Sputter coating is a widely used technique for depositing thin layers of conductive metal onto non-conducting specimens or surfaces before observation with scanning or transmission electron microscopes.

Polaron SC7640

Coating with gold

Polaron SC7640 at the Open University is a bench-top sputter coating system with a gold (Au) target. It produces a fine grain, even coating and is suitable for depositing over a wide area. Coating thickness depends on time and current but usually is in the 1-20 nm region.

Technical specifications

  • Vacuum chamber: 150 mm internal diameter x 135 mm high
  • Specimen stage: Universal stage with 6 holes for stubs
  • Target to stage distance: 50 mm – 80 mm
  • Pumping requirements: Pump to evacuate >10-3 mbar

Safematic CCU-010 Compact Coating Unit

Coating with carbon, titanium, silver and platinum

This compact, fully automatic sputter and carbon coater is simple and easy to use. It uses a unique plug-in concept that makes it easy to configure for sputtering or vaporising by simply changing the head. The unique design makes it easy to avoid cross-contamination between the metal and carbon deposition. The genius reloading system for the carbon thread makes it easy to coat any thickness without breaking the vacuum. The unit is also capable of plasma treatment before or after the coating. The CCU-010 at the Open University has a static specimen stage with height adjustment, tilt, and film thickness monitoring.

Technical Specifications

  • Vacuum chamber: 120 mm borosilicate glass cylinder
  • Specimen stage: 80 mm diameter, 0 to 50 mm height adjustment, and 0 to 45° tilt
  • Coating material: Yarn on a spool for carbon coating, Titanium (Ti), Silver (Ag) and Platinum (Pt) targets for metallic sputter coating
  • Process gas: Argon (Ar) for sputter coating and air for carbon coating
  • Vacuum system: Integrated, oil-free turbomolecular and membrane pumps that take the final vacuum to < 2 × 10-6 mbar