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Frequently Asked Questions in service:


  • How long does my sputter target last?
  • Why do I need stainless steel pumping hoses on my Q150R Plus for Pt sputtering?
  • Why do I need argon for sputtering when it works with air?
  • Why do I get variation in carbon coating thickness using same parameters?
  • Why has my FTM crystal failed when it is only 50% used?
  • Why does my 630mA fuse blow when I press ‘SET PLASMA’? (SC7620)
  • Can I fit large wafers in my Q150 Plus chamber?
  • Why do I need to clean the glass cylinder?
  • Can I have the Engineer password for my Plus coater?
  • How do I calibrate the FTM tooling factor?
  • Why does the FTM tooling factor change for different target materials?
  • Can I use a bigger rotary pump with my Q###Plus coater?
  • Why can I not reach vacuum in my sputter coater?
  • Can I use the same FTM crystal for different materials?
  • Why can’t I get liquid CO2 in my CPD?
  • How many sample of ##mm diameter can I fit in my Q Plus series coater?
  • Can I use my PP3010 as an ambient loading device?
  • Can I sputter carbon in the Q150TS Plus?
  • Why do I still see charging after long sputtering times?
  • Can my Q150TE Plus be upgraded to do sputtering?
  • Can I fit an FTM into my Q Plus series coater?+A11
  • Why is my sample black when I sputter gold onto it?
How long does my sputter target last?

This is entirely dependant on usage. The recommended approach is to keep a record of usage in your lab book in order to make predictions of future target life span.

Why do I need stainless steel pumping hoses on my Q150R Plus for Pt sputtering?

Although the operational vacuum is achievable using the standard plastic vacuum hose it may take many hours pumping to achieve it. We therefore recommend using the stainless steel vacuum hose kit (part no. 13711) when the system is used to coat platinum. Even with the stainless steel hose, pump-down time is still dependent on the cleanliness of the system and it may still take in excess of 1 hour to achieve the lower operational vacuum necessary for coating platinum.

Why do I need argon for sputtering when it works with air?

Using air for sputtering is acceptable for Au coating however argon would give a slightly better sputter rate for the same conditions. For sputtering anything other than Au and Au/Pd, argon is vital to prevent oxidation and improve sputter rate.

Why do I get variation in carbon coating thickness using same parameters?

The degree to which the carbon rod has been sharpened affects the deposition rate. The thinner the end point, the faster the deposition rate.

Why has my FTM crystal failed when it is only 50% used?

The crystal usage value shown on the display is a little misleading since it shows the frequency range of the crystal oscillator circuit, rather than the usable range. It is suggested that the crystal be replaced when it reaches 30% used.

Why does my 630mA fuse blow when I press ‘SET PLASMA’? (SC7620)

There is current leakage in the sputtering target assembly, which is likely to be build-up of sputter material that must be removed before continuing. Repeated attempts to sputter without removing the cause of the leakage will cause permanent damage to the sputter power supply.

Can I fit large wafers in my Q150 Plus chamber?

A 4 inch wafer stage and gearbox is offered for the Q150 (Pt 10458), and 4 inch is considered the largest practical wafer for the Q150 Plus.

Why do I need to clean the glass cylinder?

A coater can operate quite well with a coated glass chamber but it is very difficult to diagnose problems unless the plasma can be observed. The coating in the chamber may also make it difficult to obtain low chamber pressures, due to absorbed moisture which will take time to pump away.

Can I have the Engineer password for my Plus coater?

No, there are crucial parameters that should only be accessed by a quorum engineer.

How do I calibrate the FTM tooling factor?
Why does the FTM tooling factor change for different target materials?

Tooling factor can be different for different sputter targets due to changes in sputter gas pressures which will change the ‘scattering’ characteristics.

Can I use a bigger rotary pump with my Q###Plus coater?

The maximum size of the pump motor will be limited by the switching capacity of the pump relay in the coater, the maximum being about 2kW. However neither the pumping speed or ultimate vacuum pressure are unlikely to be improved beyond that of the pump provided with the instrument.

Why can I not reach vacuum in my sputter coater?

There can be three reasons why low pressure cannot be reached. One is the measurement of the vacuum, the second is the condition of the vacuum pump, the third is possibility of a leak. Make sure that the vacuum chamber is clean, and that the chamber seals are in good condition. Have the coater serviced.

Can I use the same FTM crystal for different materials?

Yes you can, provided you change the FTM settings for the deposition material, thus there will be a shortening of the FTM crystal life span, so it should be replaced at about 20%

Why can’t I get liquid CO2 in my CPD?

There must be a temperature gradient between the CO2 cylinder and the chamber of the CPD, if the CPD is the same temperature or warmer than the CO2 cylinder then you will not have liquid in the CPD. Also, make sure you have a LIQUID WITHDRAW cylinder. Not a standard CO2 cylinder. Check the cylinder is not almost empty.

How many sample of ##mm diameter can I fit in my Q Plus series coater?

There is a range of stage options for the Q series coaters, and these are detailed on the sale brochures. Please contact sales@quorumtech.com for price and availability.

Can I use my PP3010 as an ambient loading device?

Yes you can but it was not really designed to be used in this way, some parameters will need to be changed in the software to allow this process. If an ambient loading chamber is required, we recommend the PP3004 ‘QuickLok’.

Can I sputter carbon in the Q150TS Plus?

Carbon does not sputter well in a DC ‘magnetron’ sputter coater. To sputter carbon you would need an RF sputter coater, but evaporation of carbon in the Quorum instruments is quite easy.

Why do I still see charging after long sputtering times?

There can be a number of reasons for continued charging of the sample in the SEM. It may be that the sputter target is completely used, so rather than sputtering, Au or Pt for instance, the area where the plasma is concentrated is just the aluminium backing plate. The aluminium will not sputter without much higher sputtering power.

Can my Q150TE Plus be upgraded to do sputtering?

No. While anything is ‘possible’, in practical terms the amount of work required would make this un-economical.

Can I fit an FTM into my Q Plus series coater?+A11

Yes you can. There will be a suitable BNC socket in the base plate of the chamber, and all of the electronics and software is present to support this.

Why is my sample black when I sputter gold onto it?

When gold, or any metal for that matter, is sputtered onto a SEM sample, the ideal thickness will be in the order of 5-15nm. With this thickness the coating is not thick enough to appear ‘metallic’. It is not until the coating reaches about 30nm that it will take on a metallic appearance, but at this thickness it will be masking detail on the sample. The thinnest coating possible is best for sample damage, fine detail and sputter target lifetime.



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www.quorumtech.com

sales@quorumtech.com

UNITED KINGDOM

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