Sputter Coater Instructions
Setting Sputter Current and Coating Time
Loading a Sample:
1. Lift lid (tilt it back all the way). Using gloves or forceps, insert sample on
sample table (remove glass cylinder, if necessary).
2. Close lid firmly and turn power switch on. The unit will automatically be in AUTO
mode and the pump will begin evacuating sample chamber. Allow to pump for at least
5 minutes (or until P 2 0.01 mb) before coating sample.
3. While waiting for pressure to drop, open argon source, set regulator to 5 psi,
and open valve about a quarter turn. If necessary, adjust sputter current and coating
Coating the Sample:
If AUTO mode is selected:
1. Make sure AUTO button is selected (this is the default setting when the instrument
is powered up).
2. When P 2 0.01 mb, push CYCLE. The sputter coater will automatically cycle through
the following activities:
a. Pump to 0.05 mb
b. Open argon flush valve for 3 seconds, then close
c. Pump to 0.15 mb
d. Open argon flush valve for 3 seconds, then close
e. Pump to 0.15 mb and continue pumping for an additional 20 sec
f. Switch on sputter supply at preselected current
g. Switch off sputter supply after preselected time
If MANUAL mode is selected:
1. Push MANUAL button to select.
2. When P 2 0.01 mb, push FLUSH (P should increase). After 3-5 sec, push LEAK (shuts
off FLUSH automatically). P should decrease and stabilize to 0.08 mb. If the P differs
significantly from 0.08 mb, adjust using NEEDLE VALVE ADJUSTMENT knob on rear of instrument.
3. Repeat #2.
4. With LEAK still selected, push START. Sputter supply will automatically switch
off after pre selected time.
Shutting Down/Cleaning Up:
1. Shut off main power. Pump will shut off and sample chamber will vent to atmosphere.
Open lid (tilt back).
2. Using gloves or forceps, remove sample.
3. Remove glass cylinder. In fume hood, wipe out the inside of the cylinder using
a small amount of methanol and Kimwipes (in hood).
4. After the glass cylinder is dry, replace and close lid.
5. Shut off argon source.
Setting Sputter Current and Coating Time:
The coating thickness is a function of four factors:
1. Sputter current
2. Gas pressure
3. Working distance from source
4. Coating time
(will provide a Au/Pd coating thickness of ~20 nm):
Sputter current = 40 mA
Coating time = 15 sec
Argon leak pressure = 0.08 mb
Working distance = 33-40 mm (33 mm table top to bottom of Al target holder; 40 mm
to Au/Pd foil)
The easiest variables to change for customization of coating thickness are sputter current and coating time. These settings can be
changed as follows:
Sputter current: Push and hold SET mA button while adjusting current using SET arrow keys. Choices:
10 mA, 20 mA, 30 mA, 40 mA.
Coating time: In AUTO mode, push and hold PAUSE/TEST button while adjusting time (in sec) using
SET arrow keys.
View instructions for the SEM