Ion Beam Deposition

The Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) technique is not very widespread, but simple and very powerful methodic of thin film preparation, allowing to obtain high quality, smooth and very uniform films on big substrate areas by target ablation with high energy particles in high vacuum [1]. Our IBD setup was produced in Kaliningrad (Russia) by OKBM-TO group, and, the setup permanently upgrades by scientists and ingeneering group of REC "Functional Nanomaterials" individually for each project.


Ion Beam Deposition Technology


At first step, the vacuum chamber evacuates to ∼10-5 Pa. Then, a working gas fill discharge chamber of Kaufman ion source and RF coil injects  plasma. After, 3 grid ion optics forms a beam of positively charged ions which neutralizes by RF neutralizer outside the source. This neutralized beam sputter a solid target with energy controlled by an operator. Sputtered material condenses at a surface of a substrate forming smooth and uniform thin film.

Number of features of our system provides more precise parameters of deposited films. The rotating planetary system with 2-4 sample holders allow us to load several substrates to be covered by identical thin films. Additionally, such realization of biaxial rotation provides uniformity by thickness and roughness of deposited layers on the area up to 50x50 mm.

The rotating sample holder carry 3 solid targets with 250 mm diameter, combining with 12 cm Kaufman source it provides pure material sputtering without any contamination by other material using in a vacuum chamber. A combination of 3 targets and number of avaliable bufer gases provides big number of stoichiometric films in one vacuum process, so a complex structures can be produced in one vacuum process.

Flexible tuning of the source parameters allow us to tune films parameters like a roughness, growth rate, adhesion and uniformity. Additionaly, assisting end-hall ion source can modify films during a deposition process. Normally, we use it to clean a substrates surface.


System Summary


  • 3 grids 12 cm Kaufman ion source,
  • 3 targets rotating holder,
  • biaxial (planetary) rotating system with up to 4 sample holders,
  • deposition area up to 200x200 mm with high uniformity of deposited films up to 50x50 mm,
  • in situ layer thickness conlrol by a quarts sensor,
  • working gas - Ar/Kr,
  • bufer gas - O2/N2,
  • assisting end-hall ion source,
  • pump assembly of forevacuum scrolling pump and high vacuum cryo pump,
  • precise control of layer thickness ±0.2 nm
  • minimal uniform layer thickness 1nm (depends on layer material),
  • conductive and non conductive target materials,
  • avaliable targets: Ag, Ta, W, Ni, Al, Cu, Ti, Sn, Zr, Fe, Si, FeSi и SiO2,
  • automatization for a long processes like a multilayers creation.

[1] A.Y. Goikhman et al., "Ion Beam Deposition for Novel Thin Film Materials and Coatings", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 674, pp. 195-200, 2011