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SC7620 Mini Sputter Coater/Glow Discharge System

The SC7620 is a compact entry-level SEM sputter coater. When combined with the optional SC7620-CF carbon fibre evaporation attachment it makes the ideal low-cost SEM sputtering and carbon coating system package.

Additionally, the SC7620 is fitted as standard with a glow discharge function, making it suitable for the hydrophilisation (or ’wetting’) of carbon-coated TEM grids and for other surface modifications.

Note: for a fully automated glow discharge solution with choice of single or dual chamber formats, please see: GloQube.

Key features
  • Simple operation
  • Compact design, small footprint
  • Glow discharge capability
  • Carbon fibre evaporation option
  • Adjustable height specimen stage
  • Easy-change sputter targets - gold/palladium (Au/Pd) standard
  • Extended warranty option
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The SC7620 is primarily designed for coating specimens prior to examination in tungsten filament SEMs. For extra fine grain coating required for most FE-SEM applications, high vacuum coating is required - see the Q150T or Q300TT

For a fully automatic coater for W-SEM applications please see the Q150R.

Ease of operation

The SC7620 is ideal for the budget-conscious user who demands quality thin film deposition from an easy-to-use instrument. Designed for routine applications, the SC7620 uses a basic magnetron sputter head with a simple-to-replace disc target (gold/palladium as standard). The sputtering head is hinged for easy operation and fitted with electrical safety interlocks. A panel-mounted switch allows the system to be changed between sputter coating and glow discharge modes.

To prevent accidental damage the high voltage lead is shielded. The plasma current is variable by adjustment of the vacuum level using an argon leak valve with the plasma voltage being preset. For maximum sputter coating efficiency the gas injector system ensures that argon gas enters the chamber close to the plasma discharge. Venting is to argon.

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. See: Ordering Information for more details.

Fast cycle times, height-adjustable specimen stage

The 100 mm/4” diameter Pyrex cylinder is mounted on an aluminium collar and sealed with O-rings. The small vacuum chamber size means pump down times and cycle times are fast and also allow a small economical rotary pump to be used.

The specimen stage is height-adjustable and it can easily be removed to accommodate taller specimens. The deposition rate is controlled manually by a 180-second timer with 15-second resolution. Pressure and plasma current are monitored by analogue meters.

Sputtering and SEM carbon coating (option)

The SC7620 will deposit coatings suitable for use with tungsten-filament SEMs and has the advantage of simple operation, ensuring reliability and suitability for general use. It can quickly be converted to deposit carbon by the addition of an optional carbon evaporation attachment, consisting of a switchable voltage power supply and a carbon fibre head (see: SC7620-CF below). The carbon attachment comes with an additional glass cylinder. This is taller than the standard sputter coater cylinder and ensures that the distance between the carbon fibre and the specimens is optimal for the evaporation process.

Glow discharge (hydrophilisation)

A three-way switch on the front panel allows the SC7620 to be switched to glow discharge mode.

Freshly-made transmission electron microscopy (TEM) carbon support films tend to have a hydrophobic surface that hinders the collection of TEM sections from the surface of water baths and prevents the spreading of suspensions of particles in negative staining solutions. However, after glow discharge treatment with air, carbon film can be made hydrophilic and negatively-charged, thus allowing collection of TEM sections and easy spreading of aqueous suspensions.

Note: for a dedicated, fully automated glow discharge solution with choice of single or dual chamber formats, please see: GloQube.

SC7620 Mini Sputter Coater 

Supplied with: SC502-314B gold/palladium (Au/Pd) target, 1 m length of 12 mm bore flexible vacuum hose, KF16 hose adapter flange and connections to a rotary pump, a rotary pump plug and operating manual.

Pumping requirement

13034. Rotary pump. 5 m3/hr Pfeiffer DUO 6 two-stage rotary vacuum pump with oil mist filter. See Rotary Pumps and Dry Pumps for details.

Options and accessories

SC7620-CF. Carbon fibre evaporation attachment (including 1 m C5421 carbon fibre cord).

07803. Oil mist filter (spare).

CYL-002. Glass cylinder (spare).

SC7620-OKIT. O-ring kit.

Additional or spare sputtering targets

All targets are 57 mm Ø x 0.1 mm thick (unless specified otherwise).

SC502-314A. Gold (Au) target.

SC502-314A/0.2mm. Gold target (Au) 0.2 mm thick.

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

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

TK8891. Gold/palladium (Au/Pd) target 0.3 mm thick (80/20%).

SC502-314E. Silver (Ag) target.

SC502-314G. Palladium (Pd) target.

SC502-314H. Copper (Cu) target.

Additional carbon fibre

For use with the optional carbon evaporation attachment.

C5421. Carbon fibre cord (1 m).

C5421-10. Carbon fibre cord (10 m).

C5421-100. Carbon fibre cord (100 m).

C5461. Carbon fibre cord - fine strands (1 m).

C5461-10. Carbon fibre cord - fine strands (10 m).

C5461-100. Carbon fibre cord - fine strands (100 m).

Pumping requirements

A 5 m3/hr Pfeiffer DUO 6 two-stage rotary vacuum pump is recommended (see: 13034 in Ordering information).

Carbon evaporation attachment

A carbon coating accessory (SC7620-CF) which consists of an evaporation power supply and carbon fibre head is available. Fitting the optional carbon evaporation attachment is simple - the sputtering head is tilted back on its hinge and replaced with the carbon fibre head. Connection is then made to the power supply. To ensure that the exposed sputtering head cannot be powered when the add-on carbon head is under vacuum, a positive-break mechanical interlock ensures electrical isolation of the sputtering head. For a ‘stand alone’ SEM carbon coater, see the Q150R E. 

Selecting a target

Gold/Palladium (Au/Pd)Supplied as standard and has the same properties (sputtering rate, secondary electron yield etc.) as gold but the sputtered grain size is smaller.

Gold (Au): Gold sputter coating is still widely used in many laboratories.

Silver (Ag): Compared to the other metals, it is relatively easy to remove silver and it is therefore useful for museum, forensic and similar specimens.

Palladium (Pd): Sometimes used instead of gold and gold/palladium for x-ray microanalysis.

Site requirements - if in doubt please contact Quorum


A suitable mains electricity supply (110 VAC - 20 A or 240 VAC - 13 A, frequency 50/60 Hz) is required. Check that the voltage label attached to the side of the cabinet is suitable for the local voltage and frequency supplied for either 230 V or 110 V operation at 50/60 Hz. The power rating is 250 VA excluding the rotary pump. The rotary pump outlet is rated at 230 V at 10 A or 110 V at 16 A. The 240 V pump outlet uses either a three-pin plug (404440310) or 110 V standard US plug - both supplied. 

Carbon evaporation attachment (option). The SC7620-CF carbon fibre evaporation accessory are supplied for either 230 V or 110 V operation at 50/60 Hz. A suitable mains electricity supply (110 VAC - 20 A or 240 VAC - 13 A, frequency 50/60 Hz) is required. Check that the voltage label attached to the side of the cabinet is suitable for the local voltage and frequency.

Sputtering gas 

Argon gas (Zero Grade: 99.999%) fitted with a two-stage regulator in order to deliver gas at a pressure of around 5-10 psi (0.5 bar).

Space requirements

340 mm W x 320 mm D x 310 mm H (including chamber and sputtering head). Weight: 14 kg. Additional space is required for the rotary pump which can be located either on the floor or on the bench with the coater.