Sputter coater – rotary pumped

Q150R series from Quorum Technologies

Sputter coaters of the Q150R series are fully automated, modular coating systems for the application of fine-grained carbon films for SEM, TEM and thin-film technology.  Together with a variety of options, the Q150R base unit can be used both as sputter coater or for glow discharge.

Fully automatic coating process
Large chamber: 165 mm diameter
Suitable for noble metals, Cu and Ni
Optional glow discharge head insert
Q150R ES carbon coater/sputter coater combination

Using the basic unit and its various options, the Q150R can be used as sputter coater or for glow discharge. The different head plates can easily be exchanged within seconds. The unit recognizes the replacement and the operating menu changes accordingly. A touch screen is used to enter coating parameters, display the coating sequence and show error messages. Multiple users can store their recipes including all parameters. Awarded access rights protect selected parameters against deletion and unauthorized modification. Only the administrator has access to all settings.>br/> A number of optional sample stages ensure the efficient and repeatable coating of samples within a wide range of geometries.
Fully automatic control of the vacuum pressure for the sputtering process eliminates the need to adjust the amount of argon gas by needle valve. Depending on the preset amount of gas (vacuum) the sputter current is automatically adjusted to the desired value (mA). This enables diffuse sputtering with low sputter current for samples with a high topography.

Working principle of magnetron sputter coaters

Magnetron sputter coaters (also referred to as "Cool Sputter Coaters") are equipped with a special magnet which is located in the sputter head (cathode) in the vicinity of the target.

The benefits are:

  • Electrons are available for ionization of further process gas ions and
  • excessive heating is avoided.

During sputter coating, a vacuum is produced in a vacuum chamber and a process gas, preferably argon, is continuously leaked into the chamber. Argon has an optimal ion size and does not chemically react with other molecules.

Within a vacuum window from approx. 1 x 10-1 mbar to 5 x 10-3 mbar, process gas atoms are ionized in an electrical field, which creates a plasma. Positively charged argon atoms are accelerated towards the magnetron head with the target (cathode) and erode target atoms, which reach all surfaces within the vacuum chamber, including the sample to be coated.

Specifications Q150 RS/RE/RES
Instrument case585 mm W x 470 mm D x 410 mm H (total height with coating head open: 650 mm)
Weight 28.4 kg
Packed dimensions 725 mm W x 660 mm D x 680 mm H (37 kg)
Work chamberBorosilicate glass 152 mm ID x 127 mm H
Safety shieldIntegral polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cylinder
Display145 mm x 320 mm x 240 mm colour graphic thin film transistor (TFT) display
User interfaceIntuitive full graphical interface with touch screen buttons, includes features such as a log of the last 10 coatings carried out and reminders for when maintenance is due
Sputter targetDisc style 57 mm Ø x 0.1 mm thick gold (Au) target is fitted as standard. (R S/R ES versions only)
Rotary pump 50 l/min. two-stage rotary pump with oil mist filter (order separately, see AG-DS102)
Vacuum measurementPirani gauge
Typical ultimate vacuum2x10-2 mbar in a clean system after pre-pumping with dry nitrogen gas
Specimen stage 50 mm Ø rotation stage. Rotation speed 8-20 RPM. For alternative stages see options and accessories
Sputtering0–80 mA to a pre-determined thickness (with optional FTM) or by the built-in timer. The maximium sputtering time is 60 minutes (without ‘breaking’ vacuum and with built in rest periods)
Carbon evaporationA robust, ripple free DC power supply featuring pulse evaporation or ensures reproducible carbon evaporation from rod or fibre sources. Current pulse: 1–90 A
Glow dischargeOperates at 100 mA in DC+ mode and 30 mA in DC- mode
GasesArgon sputtering process gas, 99.999% (TS and TES versions)
Electrical supply90–250 V 50/60 Hz 1400 VA including rotary pump power. 110/240 V voltage selectable
ConformityCE conformity: Power factor correction. Complies with the current legislation (CE Certification) and ensures efficient use of power, which means reduced running costs
Options and accessories
10879 Carbon rod evaporation insert for 3.05 mm Ø rods (T E and T ES only). Includes manual rod shaper and 3.05 mm Ø x 300 mm (pack of ten) carbon rods
10262  Glow discharge insert. Used to modify surface properties (eg hydrophobic to hydrophilic conversion) (R S and R ES versions only). Can be retrofitted
10726 Additional sputter insert for quick metal change (R E and R ES versions only). NB: This is an entire sputtering assembly; individual targets can also be purchased
10360Variable angle 'Rotacota' rotary planetary specimen stage (rotational speed 8-20 RPM). 50 mm Ø specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm, 10 mm, 6.5 mm or 1/8" pin stubs. Stage rotation speed variable between 8–20 RPM
10357 Variable tilt angle specimen stage with adjustable tilt up to 90˚. 50 mm Ø specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm, 10 mm, 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 coverage. Stage rotation speed variable between 8-20 RPM
10358 90 mm Ø 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 gear box to allow optional FTM to be used
10454 Film thickness monitor (FTM) attachment. Including oscillator, feed-through, quartz crystal holder and quartz crystals
10429Extended height vacuum chamber (214 mm in height - the standard chamber is 127 mm high). For increased source to specimen distance and for coating large specimens
10731Vacuum spigot allows more convenient connection of the vacuum hose to the rear of the Q150R when bench depth is limited
Thin layer deposition

Sputter coaters are used to deposit a thin metal layer on the surface of a substrate. Sputtering is used in electron microscopy to deposit an electrically conductive film on non-conductive surfaces, to prevent electrons from the microscope's electron beam from accumulating on the sample surface, causing the latter to become charged. Such a charge would prevent imaging of these surfaces with the SEM. The desired films should be extremely thin, but electrically conductive, with a thickness of 3 - 20 nm.


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Product Manager - Electron microscopy & nanotechnology
+49 6151 8806-12
Fax: +49 6151 8806912

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