PVD Blog

5 Tips for Managing a Major Thin Film Deposition System Upgrade

Thin film deposition systems are famously long-lived. With proper maintenance, instruments can last for decades! That said, with the ever-advancing march of technology, most systems eventually fall short of demands for higher throughput or improved yield. When that occurs, the deposition system will generally require a major overhaul in order to accommodate new modes of automation and advanced computer controls. When upgrades are not possible or feasible, it may be time to replace the entire system. The primary concern during such a change is maintaining consistency of performance between the old and new systems. It is imperative that films produced from the new deposition tool match that of the previous tool.
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The Expanding Field of Combinatorial Thin Film Deposition: Participating in Advancement at the NIST Workshop

Talk about a field that is exploding with innovation potential! Two members of the PVD Products team recently had the chance to attend a workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on accelerated discovery for energy materials.
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More than a Motto: Designing a Recipe for Deposition System Success

For decades, PVD has been the leader in designing and building custom deposition systems. Our motto is "Creativity, Collaboration, Communication." What does that mean for our customers? Below we outlined how each of these words are applied into our process daily and how it translates into customer success.
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Deposition System Design: Considerations for Ion Beam Source Selection

Ion sources can be used for a variety of applications in thin film deposition and etching. For example, they can be used for substrate pre-cleaning, reactive deposition of oxide and nitrides (ion beam assisted deposition), and ion beam milling. When selecting and designing a deposition system that uses an ion source, many factors come into play. Some design features are dictated by the application, and some can be balanced against cost and performance. Below are five factors to keep in mind as you select an ion beam source.
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Advancing Thin Film Deposition Methodology: Three Factors for High Throughput Deposition

Complex coating processes, such as combinatorial sputter deposition and pulsed laser deposition (PLD), require significant attention to detail, and successful results rely on quality equipment. PVD Products is continually developing innovative solutions to overcome common technical challenges that accompany newer processes for PLD and combinatorial deposition. The following improvements are three examples of these solutions:
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The Material Discovery Funnel: A Six-Step Process for Advanced Material Development

The forward march of technology relies on continuous improvement of critical components such as semiconductors, batteries, fuel cells, and the like. In time, every component runs up against performance constraints established by fundamental physics and chemistry. Overcoming those restrictions requires the development of unique
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Meet the Team: Larry Margagliano, Principal Engineer

Before joining the PVD Products team, Larry Margagliano developed his engineering background in various industries. Considering himself a master engineer, Margagliano has been on the management side of projects as well as implementation. He has experience setting the technical approach, doing the hands-on work, and having the final project sign-off. Below, Margagliano shares what it's like to learn a new technology and key considerations for system design.  
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Service After the Sale: Extending the Life and Function of Your Custom Deposition System

At PVD, installing a custom deposition system at a customer’s facility signals the beginning—rather than the end—of that customer relationship. We’ve been known to return months and even decades later to upgrade or service a tool, expanding the utility of our thin film deposition systems.
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System Control Software: Developing Your Custom Deposition Program

A customized deposition system can help you achieve the best results with maximum efficiency. For example, a well-designed combinatorial deposition system can execute a program to produce a wide range of slightly different film compositions, each deposited within discrete test pads on a single substrate. This makes it possible to explore an enormous range of material combinations and structures within a single wafer run. Effective combinatorial deposition experiments require precise control over several deposition parameters, such as selection from multiple magnetrons and types of power supplies, target-to-substrate distance, mass flows from multiple MFCs, pressure, test pad exposure time, and exact substrate position. With full control of all parameters, practically any desired recipe can be executed within each test pad.
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Valentine’s Day: What Does It Have To Do with Sputtered Thin Films

PVD Products teamed up with Tin Model, LLC to explain the connection between magnetron sputtering processes and Valentine's Day. Thin-film materials deposited via sputtering processes can vary widely both in properties and in thickness distribution. This is partially because vapor plumes emanated from magnetron sputtering sources can take various shapes, depending on the design of the magnetron, the material, the state of erosion and other influencers.
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