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K1050X RF Plasma Etcher/Asher/Cleaner

The K1050X is a modern, solid-state RF plasma barrel reactor designed to meet the requirements of research and development and small-scale production for a wide and varied range of plasma etching, plasma ashing and plasma cleaning applications.
Key features
  • For RF plasma etching, ashing and cleaning processes
  • Drawer type specimen stage - gives easy convenient specimen access
  • Micro-controller: fully programmable by the operator - easy, flexible operation
  • Fully-automatic operation
  • Modern solid state 100 W 13.56 MHz RF power supply - rugged and reliable
  • Two gas flow meters - allows precise control and mixing of process gases, especially useful for plasma etching processes
  • Vent control - minimal specimen disturbance - especially useful for fine plasma-ashed specimens
  • Turbomolecular pumped version available (K1050XT)
  • Extended warranty option
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Product Description

Built to withstand heavy use - 24 hours a day for some plasma ashing schedules - the K1050X RF Plasma Barrel Reactor features microprocessor control with automatic operation and offers durability and simplicity of operation. Barrel systems plasma etch or plasma ash isotropically (in all directions) and are suitable for a wide range of applications.

The K1050X uses a low pressure RF-induced gaseous discharge to modify specimen surfaces or remove specimen material in a gentle, controlled way. A significant advantage over alternative methods is that the plasma etching and ashing processes are dry (no wet chemicals are needed) and take place at relatively low temperatures.

A wide range of surface modification methods are available, using a variety of process gases. Using oxygen (or air) as the process gas, the molecules disassociate into chemically active atoms and molecules and the resulting ‘combustion’ products are conveniently carried away in the gas stream by the vacuum system.


Chamber, specimen handling and gas control

The K1050X has a 110 mm diameter x 160 mm borosilicate glass chamber horizontally mounted with a slide-out specimen drawer and viewing window. Evacuation of the chamber is achieved by an optional 50 L/m mechanical rotary vacuum pump. Ingress of reactive gases is controlled by two built-in flow-meters backed by solenoid valves.

Note: For plasma etching applications where borosilicate glass needs to be avoided, the K1050X can be fitted with an optional quartz chamber (EK4222).


Power, tuning and vacuum monitoring

RF power of up to 100 W at 13.56 MHz is available and can be infinitely controlled and pre-set to required values. Automatic tuning of forward and reflected power is standard and shown on the digital display.

Automated microprocessor control

The K1050X is fully automatic. Control parameters for time, power and vacuum are easy to preset and can be monitored and adjusted throughout the process run.

‘Autotuning’ of RF power for optimum control and reproducibility

During the plasma process the ‘autotune’ facility ensures that the RF power is automatically impedance-matched to any variation in the system or loading. This means that RFplasma conditions in the chamber are maintained at their optimum - important as it gives faster reaction times, greater reproducibility of results and protects the power supply during the RF cycle.

Pumping options

The K1050X requires only the addition of a specified rotary pump. An Edwards RV3 Fomblinised rotary pump (See: EK3176) is strongly recommended for safety reasons when plasma etching applications involve the use of oxygen as a process gas. Where oil-based rotary pumps need to be avoided, dry pumping options are available (see: Ordering Information).


K1050XT RF Plasma Etcher/Asher/Cleaner with built-in turbomolecular pumping

For plasma etching and plasma cleaning applications requiring a cleaner vacuum environment the K1050XT has built-in turbomolecular pumping.

K1050X RF plasma barrel reactor

Rotary pump also required - see below.

K1050XT RF plasma barrel reactor with a built-in turbomolecular pump

Rotary pump also required - see: Optional Accessories below.


Pumping requirements

EK3176. RV3 50 L/m Fomblinised rotary pump with oil mist filter (recommended).

Dry pumping options

11540. Diaphragm pump - MD1 23 L/m.

20063.  Scroll pump - nXDS6i.


Optional accessories

EK4221. Capacitance manometer (for use with CF4 and similar reactive gases).

EK4222. Quartz chamber and door (replaces standard borosilicate chamber and door).

Applications of RF Plasma

Plasma etching, plasma ashing and plasma cleaning applications are varied and numerous - here are some examples:

  • Asbestos and man-made mineral fibre and asbestos detection using plasma ashing preparation techniques 
  • Plasma etching (removal) of photoresist and epi-layers
  • Low temperature plasma ashing of organic materials (e.g. epoxy resins, filters, foodstuff, etc)
  • Surface treatment of plastics for hydrophobic to hydrophilic conversion
  • Improving painting and inking characteristics of plastics
  • Plasma etching and plasma ashing of organic specimens for SEM and TEM examination
  • Plasma cleaning of SEM, TEM and SPM parts

Options and accessories

  • EK3176. RV3 50 L/m Fomblinised rotary pump with oil mist filter (recommended)
  • EK3170. Diaphragm pump - MD1 23 L/m
  • 20063.  Scroll pump -  NXDSi
  • EK4221. Capacitance manometer (for use with CF4 and similar reactive gases)
  • EK4222. Quartz chamber and door (replaces standard borosilicate chamber and door)

K1050X site requirements

Mains electricity supply

230 V/50 Hz (5 A maximum including pump) or 115 V/60 Hz (10 A maximum including pump). The K1050X is supplied for either 230 V or 110 V operation at 50/60 Hz.

Position and space requirements

The K1050X should be in a convenient position for the process gas supply and/or cylinders and needs to have safe venting of toxic process gases. There should be adequate access to the rear of the unit for gas and vent connections.

450 mm W x 350 mm D x 300 mm H. Weight: 25 kg. Additional space is required for the rotary pump, which can be located either on the floor or on the bench with the K1050X. 

Vacuum pump and exhaust

The exhaust should be filtered or expelled to a safe area. All pumps supplied by Quorum are fitted with an exhaust filter.

Rotary pumps and process gases

When using RF plasma equipment the following precautions are necessary with regard to rotary pumps and exhaust gases:

  • If the process gas is oxygen it is essential that Fomblin - a non-hydrocarbon oil - is used. This requires the use of a Fomblinised pump.
  • For process gases that contain fluorine or chlorine, precautions must be taken for the safe removal of exhaust gases from the pump as they may contain free halogens.
  • Some etching gases - such as sulphur hexafluoride - require special rotary pump oils. If in doubt please contact Quorum or the manufacturers of the rotary pump.