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INSTRUCTION MANUAL

FOR

SC502 SPurrER COA TER

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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PAGE
INDEX

SERVICES REQUIRED FOR OPERATION 3


SECTION 1

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM 4


SECTION 2

PACKING SCHEDULE
6
SEcrION 3

INST ALLA TION 7


SECTION 4

9
SECTION 5 OPERATION

SPUTfER COATER OF SPECIMENS 10


SECTION 6

THICKNESS AND UNIFORMITY OF COA TING 12


SECTION 7

13
SEcrION 8 USEFUL NOTES:

(i) REPLACEMENT OF TARGETS


(ii) CLEANING OF SYSTEM
(iii) MOUNnNG OF SPECIMENS

ORDERING INFORMATION FOR SPARES 14


SECTION 9

1~
SECTION 10 ILLUSTRA TIONS AND CIRCUIT DIAGRAMS

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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1- SERVICES REQmRED FOR OPERA TION

The following seIVicesare required for the operationof the SC502 SputterCoater:

(i) Electricity : Check the voltage label near the main electrical lead to ensure that the

equipment has been supplied for the COITect laboratory voltage and frequency,

(ii) Argon Gas (Industrial Grade) : A commercial cylinder fitted with a two ~e regulator

so that a pressure of around 5-10 psi (0.5kg/sq.cm.) can be obtained.

(iii) Water: The base plate of the work chamber can be water cooled if required.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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2. GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM

The SC502 has been designed as a simple diode ~ring system for coating SEM specimens.

The main cabinet contains a high voltage power supply, vacuum manifold and gauging.

A workchamber, which can be evacuated, is fitted onto the top surface of the cabinet

The top plate assembly on the workchamber contains the target material which is to be

sputtered onto the specimen holder and incorporates a magnetic deflection system so as

to reduce theimal damage to specimens by electron bombardment. The front J)anel

arrangement is shown in (figure I). There are two meters, one measuring the state of

vacuum within the chamber (4) and the other measuring the plasma current (5). The main

power switch (8) controls the power to the unit and also to the rotary pump when connected

to the outlet socket(16, figure 2). The needlevalve (9) controls the leak of argon gas

into the chamber which in turn will control the plasma current since the unit is operated

at a fiXed voltage. As the chamb~r is evacuated a neon (2) indicates that the vacuum is

good enough for the HV power supply to be applied. The test button (7) can be used to

switch on the high voltage SOthat the plasma conditions in the chalaber can be adjusted

The remaining two front panel controls are a 'START' button (3) for initiating the coating

cycle and a 30 -120 second timer (6) for varying the coating time.

The rear panel(seefigure 2) housesall the serviceconnectivns. The main electrical cable

entersat position (18) and is fused (17) with 1/4" 10 AMP AlS fuse. The rotary oil

pump is connected via the socket (16).

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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The au:xiliary power socket,

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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1- PACKING SCHEDULE

The unit is supplied packed in parts:-

(i) Main cabjnet

Top plate

(iii) Glass workchamber with "L" Gaskets

(iv) Rotary pump (if provided)

In addition the following parts are supplied:-

(i) Vacuum hose (I metre)

Gas connection tubing (3mm bore)

(iii) Water connection tubing (6mm bore)

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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4. INSTALLATION
4.1 Unpack the main cabinet. The black HT cable (15, figure 2) and green top plate earth

workcharnber fitted with "L" gaskets carefully onto the baseplate. Fit the Sputter top plate

on the rear panel. This ensures that the HT power supply can only be activated with the

are fitted. Connectthe white plastic connectorof the HT cableonto the centreelectrode

The green

electrode.

CHECK THAT THE ROTARY PUMP HAS BEEN FILLED WITH


into socket (16).

OIL. If not, fill it in accordancewith the separateinstructions provided.

4.4 The base plate of the workcharnber can be water cooled if coating of very delicate specimens

is attempted. The inlet and outlet connections ( 12) can be connected to a cold water mains

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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4.5 Fit the mains power cable with a suitable plug in accordance with the colour coding:-

Brown Live

Blue Neutral

GreenlYellow - Earth

and check the voltage label is in accordance with the laboratory voltage.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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5. OPERA TION

5. Having connected all electrical cables and services the unit is ready to test. Check that

the leak valve (9) is fully closed (clockwise). Set timer to the minimum position (30 seconds).

Check that the Argon cylinder regulator is open and the pressure set at about 5psi (0.7

bar)

5.2 Switch on 'POWER'. The rotary pump will start immediately and after 10-15 seconds

(depending on the size of the rotary pump) the needle of the vacuum gauge will register

the fall in pressure inside the chamber.As the pressure falls below 0.2 mbar , the 'READY'

neon (2) will be illuminated. The unit should be left pumping until a vacuum of 0.03 -

0. 04 mbar is reached. This then indicates that there are no major leaks in the system.

5.3 The needle valve (9) is rotated counter-clockwise until the pressure inside the workchamber

just begins to rise (ca 0.06 mbar). This requires approximately three to four turns of the

knob. At this stageby further rotation of the needle valve in conj unction with intermittent

depression of the 'TEST' button, the plasma current may be adjusted to around 18mA.

Release the 'TEST' button.

5.4 Press the 'START' button (the timer has already been set at 30 seconds). The discharge

will now be visible in the chamber as a blue or purple glow

The plasma current will be around 18mA although the initial outgassing of the system may

tend to make the current unstable but it should be easy to adjl.lst the current with the leak

valve

The discharge will cause sputtering of gold (or whatever material is being used) onto the'

plate.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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The discharge will terminate after 30 seconds, the minimum setting of the timer .

Redepressingthe 'START' button will repeat the process and alteration of the timer before

depressing the' ST ART' button will also increase the sputtering time accordingly.

Thus the user has the option of a single sputtering time of between 30 and 195 seconds

or alternatively any number of short sputtering bursts.

5.5 After sputtering, the 'POWER' switch is turned off, the teak valve closed and air admitted

to the workchamber by opening the 'VENT' valve located on the front panel.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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6. SPUTTER COA TING OF SPECIMENS
A specimen holder is provided for holding 6 specimen mounts (depending on the type of

mounts being used). The holder can be clamped to the centre of the base plate of the

workchamber with the screw provided. A typical coating operation is as follows:-

6.1 Mount specimens onto the mounts by any of the conventional techniques. However, it

should be noted that many adhesives have high vapour pressure solvents associated with

them and these solventsshould be allowed to evaporate thoroughly before sputtering. These

materials can effect the long term vacuum performance of the system by colltaminating

the vacuum chamber and/or target disc

6.2 Secure the specimen mounts into specimen mount holder using the grub screws provided.

6.3 Fix the specimenholder onto the baseplate with the screw provided.

6.4 Replaceglassworkchamberand top plate assembly.

6.5 Turn timer to required setting, say 120 seconds.

6.6 Check leak valve and vent valve are fully closed.

6.7 Set argon pressureto around5-1Opsi(0.5 Kg/sq cm).

6.8 Switch on 'POWER'.


The rotary pump will start immediately and the vacuum will be

indicated on the meter. The 'READY' neon will illuminate when the pressure falls below

0.2 mbar,

reach about 0.5 to 1 mbar for about 10-15 seconds during flushing. Close leak valve and

allow workchamber to pump down to 0.04 to 0.06 mbar.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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CURRENT to desired value (tyPically 18ma).

A visible discharge will be observed in the workchamber.

Depressthe 'START' button and gold will be sputteredonto the specimenfor the set

Switch off 'POWER' . Admit air to chamber using 'VENT' valve.

Remove specimen holder and specimen.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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'7 THICKNESS AND UNIFORMITY OF COA TING

7.1 Generally, a gold film thickness of between 100 and 300 A is used for SEM investigations.

An experimentally determined measure of thickness can be obtained from the following

equation :- d = KIVt

where d is the thickness of coating in Angstrom units.

K is an experimentally determined constant which depends on the metal being sputtered,

the gas being used and is based on a distance of approximately 5cm between target and

specimen.

I is the plasma current in mA.

v is the volts being applied in kilovolts (I kV).

and t is the sputtering time in seconds.

Now 'K' is approximately 0.17 for gold used in conjunction with argon whereas with gold

in conjunction with air the constant falls to 0.07. Thus for a typical sputtering using gold

in ai"gon with a plasma current of 18mA for 120 seconds.

d = KIVt = 0.17 x 18x 1 x 120

= 367 A

The sputtering rate will depend on the cleanliness of the sputtering system. Traces of

contamination which can originate from outgassing specimens, adhesives, rubber gaskets

etc. affect the rate of sputtering Care should be taken to keep the workchamber clean

Other targets give different sputtering rates. For example a Platinum target gives

approximately half the sputtering rate of gold. A gold/palladium target has approximately

the same sputtering rate as gold.

7.2 The uniformity of the film within the area of the specimen holder is better than 10%.

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUcrION MANUAL


Page 13 of 20
8. USEFUL NOTES

(i) Replacement of Target

To replace target, remove top plate assembly by disconnecting HT lead and earth

connections. Remove dark space shield which is retained with a single grub screw

Unscrew target disc retainer. This should unscrew easily but sometimes after exten.\ive

use it may be necessary to lubricate thread with isopropanol and hold small nut at

the opposite end of high voltage electrode. Remove old target and replace with new

one and reverseaboveprocessto re-assemble.

(ii) Cleaning System

The glass workchamber can be cleaned easily using a dry mildly abrasive material

such as 'SCOTCHBRITE' If a 'wet' cleansing material is to be used it should be

confined to isopropanol which after evaporation, will not affect the vacuum performance

of the system.

(iii) Mounting of Specimens

Electron MiCi"oscopists have used numerous methoJs for attaching Sp'"'imens to mounts

ranging from double sided adhesive tapes to solvent based adhesives. In terms of

vacuum performance, it is strongly recommended that water based adhesives such

as colloidal graphite or aqueous PV A are used in preference to chlorinated hydr~

based adhesives as these solvents have a deleterious effect on the vacuum and on

the sputtering rate. Complete removal of thesesolvents may take as long as 24 hours.

In any case, any adhesive solvent should be removed completely before placing into

the workchamber .

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCTION MANUAL


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9. ORDERING INFORMATION FOR SPARES

sc 502-314A Gold Target

sc 502-3148 Gold/Palladium Target

SC 502-314C Platinum Target

sc 502-314D Nickel Target

sc 502-314E Silver Target

SC502-OKlT RqJIacement -0- ring kit


2050200100 Glass Workchamber
354660420 -L- gaskets (each)
6050204000 HT lead assembly
416362820 Transformer 28OOV4OmA
650002400 HT diode Board
500020100 Pirani gauge valve
550007000 Argon I~~ valve
351270320 Argon gas tubing (1 metre)
351220430 Vacuum tubing (1 metre)
405100310 Fuse 10A AlS 1.1/4- each
405006210 Fuse 630mA AlS 2Omm each

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCfION MANUAL


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FIGURE I. FRONT PANEL LA YO UT

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUcrION MANUAL


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FIGURE 2. REAR PANEL LA YO UT

VGMICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCfION MANUAL


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FIGURE .1- TOP PLA TE ASSEMBL y

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCfION MANUAL


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DIAGRAM I. WIRING DIAGRAM

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUcrION MANUAL


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DIAGRAM 2- PIRANI -TIMER CIRCUIT

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCfION MANUAL


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DIAGRAM 2- PIRANI -TIMER CIRCUIT

VG MICROTECH SC502 INSTRUCfION MANUAL


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