Sputtering at our Institute

  schematical depiction of a sputter chamber Copyright: © I. Physikalisches Institut Schematic of a sputter chamber

For industrial large-scale coater the knowledge of these dependencies have to be considered already in the construction phase to produce films with the optimal quality and to be able to adept new layer stacks developed in laboratories before. On this account working in our sputter-group not only means doing research in one out of a series of intriguing fundamental research topics regarding microstructure, materials science and process modulating, but also very applied, industry related questions and cooperation’s.

To solve these questions three quite different coaters are available in our sputter-group. One of them is equipped with six cathodes and therefore enables us to prepare multilayers of diverse materials without breaking the vacuum. The second one is furnished with an ion gun to bombard the growing film with high energy ions, which increases the high amount of possibilities to adjust the microstructure even more and by means of this even biaxial textured films can be created.

The third and greatest coater enables us to choose nearly freely the dopant element and the corresponding concentration in the target used and thereby we can quiet easily conduct experimental series with a minimum amount of time and cost, which usually would require buying a new target for every combination. This is done by utilizing a serial co-sputter technique, where two or even three different plasmas are present at the same time in the chamber. In all these setups different variations of sputtering can be used, like - reactive - direct current (DC-) magnetron, pulsed DC, radio frequency (RF) as well as high power pulsed magnetron sputtering (HPPMS).

The high-precision and fast controlling of all this parameters during the process, in particular the oxygen partial pressure, which is crucial to understand the impact onto layer properties, is a further strength of our group.

Additionally the institute offers a series of methods for post-deposition treatments and huge variety of analyzing methods, like several oven, together with two X-ray diffraktometer for structural evaluations, ellipsometry and UV/VIS spectrometry for the optical characterization and two low-temperature measuring setups accompanied by two heated electrical vdP-tester to determine a multiplicity of electrical properties.