Material Synthesis

Langmuir Probe

The Langmuir probe of type Hiden ESP allows the determination of the characteristics of low-pressure plasmas, as used in plasma-assisted vapor deposition. Designed as a tungsten wire probe, characteristic values like ion and electron flux as well as plasma and floating potential can be determined via a computer-assisted data control and acquisition system.


Technical data:

  • Langmuir tungsten wire probe with control and data acquisition system

Sputter system AJA

The sputter system “Debbie” is a versatile specifically designed high-vacuum (base pressure 10-8 mbar), computer-controlled lab-scale coating system (ATC 1800 UHV, AJA Int.) equipped with four sputter sources arranged in a confocal configuration, which feature in-situ source head tilting allowing precise and repeatable con-focal, direct, and off-axis thin film deposition. These sources can be operated in both d.c. and bipolar pulsed d.c. modes and feature a modular magnet array, which can be configured to operate in the balanced, unbalanced and magnetic material modes. Such configuration allows for deposition of conductive and non-conductive, magnetic and non-magnetic, monolithic films as well as multi-layered thin films with well-defined interface structure, multielement alloys, nitrides and oxides. The system is also well suitable for combinatorial materials synthesis and fast material screening. Furthermore, nanocrystalline thin films with a specific grain-boundary and interface design can be synthesized, which exhibit exceptional physical properties in terms of hardness and toughness. The sputtering system is equipped with a rotatable 6” substrate holder, heatable up to 900°C, which is designed for epitaxial growth even in a static mode.


Technical Data:

  • Vapour sources: four unbalanced AJA A330 XP UHV magnetrons (diameter 76 mm) with shutters
  • Power supplies: four Hüttinger TP DC 4002 2kW, d.c. and bipolar pulsed d.c. for sputtering, AJA 100W r.f. power supply for biasing and substrate etching
  • Deposition temperature: 100-900°C
  • Maximum substrate size: flat samples up to 150 mm diameter
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, oxygen
  • Coatings examples: TiN, TiAlN, CrN, SiO2, W, Ti, Ta

Sputter system CemeCon

The CemeCon CC800800/9MLT (“Conny”) is an industrial sputter system equipped with four bipolar pulsed d.c. magnetrons. It is designed to deposit both conductive and non-conductive films. To increase the ionization rate during substrate etching, the CemeCon booster technology can be additionally applied. The maximum deposition temperature is 650°C. The system is optimized to deposit hard coatings based on nitrides and oxides on tools and components. It is used for basic research, but also for applied research and for coating of prototypes.


Technical data:

  • Vapor sources: four unbalanced magnetrons (500 x 88 mm)
  • Power supplies: Advanced Energy bipolar pulsed d.c. power supplies for sputtering, bias and substrate etching
  • Deposition temperature: up to 650°C
  • Rotating substrate carousel
  • Maximum coating height: 500 mm
  • CemeCon Booster technology for increased ionization
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, oxygen, acetylene
  • Coating examples: TiAlN, Al2O3

Laboratory deposition system Esmeralda

The laboratory deposition system “Esmeralda” is a custom-built system for the flexible low-temperature synthesis of functional thin films and for plasma characterisation. It is used for fundamental research with the main focus on depositing dense thin films on temperature sensitive substrate materials. The system comprises an unbalanced magnetron, that can be used in d.c. and in HiPIMS (high power impulse magnetron sputtering) mode, and a d.c. cathodic arc source. Thin film synthesis can be performed in vacuum (cathodic arc) and in inert Ar as well as reactive N2 and O2 atmosphere. For plasma characterisation, a Langmuir probe is available that allows time and spatially resolved measurements. In addition, the system is used to study the erosion of sputter targets and arc cathodes as a function of the manufacturing process and the plasma conditions.


Technical data:

  • Vacuum chamber: cylindrical chamber by VACOM (height: 60 cm, diameter: 50 cm) equipped with a turbomolecular pump Pfeiffer Vacuum HiPace 700
  • Vapour source sputtering: unbalanced magnetron Lesker TORUS MagKeeper (target diameter: 75 mm) axially moveable (length: 40 cm)
  • Power supply sputtering: pulse generator Melec SPIK3000A-10 with maximum power of 10 kW; DC power supply Melec GS 30/1000 with a nominal power of 3 kW
  • Vapour source arc: cathodic arc source AS-65-M by VTD Vakuumtechnik Dresden (cathode diameter: 65 mm)
  • Power supply arc: two DC power supplies by ISA Dresden; ARC Supply 120/24 (maximum current: 120 A, maximum voltage: 24 V); ARC-Supply 50/60 S (maximum current: 50 A, maximum voltage: 60 V)
  • Deposition temperature: room temperature (no external heating)
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, oxygen
  • Maximum substrate size: flexible; typical: from 1 cm x 1 cm to 5 cm x 5 cm
  • Thin film examples: CrAl(N,O), ZrBx, YBx, LaBx, high entropy alloys (metallic, nitride)
  • Langmuir probe: Impedans Langmuir Spatial Probe with an automated linear drive (length: 45 cm), time resolution: 12.5 ns

Sputter system FHR

The FHR.Line.600-V („D‘Crystl“) is a modular inline sputter system for film deposition on flat substrates (glass, silicon, polymers) for display technology, touch panels, photovoltaics, microelectronics and architectural glass. The system consists of a load-lock chamber and a combined pre-treatment and coating chamber with a cylindrical and a planar magnetron. The system is employed for the synthesis of metal, nitride and oxide thin films. It can be used for basic research, but also for applied research and for coating of prototypes.

Technical data:

  • Vapour sources: cylindrical (diameter 125 x 600 mm) and planar magnetron (diameter 600 x 130 mm)
  • Power supplies: Advanced Energy d.c. power supply for sputtering, Advanced Energy r.f. power supply for pre-treatment
  • Linearly moveable substrate carrier
  • Maximum substrate size: 500 x 500 x 12 mm
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, oxygen
  • Coating examples: metals, nitrides, oxides

Sputter system Josefine

The sputter system “Josefine II” is a home-made lab-scale coating system equipped with three unbalanced magnetrons with shutter systems, focused on a rotating substrate holder. The magnetrons are supplied by bipolar pulsed d.c. power supplies, which allows deposition of conductive and non-conductive coatings. Substrates can be heated or biased with d.c. or bipolar pulsed d.c. voltages. Typical coating materials are metals, alloys, nitrides, and oxides, which can be deposited as nanocomposites and superlattices. The system is designed for basic research, but it can also be used for prototype sampling with small flat samples.


Technical data:

  • Vapour sources: three unbalanced AJA A320 XP magnetrons (diameter 50 mm)
  • Power supplies: three ENI RPG-50, d.c. and bipolar pulsed d.c. for sputtering, bias and substrate etching
  • Deposition temperature: 100-750°C
  • Maximum substrate size: flat samples up to 50 mm diameter
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, oxygen
  • Coatings examples: Mo, TiN, TiN-Ag, TiAlN, TIB2, V2O5, ZrO2

Sputter System Margot

The sputter system „Margot“ is based on a strongly modified Leybold Univex 300 vacuum system. It is equipped with an unbalanced magnetron, powered by a d.c. power supply, to enable deposition of conductive coatings. The substrate holder can be heated and d.c. biased. In addition, a Helmholtz coil system can be used to affect the plasma density in the vicinity of the substrates. Typical coating materials are metals, nitrides, borides and carbides. The system is designed for basic research, but it can also be used for prototype sampling with small flat samples.


Technical data:

  • Vapour source: Gencoa PP150 Magnetron with 150 mm diameter
  • Power supplies: ENI OPT-100 d.c. power supply for sputtering, Hypotronics 803-330 for substrate etching, Heinzinger PTN 350-1 for bias, Heinzinger PTN 125-10 for the Helmholtz coil system
  • Deposition temperature: 100-500°C
  • Maximum substrate size: flat samples up to 150 mm diameter
  • Gases: argon, nitrogen, acetylene, methane
  • Coating examples: Ti, Cr, TiN, TiB2, TiBN, TiAlN, CrN

Sputter Process Monitor

The sputter process monitor Pfeiffer SPM 200 is used for residual gas analysis and leak detection in high vacuum systems as well as for process gas analysis in vacuum coating deposition systems. It consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer, which forms together with a turbomolecular pumping system and a data acquisition system a mobile analysis station. The differentially pumped system can be connected to vacuum systems via a vacuum hose.


Technical data:

  • Quadrupole mass spectrometer with turbomolecular pumping system
  • Mass range: 1 - 100 amu
  • Maximum process pressure: 10 mbar