Lab 18-1

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< Sputter deposition

Lab 18-1
Equipment Details
Technology PVD
Materials Restriction Metals
Material Processed Al2O3, ITO, Mo, Si, SiO2, Si3N4, Ta, Ta2O5, Ti, TiO2
Sample Size 150mm x 4mm and smaller samples
Gases Used Ar, N2, O2
Equipment Manual
Overview System Overview
Operating Procedure SOP
Supported Processes Supported Processes
User Processes User Processes

Lab 18-1 is a magnetron sputter deposition tool for depositing insulators, and semiconductive 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.


  • The target configuration has been moved to the Supported Process section below. Follow the link to Lab 18-1/Processes. On that page under the Target Calendar header is the link to the calendar.
  • We have updated some of the recipe names in order to follow a more consistent naming scheme. For example "SiO2 reactive" was changed to "Si 1 RF Reactive Ox". The original name is not as expressive, and leads users wondering what the material actually is. In the case of "Si 1 RF Reactive Ox", it is understood that the recipe will inject O2 in a RF plasma field to attain a reactivity grown SiO2 film. Successors in the recipe name like; +Bias, +Heat, express extra conditions in the process recipe. For a complete list of changes to the recipes names see 18-1 Recipe Set (current).


  • Computer controlled recipes
  • Load lock supported processing
  • Limited film stress versatility with in film development.
  • Reactive film capabilities (Ar, O2, and N2)

System Overview

The Lab 18-1 has a 18" D-shaped chamber with a load lock chamber to quickly load and unload samples without breaking high vacuum in the process chamber. The tools five magnetron sputtering sources are set up to allow for RF, DC, and DC co-sputtering. There is an additional RF power supply on the substrate platen to allow for in situ sample cleans, and bias voltage to manipulate the film characteristics. Sample heating up to 500°C is achieved by using the tools quartz heater lamps.

Hardware Details

  • Turbo pumped chamber – upper 10-7 Torr base pressure
  • Chamber capacity: single wafer
  • Configured with load lock
  • Sample heating – up to 500°C
  • Power specs
    • Five 3” Sputtering Guns
    • 2 DC and 2 RF power supply (one for sample bias)

Substrate Requirements

  • Sample sizes: pieces, up to 6” wafers.
  • Wafer holders available for 2", 3", 4", 6"; as well as clip fixtures for smaller pieces
    • Diameter 150 mm maximum
    • Substrates up to 4 mm thick, with special fixture up to 8 mm.
    • Sample Mounting

Material Restrictions

The Lab 18-1 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 to the Lab 18's provide researchers with the ability to load, transfer samples, and deposit standard characterized materials. For more details, see Lab 18-1/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 User Processes. Wondering if your material can be deposited in this tool, please contact the tool engineers via the helpdesk ticket system and see more about privately supporting materials on the LNF Sputtering Adding New Films page.

Sputter Materials

Seven 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)
Indium-Tin-Oxide (ITO) 3000 Å / 8000 Å
Molybdenum (Mo) 2000 Å / 8000 Å
Silicon (Si) 5000 Å / 1 µm
Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) 1000 Å / 4000 Å
Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) 1000 Å / 4000 Å
Tantalum (Ta) 2000 Å / NA
Titanium (Ti) 2000 Å / 5000 Å

Standard Operating Procedure

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Checkout Procedure

The Lab 18-1 is on the LNF Scheduler. LNF constituents may reserve time on the tool, and even request staff support for process development. For more details, see Lab 18 access and training.

  1. Read through the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  2. Complete the Lab 18 User Training Quiz
  3. Create a helpdesk ticket requesting training.
  4. A tool engineer will schedule a time for initial training.
  5. Practice with your mentor or another authorized user until you are comfortable with tool operation.
  6. 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 Lab 18-1/Maintenance and qualification.