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CUSP Magnetron Sputter Sources

Key Features
  • PVD
  • Multilayer Deposition
  • Reactive Sputtering
  • Metallisation
  • Magnetic Layers
  • Combinatorial Deposition

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The CUSP Series

Magnetron sputter deposition is a widely used process for depositing metallic, semiconducting and dielectric thin films for semiconductor device applications, multi-layered optical coatings, magnetic media and hard coatings.

The MANTIS CUSP magnetron sputter sources are designed for high-precision UHV sputtering. The sources are equipped as standard with an integral gas-feed, allowing a higher local pressure to exist immediately above the sputter target than in the surrounding chamber. This gives the advantage that the source can be operated at lower overall chamber pressure. In order to minimise cross-talk between multiple sources chimneys are available.

The CUSP magnetron range is designed in three product lines: planar circular magnetrons (1", 2", 3" and 4"), planar circular magnetrons with in-situ tilting capability (1", 2", 3" and 4") and a linear magnetron (6”x 2”).

All sources use a grounded cooling circuit, avoiding the need for lengthy plastic tubing to insulate the cooling water. The CUSP sources are manufactured entirely from UHV-compatible materials and are bakeable to 250°C without the need for counter-cooling during system bake-out. This avoids cold spots and therefore keeps process conditions ideal and as clean as possible.

The planar circular CUSP sputter sources employ SmCo magnet arrays as a standard which enables excellent target usage when used for sputtering of non-magnetic materials. For the sputtering of magnetic materials, MANTIS offers an easily changeable magnet set which is capable of sputtering materials such as Fe, Ni and Co. Special magnet arrays have been designed for sputtering up to 3mm thick magnetic targets, depending on CUSP sputter source model and configuration.

Sputter Control

The CUSP sources offer exceptional­ control over ­sputtering rate, making them extremely serviceable for controlling thin film composition. As an example, using an RF power ­supply for sputtering dielectric materials the film ­thickness can be controlled with a resolution of 0.1nm or less by ­varying the RF power. This approach ­enables deposition of very thin layers as well as the ­creation of atomically precise interfaces between layers with a high degree of accuracy. This feature can also be utilised for ­growing ­superlattices in a UHV environment.

Using CUSP sources with magnetic material targets ­allows them to be used for spintronics, Heusler alloys and ­other transition metal alloy applications. The MANTIS CUSP sputter sources accurately control the level of dopants in films and this makes them extremely relevant to ­magnetic applications.

The chart on the right shows the sample resistivity as a f­unction­ of film thickness for a Ni film doped with various­ non-magnetic materials. One can immediately see that CUSP sources are capable of superb control of dopant materials with a thickness resolution of only a few nm.

The MANTIS sputter source technology is enabling the investigation of subtle magnetic phenomena and interface engineering effects. Thickness control and interface widths in the sub nanometre range are consistently and reliably achieved.

CUSP Sputter Sources with In-situ Tilt Mode

Our dedicated specialist team of scientists at MANTIS have developed a range of sputter sources with an in-situ tilt mechanism. This feature enables the user to change the focal point of the source depending on process requirements­.

The tilt angle can be adjusted in the range of +/- 20 degrees from outside the vacuum chamber either manually or through motorised actuation. Fine tuning the angle is critical to achieving good deposition uniformity when working distances, operating pressures and materials change. Most accurate control of the tilt angle is achieved by adding stepper motorisation.

The functionality of the deposition system can be ­ expanded by mounting the tilting source on a linear z-shift. It is possible to bring the sputter source very close to the sample surface and tilt the source in order to achieve a face to face configuration.