Thin Film and Plasma
Custom Sputtered Thin Films for Manufacturing and Advanced R&D Applications
The Deposition of Thin Films is an effective method for building optical films, diffusion barriers, embedded passive components such as resistors, thermistors and thermocouples, strain gauges, IR detectors, implantable electrodes, seed/bonding surfaces for multilayer structures.
Effectively, a “thin” film of material (often atoms at a time) is “deposited” on a surface through one of several methods. The approach we use for thin film deposition varies from sputtering thin film to reactive sputtering for Oxides and Nitrides or thermal evaporation for specialized thermoelectric materials.
As you’ll learn when you read about our Flex Circuit Design and Manufacturing Process, we will thoroughly review and discuss your specific requirements before we provide a quote. Then, we’ll refine and improve our existing processes to optimize them for your application.
What We Do with Thin Film and Plasma
The MicroConnex thin film lab specializes in deposition of high quality thin films for custom manufacturing and advanced R&D applications, including metals, semiconductors, oxides and nitrides.
Films can be sputtered over substrates up to 6 inches (150 mm) in diameter, from 0.005~2.000 +/- 0.001 μm thick, and can be patterned with lithography or laser cut masks, such as for fine scale PCB traces.
Accurately patterned deposition, using lithography or laser cut masks, enables a wide range of thin film devices.
Applications of Thin Film and Plasma
- Sputtering thin film on standard targets of Ag, Al, Au, B2 alloy, Constantin, Cr, Cu, Ir, Ni, Nichrome, Si, Ti, TiW and Zr.
- Reactive sputtering is used for deposition of Oxides and Nitrides such as IrO2, TiOx, Al2O3, TiN, TiWOx, TiWN, NiMoFeOx and Si3N4.
- Adhesion is enhanced through Plasma Etching (RIE: O2, CF4) and RF sputter etching (Ar) to clean and activate surfaces; large-scale RIE can be performed on multiple panels up to 18″ x 22″ (46 cm x 56 cm) for plasma etching of bulk materials.
- Temperature-sensitive substrates (e.g. thin polymers, ferroelectrics and piezoelectric ceramics) are processed to manage thermal effects by tailoring deposition duty cycles to the substrate and the material with custom control software developed in-house.
Thin Film Deposition and Plasma Tools
- Magnetron sputter sources at 6kW DC, and 2 kW RF allowing deposition of multiple different materials without breaking vacuum.
- Low base pressure and a liquid nitrogen cold trap to ensure deposition of clean films with excellent adhesion
- In-house X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer and profilometer are used to monitor thin film composition and uniformity, ensuring films of accurate, reproducible thickness.
When additional thickness is required, gold, nickel or copper can be plated up in our fine pitch flex circuit shop.
ISO 9001:2008 ; 13485; ITAR registered; IPC member