Sunday, November 10, 2013

Intro to sputtering (process to create clear, conductive coatings)

I have finally been successful in creating a conductive, clear layer of indium-tin oxide on a microscope slide. In this video, I show the process and explain how sputtering works.


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  2. Nice into to sputtering. Through my experience I have found that 80% of the energy supplied by the power supply ends up as heat in the target. This is why the cooling water specification for our rotary magnetrons,, is 1 liter per minute per kilowatt of energy that we put into the target material. Also I would recommend using an Advanced Energy MDX 500 power supply for your DC sputtering process. The MDX is usually easy to find on E-bay and it is pretty indestructible if your target starts arcing.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Glad you have comments here. The "new and improved" google+ linkage to youtube has pretty much screwed up the ability to comment on youtube videos anymore.

    I really need to get my vacuum system setup so I can do some experimentation as well. Have most of the parts, just need to find the time to assemble it.

  4. Hi Ben,

    just a few comments/questions on your Sputtergun:

    - Is this a water cooled quarz thickness monitor? Did you discard your decapitated quarz oscillator?
    - There are only a few polymers that are suitable for vacuum use. The only one to come by easily is Teflon, but temerature is a problem for it.
    - I'm not very much into sputtering oxides, but a little addition of oxygen to the sputter gas might be helpful to get the right stoichiometry on your substrate. A least for PLD processes this is necessary. There, heating the substrate is also very important.

    Keep up that great work,


  5. Michael, thanks. I gave up on the decapitated crystal oscillators after someone donated a quartz crystal holder. It's true that 1-2% O2 is often added for ITO sputtering, but I don't have any fancy flow control devices. I might try to rig up a needle valve manifold.

  6. Hi Ben,

    yes needle valves should do the job.
    If you ever can get your hands on some mass flow controllers don`t worry about their calibration. Normally hey can be recalibrated to other gases.
    MFCs are neat devices but quite expensive.