Intlvac PVD Update, 5/12/11

Ed Myers edmyers at
Thu May 12 08:58:18 PDT 2011

Metal's Community,

The Intlvac systems have been in the fab for awhile and I imagine 
many are wondering about their status.

The system has a very different hearth and control system compared to 
the Innotec.  I took me some time to understand and feel comfortable 
with the new configuration.  After a few miss steps, I settled on an 
approach we will test as we release of the system.  I waited to order 
the starter materials until I felt comfortable with the hardware 
configuration, since it could have required a source size 
change.  The material order went out last month and they should be 
arriving soon.

One question I hear, beside when can we use the system is what is the 
cleanliness category.  It is my intention to bridge the gap between 
clean up to gold contaminated.  I do not plan on allowing gold, or 
other known device killers (such as Fe) in the system.  The sources I 
have ordered are Ni, Co, Pt, Al, Hf, Ta, Mo, W, Ti, Cr, Zr, Si, Ge, 
Pd, Nb and V.  As we start metering in the lab member community (each 
new material will take some development the first time), we can 
discuss your material and substrate requirements.

Please contact me regarding the evaporator and we can start putting 
together a plan for releasing your desired material.

Originally I felt this system would be released first, since 
sputtering is pretty straight forward.  I even committed to an EE412 
project on the system for the characterization the deposition rates, 
uniformity and some reactive depositions.  The project is moving 
along with the student accomplishing most of the objectives.  What I 
have also learned using the system and working with Intlvac is the 
system would suit us better with some configuration changes.  Intlvac 
is here this week and I hope to have a time line on when the 
configuration changes will be completed (I'm guessing a few 
weeks).  During this time there are a few depositions we can run, but 
we are also limited by target cooling water flow.

You may have noticed the system in pieces last week.  This resulted 
from an overheated water cooling line to one of the cathodes.  The 
vendor specification for our cathode size is 1.6 gallons per 
minute.  What we are delivering is 0.5 gpm, or lower.  This 
restricted cooling means we can't put as much power to the cathodes 
as we would like.  Currently the system is hooked up to the house 
process cooling water.  This is not working, so we have ordered a 
dedicated heat exchanger for the system.  I expect we will receive 
the chiller in a few weeks.

With the cooling water issues, I expect it will be 3 to 4 weeks 
before we can start the wider release of the system.  In the mean 
time, if you are interested we can talk about running some low power 
depositions.  The majority of the targets are on order so we are 
limited to Al, Ta, TiW, W and Cr.  The final material set will be 
similar to the Intlvac_Evaporator except no precious materials (Pt 
and probably not Pd).  Also the EE412 student will have priority for 
the next few weeks.


I apologize for the multiple copies of the email to those lab members 
on all the metal tool's distribution lists

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