Denton Explorer-14

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|caption = |materials = Al, Cr, Au, Ir, Pt, Ti, W-Ti |size = Stage holds 150mm, and smaller samples |gases = Ar |overview = System Overview |sop = SOP |processes = Supported Processes |userprocesses = User Processes |maintenance = Maintenance }}

The Denton Explorer-14 is a magnetron sputter deposition tool for depositing conductive metallic films. Sputter deposition is achieved by bombarding a source material with energetic ions, typically Ar+. Atoms at the surface of the target are knocked loose, and transported to the surface of the substrate, where deposition occurs. Electrically conductive material such as Al, W, and Ti can use a dc power source, in which the target acts as the cathode in a diode system. Sputtering of dielectrics such as silicon dioxide, or aluminum oxide requires an Rf power source to supply energy to the argon atoms. Sputter films are ideal for sidewall coverage in low thermal budget cases for contact and insulating layers over features.


  • With the addition of the new sputter tool this system has been reevaluated, as to its purpose in the LNF. It will be removed because of the LN2 hookup, and the lack of material tracking, and unrepeatable process results, and system characteristics. The films form the Denton are already supported on the Lab 18-2. The shut down of this system is being targeted in the later part of May.
  • As of July 4, 2018 this system will no longer be available for use.


  • Computer controlled recipes
  • limited film stress versatility with in film development.
  • LN2 supported process chamber evacuation

System Overview

The Denton Explorer-14 has a 14" D-shaped chamber with LN2 supported pumping to reach high vacuum in the process chamber. The tools two magnetron sputtering sources are set up to allow for DC sputtering of Iridium and Titanium Films.

Hardware Details

  • Turbo pumped chamber – upper 10-7 base pressure
  • Chamber capacity: single wafer
  • Power specs
    • Two 3” Sputtering Guns
    • 2 DC power supplies

Substrate Requirements

  • Sample sizes: pieces, up to 4” wafers.
    • Diameter 100mm maximum
    • Substrates thickness may impact the deposition rate of the film.

Material Restrictions

The Denton Explorer-14 is designated as a Metals class tool. Below is a list of approved materials for the tool. Approved means the material is allowed in the tool under normal circumstances. If a material is not listed, please create a helpdesk ticket or email for any material requests or questions.

Supported Processes

Basic "User" access with the Denton Explorer-14 provide researchers the ability to load, transfer samples, and deposit standard characterized materials. For more details, see Denton Explorer-14/Processes.

In addition to these, this tool has a number of user-supported recipes for depositing a wide variety of materials. Some of these recipes are documented on [Lab 18-1 User Processes]. If you are curious if your material can be deposited in this tool, please contact the tool engineers via the helpdesk ticket system.

Process Name

Multiple staff characterized films are available. If two thicknesses are listed the first is for per run and the second thickness is for total material used per reservation.

Material Max thickness (Run/Reservation)
Aluminum (Al) 1 µm / NA
Chrome (Cr) 2000Å / NA
Gold (Au) 5000Å / NA
Iridium (Ir) 2000 Å / NA
Platinum (Pt) 5000 Å / 1 µm
Titanium (Ti) 2000 Å / 5000 Å
Tungsten/Titanium (W-Ti) 3000 Å / 8000 Å

Standard Operating Procedure

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Checkout Procedure

The Denton Explorer-14 is on the LNF Scheduler. LNF constituents may reserve time on the tool, and even request staff support for process development.

  1. Read through the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  2. Create a helpdesk ticket requesting training.
  3. A tool engineer will schedule a time for initial training.
  4. Practice with your mentor or another authorized user until you are comfortable with tool operation.
  5. Schedule a checkout session with a tool engineer via the helpdesk ticket system. If this checkout is successful, the engineer will authorize you on the tool.


For more details, see Denton Explorer-14/Maintenance and qualification.