KJLesker Sputtering System


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Usage Policy

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Qualified Users List

Name Office Extension Email

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Standard Operating Procedures

(detailed specifications for all components of the sputtering system can
 be found in the large black binder on the stainless steel shelves adjacent 
 to the sputtering system.)

* observation items
- action items

General Operating Safety

The sputtering system is a very complicated and expensive piece of machinery.
There are many safety features built in to protect you from it and vice versa.
It is to be used only by properly trained personnel. 
The primary dangers include but are not limited to:
        * mechanical injury from raising/lowering of chamber lid controlled
                by motorized hoist.
        * electrical shock injury from exposed energized surfaces, cables, etc.
        * mechanical injury from explosion/implosion generated from high/low
                pressures within the vacuum system.

- Use this system only if you are authorized to do so and only when you are 
        fully awake/aware, etc.
**- If the system malfunctions due to either a user error or random machine 
        error please contact the appropriate personell listed on this page.
        - DO NOT attempt to fix the problem yourself unless you have the 
                proper training/knowledge.


Sign In

        - occurs on the door between the cloak room and main bay of HH1216.
        - must include: NAME, ADVISOR'S NAME, ACCOUNT NUMBER, # OF TIMES 
          SYSTEM WAS USED.  The number of times the system was used refers
          to the number of pumpdown cycles (ie. if you sputter 4 wafers in
          a single pumpdown cycle, this is 1 run, likewise, 0 wafers sputtered
          because you forgot to load the target is also 1 run).

Sample Loading and Removal

        * you MUST be wearing clean gloves and long-sleave shirt 
          (preferably a lab coat) when performing any action involving the
          inside of the chamber (sample loading, target mounting, etc.)
        * the system is normally in a high vacuum state
        * need to vent it to bring it up to atmosphere so chamber
                can be opened
        - make sure ion gauge 1 is OFF, it is for measuring P ~< 10e-5 Torr 
        - open mechanical regulator valve on nitrogen cylinders (the sputtering
          system line is the right-hand one as you face the cylinders)
        - turn key on main control panel to MANUAL 
        - wait for  cryopump gate valve to close
        * gate valve closing must make a popping noise (do NOT proceed if this
          does not occur!)
        - turn CHAMBER VENT VALVE to ON
        * chamber is now venting (takes approx. 1 min)
        - wait for green ATM light to go on 
        * chamber is now at ATMosphere
        - turn CHAMBER VENT VALVE to OFF
        - close mechanical valve on nitrogen cylinders
        -use hoist button to lift chamber lid
        -change targets if needed 
        - for PZT or other thick targets, use ohmeter to check for electrical
          short (check at coax lead on sputter gun under the sputter chamber)
        - load sample or remove sample
        - close lid with hoist
        - if loading samples, put SYSTEM IN USE  up
        - if removing samples, put SYSTEM FREE up

Starting pumpdown procedure

        - turn key to AUTO mode
        - hit START button (pumping begins)
        * pump down takes ~ 2 hours

Deposition procedure

        * determine that system is ready to operate:
        - check inlet/outlet cooling water temperature/pressure
        - record on log sheet, determining that system is operational
                ** notify appropriate personnel if values are not within specs.

        - check to see that water is flowing to sputtering guns and cryo
                * valves should be ON if wheels spinning
                        if you were looking down from the top of the system
                        the gun orientation would be the following:
                                        gun 3
                                    gun 2   gun4
                                        gun 1

        * base pressure of system must be low enough to insure high quality
                sputtered films (listed on check sheet)
        - turn on ion gauge 1
        - degas (approx. 30s) if necessary (this removes gas from ion gauge, 
          allowing it to measure accurately)
        - turn off degas
        * P must be  <= 4.0e-7 Torr
        - enter pressure value in log 
        -turn throttle to open setting 
        * P must be  <= 2.0e-6 Torr in throttled position (this pressure gives
                you an idea of how much sample and chamber are outgassing
        - enter pressure value in log 
        - return throttle to auto
        - turn off ion gauge 1

        * now ready to turn on processing gases
        - zero all pressure and flow rate modules
        - set pressure controller knob to desired pressure
        - if doing reactive sputtering (ie using an auxillary gas - either
                N2 or O2) check regulator valves to see that desired gas
                is selected
        * to change auxillary gases
                - close both regulator valves
                - set auxillary flow module to FLOW
                - open MAIN and N2 valves (square green buttons)
                - pump out lines until flow goes to zero
                - open regulator valve and let a little gas into line
                - close regulator  valve
                - open MAIN and N2 valves (square green buttons)
                - pump out lines until flow goes to zero
                - open regulator valve 
                * gas line switch now complete
        - set auxillary flow module to desired setting (FLOW or RATIO)
        - set gas ratio or flow to desired level
        * the mass flow calibration factors are the following (should not need
          changing unless a new gas is being used)
                        1.00 for N2 or O2
                        1.17 for 50/50 Ar/O2
                        1.45 for Ar
        - turn on MAIN, AR, and(if using reactive gas) N2 valves(green buttons)
        * pressure and flows should reach set values within 20 sec

        * ready to sputter now
        - check pressure and temperature of cooling water P~ 30 PSI, T~ 70 F
        - enter values in log book
        - check cryo-pump Temp (blue readout) - contains liquid He ~ 11-12 K
        - enter value in log book

        - set shutter switch to timed
        - set sputter time
        - set table position to the station you are using

DC sputtering 

        - connect DC cable to desired sputter gun
        - turn on the DC power module
        - turn to STANDBY
        - power to minimum
        - turn to WATTS
        - increase power to desired level at desired rate
        - check plasma
                *if no plasma:
                        - hit Plasma Ignite button
                        - increase Pressure  temporarily if necessary
        - turn to VOLTS
        - enter DC voltage in log
        - turn back to WATTS
        - hit START button on timer module
        - when finished, ramp down power
        - turn to STANDBY
        - turn off power to DC module

RF sputtering 

        - connect RF cable to desired sputter gun
        - turn on the RF power module
        - turn on the RF tuner module
        - set RF OFF
        - depress SETPOINT button, simultaneously turn power level
                to desired starting plasma power (40 W)
        - set tuner mode to AUTO if not already
        - set RF ON
        - check plasma
                *if no plasma:
                        - hit Plasma Ignite button
                        - increase Pressure  temporarily if necessary
                * non-zero DC bias voltage will indicate that plasma
                  has started: do NOT rely on reflected power to indicate
                  whether plasma has started
        - ramp up power 10 W/min for non-metallic targets to avoid
                large temperature gradients in target and potential cracking
        * if for some reason you are using MANUAL tuning:
                - adjust two tuner knobs at bottom to achieve 0 reflected power
        - enter DC target bias voltage in log
        - hit START button on timer module
        - when finished, ramp down power
        - set RF ON
        - turn OFF RF power module
        - turn OFF RF tuner module

        * sputtering is now complete, you are now ready to turn off gases
          and vent the chamber to remove samples

        - close valves N2, Ar, MAIN

        * follow same procedure as given in Sample Loading above to
          remove samples

Back Sputter (substrate milling)

        - attach sample to backsputter chuck.
        - place chuck holder on desired table position.
        - attach chuck to holder inside chamber.
        - close chamber.
        - pump down chamber.
        - Using either Advanced Energy RF supply or K.J. Lesker supply, attach 
          RF cable to upper bias cable using adaptor.(cable just reaches)
        - take down settings.
        - set pressure with Ar flow.
        - turn on power to RF supply and controller.
        - adjust set point to about desired power level (do not exceed 60 W)
        - turn on DC bias.
        - turn on RF supply.
        - adjust power, foreward  power tune position, and reflected power 
          shunt position to start plasma.  
          if this fails turn up pressure.
          Note: the foreward power will be less than normal and the reflected
          power often cannot be reduced to zero.
        - once plasma is started adjust power, tune and shunt positions until 
          the desired bias voltage is achieved.
        - start timing the process.
        - once time is up reduce power to zero.
        - turn off RF supply.
        - turn off DC bias.
        - turn off power supply to RF supply and controller.
        - turn off Ar and main valve.
        - disconnect RF cable!!!!!!! (if you are using Advanced Energy supply 
          you will tear the cable when you vent the system and raise the hoist)
        - Continue with process.

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Applications Notes

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Useful Links

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