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Q150T Turbo-Pumped Sputter Coater/Carbon Coater

The Q150T is available in three formats: sputtering, carbon evaporation or both. Depending upon the selected configuration, the Q150T can be a top-of-the-range sputter coater for high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a carbon coater suitable for SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or both - in a single easy-to-use system. Other options include metal evaporation and aperture cleaning.

Key features
  • Metal sputtering or carbon evaporation, or both - combined in one space-saving design
  • Fine grain sputtering - ideal for high resolution FE-SEM
  • High vacuum turbo pumping - allows sputtering of a wide range of oxidising and non-oxidising metals - suitable for W-SEM, FE-SEM and also for many thin film applications
  • High vacuum carbon coating - ideal for SEM and TEM carbon coating
  • Controlled ramped carbon rod evaporation - precise control and superior carbon films
  • Pulsed or ramped carbon coating modes - ramped evaporation can be selected for enhanced control and reproducibility of deposited carbon
  • Glow discharge, metal evaporation and aperture cleaning options
  • Fully automatic touch screen control - rapid data input, simple operation
  • Easy-to-change, drop-in style specimen stages (rotation stage as standard)
  • Vacuum shut-down feature - leaves the process chamber under vacuum when not in use to give improved vacuum performance
  • Thick film capabilities - up to 60 minutes sputtering time without breaking vacuum (rest periods automatically built in)
  • Three-year warranty
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Ideal for SEM, high resolution FE-SEM and TEM applications

The Q150T is available in three formats: sputtering, carbon evaporation or both. Depending upon the selected configuration, the Q150T can be a top-of-the-range sputter coater for high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a carbon coater suitable for SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or both in a single easy-to-use system.

The ability of the Q150T to sputter a wide selection of oxidising and non-oxidising metals also makes it an ideal platform for many thin film applications.

Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning insert options are available.

Touch screen control and turbo pumping

The Q150T is presented in a custom-moulded, one-piece case - allowing easy servicing access. The colour touch screen allows multiple users to input and store coating ‘recipes’.

The case houses all the working components, including the efficient 70 L/s air-cooled turbomolecular pump. Automatic bleed control ensures optimum vacuum conditions during sputtering.

The vacuum chamber has an internal diameter of 165 mm/6” and comes with an integral implosion guard. The Q150T also includes ‘vacuum shutdown’, which enhances vacuum performance by allowing the chamber vacuum to be maintained when the system is not in use.

A variable speed rotary specimen stage is fitted as standard, with other stages available as options. For further details see: Additional Information. 

Sputter coating, carbon coating or both

There are three different formats of the Q150T:

  • Q150T S - a high resolution sputter coater for oxidising and non-oxidising (noble) metals. A wide selection of sputtering targets is available, including iridium (Ir) and chromium (Cr) which are highly recommended for FE-SEM applications.
  • Q150T E - a high vacuum carbon coater, ideal for the production of highly stable carbon films and surface replicas for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The system uses economical, high purity 3.05 mm Ø carbon rods.
  • Q150T ES - a combined system with both sputtering and carbon coating. The deposition heads can be swapped in seconds and the intelligent system logic automatically recognises which head is in place and displays the appropriate operating settings.

Each of the above can be fitted with a range of optional accessories (metal evaporation, carbon fibre evaporation coating, film thickness monitor, etc.). For further details see: Additional Information. 

Rapid data entry 

At the operational heart of the Q150T is a simple colour touch screen which allows even the most inexperienced or occasional operator to rapidly enter and store their own process data. For convenience a number of typical sputtering and evaporation profiles are already stored.

Carbon coating - pulsed or ramped evaporation mode (Q150T ES and Q150T E)

Controlled pulse carbon cord evaporation

Installed as standard on E and ES models, this profile ensures that carbon is evaporated in controlled short pulses. This significantly reduces the amount debris (large carbon fragments) associated with traditional carbon "flash" evaporation. Also it allows the carbon cord evaporation process to be accurately controlled using the optional film thickness monitor (FTM) accessory.

Controlled ramped carbon rod evaporation

This has two important benefits. Careful control of evaporation allows precise control of carbon thickness (with or without the optional film thickness monitor). In addition the quality of the resulting carbon films is enhanced by the eradication of  "sparking" that is a common feature of less advanced coating systems.

Generally carbon coating requires the use of the included-as-standar extended-height chamber. However, the shorter standard chamber may be used for coating with carbon fibre cord.. Additionally, if the short chamber is used, the FTM measurement may be inaccurate due to the close proximity of the monitor crystal to the high temperature carbon rods.

Pulsed cleaning for aluminium sputtering 

Aluminium (Al) can be more difficult to coat due to its fast oxidising properties. Oxide layers can be difficult to remove, but the Q150T ES and Q150T S include special on-board profiles for aluminium (Al) that reduce the oxide removal time and prevent excessive pre-sputtering of the already clean target.

Pumping requirement

A suitable rotary vacuum pump is required. The Pfeiffer DUO 6  5 m3/hr two-stage rotary vacuum pump is ideal for this purpose. Dry pumping alternatives are also available. See: Ordering Information for more details.

10027. Q150T S. High Resolution Turbomolecular-Pumped Sputter Coater, including a TK8845 54mm Ø x 0.3 mm chromium (Cr) target.

10028. Q150T E. Turbomolecular-Pumped Carbon Evaporator, suitable for TEM and SEM applications. Fitted with a carbon rod evaporation insert for 3.05mm Ø carbon rods. Supplied with carbon rods (C5422 3.05 mm Ø x 100 mm) and a carbon rod shaper (manual operation).

10029. Q150T ES. High Resolution Turbomolecular-Pumped Sputter Coater and Carbon Evaporator, including a TK8845 57 mm Ø x 0.3 mm chromium (Cr) target and high vacuum carbon rod evaporation insert for 3.05 mm Ø carbon rods. Coating inserts are interchangeable.

Rotary pump requirements

13034. Pfeiffer 5 m3/hr DUO 6 two-stage rotary pump with oil mist filter.

Dry pumping options:

11540. Diaphragm pump. Vacuubrand MD1 23 L/m.

20063. Scroll pump. Edwards nXDS6i.

For further information see: Rotary Pumps and Dry Pumps for details.

Options and accessories

10879. Carbon rod evaporation insert for 3.05 mm Ø rods (T E and T ES only). Includes carbon rod shaper 13232 and wedge tool 2097. C5422 (3.05 mm Ø x 300 mm packet of ten) carbon rods.

10455. Carbon fibre insert. Supplied with 2 m C5421 carbon fibre cord. For additional carbon see: Carbon Supplies (below).

10457. Metal evaporation and aperture insert. Including the ability to evaporate upwards or downwards (TE and TES version only). Supplied with a pack of 10 tungsten filaments (A0754) and a molybdenum (Mo) boat.

10453. Additional sputter insert for quick metal change (TE and TES version only). NB: this is an entire sputtering assembly - individual targets can also be purchased

10837. Glow discharge insert. Used to modify surface properties (e.g. hydrophobic to hydrophilic conversion) (R S and R ES versions only). Can be retrofitted.

10360. Variable angle, rotary planetary specimen stage. A 50 mm Ø specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm or 6.5 mm or 1/8" pin stubs. Stage rotation speed is variable between 8-20 rpm.

10357. Variable tilt angle specimen stage. With adjustable tilt up to 900 x 50 mm Ø and a specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm or 6.5 mm or 1/8" pin stubs. Stage rotation speed variable between 8-20 rpm.

10458. Flat rotation specimen stage for 4"/100 mm wafers. Includes gear box for increased coating area coverage. Stage rotation speed variable between 8-20 rpm.

10358. Specimen stage for glass microscope slides (up to two x 75 mm x 25 mm slides). Stage rotation speed variable between 8-20 rpm. Includes a gear box to allow the optional FTM to be used.

10454. Film thickness monitor (FTM) attachment. Including oscillator, feed-through, quartz crystal holder and quartz crystals.

FT553. Spare quartz crystals. Pack of three.

10428. Full range gauge for high vacuum measurement.

10429. Extended height vacuum chamber. (214 mm high - the standard chamber is 127 mm high). For increased source-to- specimen distance and for coating large specimens.

10422. Rotating vacuum spigot. Allows a more convenient connection of the vacuum hose to the rear of the Q150T - useful for when bench depth is limited.

13530. Standard coating shield assembly. 

11880. Extend height coating shield assembly.

Sputtering targets

The Q150T S and Q150T ES are fitted as standard with a 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) target (TK8845). All targets are 57 mm in diameter and 0.1 mm thick unless otherwise stated.

SC502-314A. Gold (Au).

SC502-314A/0.2mm. Gold (Au) 0.2 mm.

TK8889. Gold (Au) 0.3 mm.

SC502-314B. Gold/palladium (Au/Pd - 80:20).

SC502-314B/0.2mm. Gold/palladium (Au/Pd - 80:20%) 0.2 mm.

TK8891. Gold/palladium (Au/Pd - 80:20) 0.2 mm.

SC502-314C. Platinium (Pt).

SC502-314C/0.2mm. Platinium (Pt) 0.2 mm. 

TK8893. Platinium (Pt) 0.3 mm. 

SC502-314D. Nickel (Ni).

SC502-314E. Silver (Ag).

SC502-314G. Palladium (Pd).

SC502-314H. Copper (Cu).

TK8878. Platinium/Palladium (Pt/Pd - 80:20).

TK8887. Platinium/Palladium (Pt/Pd - 80:20) 0.3 mm.

TK8845. Chromium (Cr) 0.3 mm.

TK8862. Chromium (Cr)1.5 mm. 

TK8867.Chromium (Cr) 2 mm.

TK8846. Tungsten (W) 0.5 mm.

TK8869. Carbon (C) 1.5 mm.

TK8875. Aluminium (Al) 1 mm.

TK8895. Titanium (Ti) 0.5 mm.

TK8879. Titanium (Ti) 1.5 mm.

TK8897. Iron (Fe).

TK8899. Iridium (Ir) 0.3 mm.

TK8900. Cobolt (Co) 0.3 mm.

TK8902. Tin (Si).

TK8903. Molybdenum.

TK8905. Magnesium (Mg) 0.3 mm thick.

TK8906. Tantalum (Ta).

TK8907. Indium tin oxide (ITO)

Carbon supplies

A0830A. Carbon rods - 6.15 mm Ø x 100 mm length (unshaped) - pack of 10.

A0832A. Carbon rods - 6.15 mm Ø x 50 mm length (shaped) - pack of 10.

A0834A: Carbon rods 3.05 Ø x 50 mm, (shaped) - pack of 10.

C5422. Carbon rods 3.05 Ø x 100 mm, (unshaped) - pack of 10.

C5421. Carbon fibre cord - 1 m.

C5421-10. Carbon fibre cord - 10 m.

C5421-100. Carbon fibre cord - 100 m.

S8650. Manual carbon rod shaper for 6.15 mm Ø carbon rods.

13232. Manual carbon rod shaper for 3.05 mm Ø carbon rods.

Other consumables and spare parts

B5230. Tungsten filament basket - pack of 10 (for use with 10457 metal evaporation insert).

B5228. Molybdenum boats - pack of 10.

G6260. Glass cylinder 6" diameter.

10068. Additional glass cylinder assembly. 

10429. Extended glass cylinder assembly. 

13233. Supergrade 'A' rotary pump oil - 1 L.

13235. Supergrade 'A' rotary pump oil - 5 L.

O7803. Oil mist filter.

10447. Two-year spares kit for Q150T S.

10448. Two-year spares kit for Q150T E.

10449. Two-year spares kit for Q150T ES.

16030015. Ceramic fuse (10 A).

10194. L-gasket.

Glow Discharge Attachment 

The primary application of glow discharge is as a technique for the surface modification or wetting of newly evaporated transmission electron microscopy (TEM) carbon support films.


Freshly-made TEM carbon support films tend to have hydrophobic surfaces which inhibits the spreading of suspensions of particles in negative staining solutions. However, after glow discharge treatment with air, the carbon film is made hydrophilic and negatively charged, thus allowing easy spreading of aqueous suspensions. With subsequent magnesium acetate treatment the surface is made hydrophilic and positively charged. In addition to glow discharge treatment using air, other process gases may be used to modify surface properties. For example, methanol as a process gas results in the surface becoming hydrophobic and negatively charged. Such treatment can facilitate the optional adsorption of selected biomolecules.

Coating head options

A range of interchangeable, plug-in style coating head inserts is available.

Sputtering head insert. Suitable for oxidising and non-oxidising metals. Supplied with a 57 mm Ø x 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) target as standard. For additional targets see: Ordering Information.

Additional sputter head insert. Available for quick change of coating material (T S and T ES versions only).

Carbon rod evaporation head insert (for 3.05 mm Ø rods).

Carbon rod evaporation head insert (for 6.15 mm Ø rods). NB: 3.05 mm Ø rods are recommended as they offer greater process control and are more economical (less wastage).

Carbon fibre evaporation head insert.

Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning head insert. Features include the ability to evaporate upwards or downwards (T E and T ES versions only).

Specimen stages

The Q150T has specimen stages to meet most requirements. All are easy-to-change, drop-in style (no screws) and are height adjustable (except for the rotary planetary stage):

Rotation stage: 50 mm Ø (supplied as standard). This stage only rotates - no tilt or height adjustment.

Rotate-tilt stage: 50 mm Ø with height adjustment (target to stage height variable between 37 mm and 60 mm). The tilt angle can be preset.

Variable angle rotary planetary stage: with 50 mm Ø specimen platform.

Large flat rotation stage: for 4"/100 mm wafers.

Rotation stage for glass microscope slides.

Other options

13530. Standard coating shield assembly.

11880. Extend height coating shield assembly.

Film Thickness Monitor (FTM). The optional 10454 consists of a controller and quartz crystal oscillator built into the Q150T and a vacuum feedthrough, chamber-mounted crystal holder and quartz crystal. As sputtered or evaporated material is deposited onto the crystal, so its frequency of oscillation is modified. This modification is used to measure and control the thickness of material deposited

Full range vacuum gauge: for low and high vacuum measurement (a low vacuum Pirani gauge is fitted as standard).



Instrument case. 585 mm W x 470 mm D x 410 mm H (total height with coating head open: 650 mm).

Weight. 33.4 kg.

Packed dimension. 725 mm W x 660 mm D x 680 mm H (42 kg).

Work chamber. Borosilicate glass 150 mm ID x 127 mm H.

Safety shield. Integral polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cylinder

Display. 145 mm x 320 mm x 240 mm colour graphic thin film transistor (TFT) display.

User interface. Intuitive full graphical interface with touch screen buttons, includes features such as a log of the last 100 coatings carried out (then it overwrites itself) and reminders for when maintenance is due.

Sputter target. Disc-style 57 mm Ø. A 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) is fitted as standard. T S and T ES versions only.


Internally-mounted 70 L/s air-cooled turbomolecular pump.

Rotary pump. 5 m3/hr two-stage rotary pump with oil mist filter (order separately, see 13034).

Vacuum measurement. Pirani gauge as standard. A full range gauge (10428) is available as an option.

Typical ultimate vacuum is 5 x 10-5mbar.

Sputter vacuum range is between 5 x 10-3 and 5 x 10-1mbar.

Specimen stage. 50 mm Ø rotation stage with rotation speed of 8-20 rpm. For alternative stages see: Ordering Information.


Sputtering: 0-150 mA to a predetermined thickness (with optional FTM) or by the built-in timer. The maximium sputtering time is 60 minutes (without breaking vacuum and with automatically built-in rest periods).

Carbon evaporation. A robust, ripple free DC power supply featuring pulse evaporation ensures reproducible carbon evaporation from rod or fibre sources. Current pulse: 1-70 A.

Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning insert (option).

For thermal evaporation of metals from filaments or boats. For cleaning SEM or TEM apertures a standard molybdenum boat (supplied) can be fitted. The metal evaporation head is set up for downwards evaporation, but upward evaporation can be achieved by fitting two terminal extensions (supplied). Evaporation times can be up to four minutes.

Services and other information

Gases. Argon sputtering process gas, 99.999% (T S and T ES versions). Nitrogen venting gas (optional).

Electrical supply: 90-250 V 50/60 Hz 1,400 VA including rotary pump power. 110/240 V voltage selectable.

Conformity. CE conformity. Power factor correction. Complies with the current legislation (CE Certification) and ensures efficient use of power which means reduced running costs.