monitor and Endpoint Detector
 
 HORIBA Jobin Yvon’s LEM interferometer is used for insitu etch rate monitoring and end point detection. The LEM builds on the earlier previous SOFIE DigiLem. With its compact design and enhanced image quality, the LEM can be mounted on any process chamber with a direct top view of the wafer. It provides a real-time digital CCD image of the sample surface, making its 30 m laser beam positioning simple and accurate. Based on interferometry technique, the LEM provides in-situ etch/ deposition rate monitoring for endpoint detection in a wide range of applications. Depending on the configuration selected, the LEM can provide a simple analog signal output for analysis with an external software, or can be delivered with our state-of-the-art APC software -SIGMA-P© - for accurate etch/deposition rate, trench depth and process statistical calculations. By using simply a TTL trigger and the optional pattern recognition software, the LEM can be interfaced to any process chamber for an operator-free process monitoring and endpoint detection.  www.jobinyvon.com
 

 

 

 MM-16: Liquid Crystal Modulation Spectroscopic Ellipsometer for Real Time Thin-Film Deposition Monitoring
 
 HORIBA Jobin Yvon’s MM-16 is a highly accurate, sensitive and affordable spectroscopic ellipsometer that extends the capabilities of classical ellipsometry. The MM-16 provides real time monitoring of film thickness, optical constants and composition. It can be mounted on any PVD, ALD, and MBE vacuum chamber or can be used in conjunction with our electrochemical liquid cell or sample heating stage. The liquid crystal modulation technology delivers high accuracy for the ellipsometric angles ( , ) across their full range in one measurement, without any dead spots. The full spectral range is acquired in < 2 seconds, at very high resolution. The liquid crystal modulators detect small polarization shifts without any mechanical movement. In addition to the ellipsometric measurements, the MM-16 can provide in one single acquisition, all 16 components of the Mueller matrix. This feature allows users to measure in real time, optical birefringence and depolarization effects and to quantify accurately variations as the film grows. These complex materials properties are widely used in optical coatings, display, biotechnology, packaging and semiconductor applications. The MM-16 covers the visible to NIR spectral range in just 1 second allowing extremely fast measurements necessary for in-situ applications. Combined with the embedded analysis software – DeltaPsi2© – the MM-16 is a spectroscopic ellipsometer for fast and accurate monitoring of deposition processes. The MM-16 can also be used as bench top configuration including automatic variable angle of incidence and X-Y mapping stage for quick films thickness uniformity measurements.
 
HORIBA-Jobin Yvon
Edison, NJ
www.jobinyvon.com
Tel: 1-866-jobinyvon (toll free) or 1-732-494-8660
E-mail:  info@JobinYvon.com
 

 

 

 Thin Film Coating Instrumentation
 
 Nor-Cal offers an extensive selection of commonly used quartz crystal feedthroughs, sensors and multi-channel monitors, cables, quartz crystals, accessories and replacement parts for use in semiconductor, optical and industrial thermal deposition processes. Coating instrumentation products support one of the more popular methods of thin film measurement and rate control the crystal monitor, which utilizes the piezoelectric properties of a quartz crystal. The electrical characteristics of the crystal, which is held in place by the sensor, change during deposition. Single sensors are generally used for short deposition runs, whereas, dual sensors allow for longer runs. Dual sensors require an airline to operate a pneumatic shutter that covers one crystal at a time. The sensor is either welded to the feedthrough or attached with connectors. Most sensors are available with cooling lines. The application determines the correct choice of sensor. The sensor determines compatible feedthroughs and cabling. The chamber determines the appropriate feedthrough and flange. For application temps up to 150°C, electrical connection between the sensor and feedthrough is accomplished with a vacuum coaxial cable. A bakeable, one piece sensor/feedthrough replaces the standard in-vac cable with a stainless steel high-temp coaxial line for high temperature applications up to 300°C. The feedthrough is the air-to-vacuum connection between the sensor and the oscillator. The feedthrough transfers the quartz crystal’s piezoelectric vibrations to the oscillator via a short coaxial cable. The oscillator conditions the signals and transfers them to the monitor via another coaxial cable. The monitor then measures, interprets and displays the thickness, rate and frequency of deposition. Nor-Cal’s thin film deposition monitors are available with up to six independent channels to read six single sensors or three dual sensors simultaneously. Each sensor requires its own cabling and oscillator. Contact our sales staff for help with system configuration.
 
Nor-Cal Products, Inc.
Yreka, CA
www.n-c.com
Contact: Jacquie Daniel
Tel: 1-530-841-9153
E-mail:  jacquiedaniel@n-c.com
 

 

 

 STC-2002 Expandable Thin Film Deposition Controller
 
 The STC-2002 Thin Film Controllers from Sycon Instruments are versatile and expandable to meet thin film deposition control requirements from the simple to the most complex. Whether depositing a single layer or a complex multi-layer film with simultaneous control of two materials, the STC-2002 meets your needs. It has the highest accuracy and best control achievable from a quartz crystal deposition monitor. The STC-2002 employs an advanced measurement technique, which allows high accuracy reading to be made 10 times a second. The highresolution measurements, at a fast update, allow precise control of the deposition source to achieve the quality of films desired. It has a High Resolution/High Speed measurement Engine for precise deposition control. It provides 10 measurements per second with a 0.01Å/s rate resolution. Its RS232/RS485 interface provides serial communications. A large format numeric and graphic display includes a touch panel user interface. The controller is expandable up to 8 source/sensors. The multiprocessor design maintains performance. It is an expandable I/O with up to 32 inputs or outputs for use with programmable logic. Weighted averaging of up to 8 sensors is used for precise large area deposition. Four user defined front panel buttons and user definable indicators are provided for use with I/O programs. Resolution is 0.03 Hz @ 10 measurements/s. The Crystal Sensor is industry standard 6 MHz. Thickness display is 0.000 to 999.9 kÅ and rate display is 0.00 to 999 Å/s. Inputs are 8 each 5 to 30 VAC-DC or contact closure, opto isolated. Outputs are 8 Form C relays 24 volts, 1 A with source outputs of ± 2.5, 5, 10  mA.
 

 

 

 STC-2000 A Deposition Rate Controller
 
 The STC-2000A from Sycon Instruments has advanced electronics, LCD display, storage for 50 film programs, 9 process recipes and programmable input/output structure give the user versatility and performance. The STC-2000A uses the time-proven 6 MHz oscillating quartz crystal as the sensor device. The STC-2000A advanced microprocessor technology enables the direct solution of the complex mathematical equation associated with the frequency shift versus mass loading characteristics of the quartz crystal sensor. Its computational power allows the measurement of the material accumulated on the sensor crystal to be accurately converted to film thickness using the exact equation; inaccuracies due to approximations and limited ranges of material constants do not contribute to thickness and rate errors. An innovative frequency measurement system allows the STC-2000A to acquire and display 10 measurements per second with 0.0088 Å/Measurement rate resolution on each of the sensor input channels. The standard STC-2000A is equipped with 8 relays, 8 optocoupled inputs, a RS-232 computer interface, and high-resolution analog control and recorder outputs. A rack mount for half-rack mounting is also standard. Features include: multi sequence multifilm process control; a high resolution/high speed measurement engine; 10 measurements per second at 0.0088 Å/s rate resolution; RS232 (optional RS485) interface for serial communications; easy to read LCD display with touch panel interface; versatile I/O programming; and industry standard 6 MHz crystals. The high thickness resolution is 0.013Angstrom per measurement (for aluminum). The High Rate Resolution is 0.0088 Angstrom per measurement rate. The high accuracy is ± 0.5% thickness + 1 count.
 

 

 

 STM-100/MF Thin Film Deposition Thickness/Rate Monitor
 
 The Model STM-100/MF Thickness/Rate Monitor from Sycon Instruments, Inc. is a precision mass and film thickness measurement instrument for thin film deposition processes and other quartz crystal microbalance applications. The STM-100/MF has proven very tough and reliable. Easy to setup and use, the STM-100/MF has a history that makes it the one to have for deposition monitoring. Features include Multi-Film Program Storage and with a high resolution and highspeed measurement engine. It has 1 Å thickness resolution with 0.1 Å/s rate resolution. It can make 4 measurements per second and has a multiple function high readability back-lit LCD. Analog output of rate or thickness is ±0 to 10V with 12 bit resolution. It has a low maintenance sensor design and an industry standard 6 MHz sensing crystal. The unit has a RS-232 Interface and a LabVIEWfront panel interface. In Multi Mode Operation includes Thickness/Rate Monitor, Negative Thickness Monitor and Sensor Frequency Monitor. Its high speed makes four measurements per second. Resolution is 0.1Å per second. High Accuracy is ±0.5% thickness ±1 count and the measurement range is 500 kÅ aluminum equivalent. Relay Outputs are four 1.5 amp SPST N.O. contacts with Shutter Control, Thickness Set point, Timer Set point and Crystal Failure. Remote inputs include four TTL compatible inputs with Open Shutter, Close Shutter, Zero Thickness and Zero Time functions. Setpoints monitor End Thickness of 0.000 to 9999 kÅ and setpoint thickness of 0.000 to 9999 kÅ. A timer covers 00:00 to 99:59 minutes/seconds.
 

 

 

 STM-1 Single Board Thin Film Thickness/Rate Deposition Monitor
 
 Sycon’s compact single board Thin Film Thickness/Rate Deposition Monitor is suitable for many exacting thin film deposition applications from the laboratory to the production floor. In the lab, it can provide precise results and control for thickness or mass deposition experiments. Using the RS232 communications, the LabVIEW™ software provided and lab PC, it allows quick and simple results to be obtained for film or mass measurement experiments. For the small or table top deposition system manufacturer, it can be integrated into an existing system controller or by using its internal expansion bus it can support a custom OEM display/user interface to add accurate low cost thickness/rate monitoring to a small system. For larger systems, the RS485 interface provides multidrop capability for up to 15 STM-1 monitors for large area monitoring or multi point averaging. The on board oscillator further reduces system cost when sensing head can be located 30 inches or less from the STM-1. If longer cable lengths are required the STM-1X can be used with Sycon’s remote or In-Vacuum oscillator/sensor. It provides high performance with 10 measurements per second / 0.01Å/s rate display. It has a single +5 VDC supply required and an optional wall power supply module is available. The RS232/RS485 interface is used for single or multi drop communications.
 
Sycon Instruments, Inc.
East Syracuse, NY
Tel: 1-315-463-5297
 

 

 

 Model 880 Deposition Controller
 
 Telemark’s Model 880 Controller is based on a multi-microprocessor design, which provides the best combination of resolution (high) and update speed (fast) on the market. The unit has four slots for I/O cards that can house either an input card (8 optically isolated inputs) or an output card (8 form-C SPDT relays). The sensor-head/source-control modules provide two channels each for crystal frequency measurement and two separate, isolated, analog 0 to 10 volt (plus and minus) outputs for source control. The 880 can house four such modules, supporting up to eight channels of sensor input and 8 analog outputs, and enabling averaging and co-deposition functions. Advanced measurement technique provides high accuracy at constant 100 ms measurement period. RS232/485 interface standard, industrial fields busses optional. Flash memory removable module option for transferring process recipes, and for back-up in case of failure. Thickness display is 0.000 to 999.9 kÅ and the rate display is 0.0 to 999 Å/s. Source outputs are ± 2.5, 5, 10 volts @ 10 mA with 4 user definable function keys.
 
Telemark
Hayward, CA
www.tfi-telemark.com
Tel: 1-510-887-2225
E-mail:  sales@tfi-telemark.com
 

 

 

 Quartz Crystal Deposition Controller
 
 The cost-effective and high functionality CRTM Series of quartz crystal oscillator deposition controllers from ULVAC Technologies includes the CRTM-9000 and CRTM-6000. The CRTM-9000 provides simultaneous multi-element evaporation control and ultra-low rate deposition control for multi-layer thin films. This crystal oscillation controller provides high resolution to 0.005Å, a multi-layer calculation for excellent film thickness results, an improved life span, simultaneous four-element deposition control, and a flexible deposition program with up to 30 phases. The half-rack, high-speed CRTM-6000 provides film thickness control, deposition rate control, power control before and after deposition, and multi-layer deposition control for applications that require multi-layer thin film deposition with high resolution. This controller features high resolution of 0.04 Å, high-speed sampling rate of 125 milliseconds, a long life oscillator, a processing program that permits continuous deposition of up to 99 layers and an RS-232C interface.  www.ulvac.com
 

 

 

 MESEC Non-Contact, Accurate, Cost-Effective Measurements of Metal Film Thickness
 
 ULVAC Technologies, Inc.’s MESEC, a metal film metrology instrument for copper seed and electroplated copper layers on 200- or 300-mm silicon wafers. Designed for use in PVD, CVD, plating, and CMP equipment applications, the MESEC unit directly evaluates device wafers using the non-contact, non-destructive eddy current detection method. Copper films with thickness in the range of 0.03 µm to 5 µm can be measured with the higher speed, better accuracy, and at significantly lower cost than other methods. ULVAC’s proprietary amplifier circuit design in the MESEC unit enhances the Eddy current signal to noise ratio resulting in improved measurement accuracy. Additionally, ULVAC uses a small sensor, which strikes a good balance between spatial resolution requirements and background noise elimination. ULVAC has developed two types of the MESEC units: Built-in Type (MESEC BIT) and Stand-alone Type (MESEC SAT). The MESEC BIT is designed for in-situ measurements in thin film deposition systems and surface preparation equipment. The MESEC SAT is a freestanding metrology instrument that measures any thin conductive metals or alloy films (Al, Cu,AlCu, etc.) on silicon wafers. This unit features an open cassette, SMIF or FOUP load port design and is used for in-line or off-line measurements.
 
 
 
ULVAC Technologies, Inc.
Methuen, MA
www.ulvac.com
Tel: 1-978-686-7550
E-mail:  sales@ulvac.com
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