Carbon coater – high vacuum

Q150T series from Quorum Technologies

Carbon coaters of the Q150T series are fully automated, modular coating systems for the application of fine-grained carbon films for SEM and TEM. The Q150T comes either as carbon coater (TE) or as combination of sputter and carbon coater (TES). Carbon sources can be both carbon rods and filaments.

Fully automatic coating process
Built-in turbo pump
Large chamber: 165 mm in diameter
Fast turnover times / coating cycles
Carbon rod (fiber insert is also available)
Optional metal evaporation head insert
Q150T ES carbon coater /sputter coater combination

Using the basic unit and its various options, the Q150T can be used for both carbon coating (TE / (TES) and metal evaporation. The different head plates can easily be exchanged within seconds. The unit recognizes the replacement and the operating menu changes accordingly. A touch screen is used to enter coating parameters, display the coating sequence and show error messages. Multiple users can store their recipes including all parameters. Awarded access rights protect selected parameters against deletion and unauthorized modification. Only the administrator has access to all settings.

A number of optional sample stages ensure the efficient and repeatable coating of samples within a wide range of geometries.

Operating Principle
Thin conductive layers of carbon are generated by resistive evaporation of carbon filaments or rods. A current of up to 90 A is needed to evaporate carbon from rod or filament. Pulsed or ramped carbon coating modes are available. Pulsed evaporation is suitable for most SEM carbon coating processes. For applications requiring enhanced control and deposition thickness reproducibly the ramped evaporation process can be selected (only carbon rod) for carbon evaporation.
High-vacuum carbon coaters are used in TEM and high resolution SEM for producing very thin amorphous carbon layers which require high-vacuum.
For TEM applications like the production of carbon support films or surface replicas please refer to models Q150TE, TES or K975X.

Specifications Q150 TS / TE / TES
Instrument case585 mm W x 470 mm D x 410 mm H (total height with coating head open: 650 mm)
Weight 33.4 kg
Packed dimensions 725 mm W x 660 mm D x 680 mm H (42 kg)
Work chamberBorosilicate glass 150 mm ID x 127 mm H
Safety shieldIntegral polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cylinder
Display145 mm x 320 mm x 240 mm colour graphic thin film transistor (TFT) display
User interfaceIntuitive full graphical interface with touch screen buttons, includes features such as a log of the last 10 coatings carried out and reminders for when maintenance is due
Sputter targetDisc style 54 mm Ø or 57 mm Ø. A 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) is fitted as standard. TS/TES versions only
Turbo-molecular pumpInternally-mounted, 70 l/sec. air-cooled turbo-molecular pump
Rotary pump 50 l/min. two-stage rotary pump with oil mist filter (order separately, see AG-DS102)
Vacuum measurementPirani gauge as standard. A full range gauge (10428) is available as an option
Typical ultimate vacuum5x10-5 mbar
Sputter vacuum rangeBetween 5x10-3 and 5x10-1 mbar
Specimen stage 50 mm Ø rotation stage. Rotation speed 8-20 RPM. For alternative stages see options and Aaccessories
Sputtering0–150 mA to a pre-determined thickness (with optional FTM) or by the built-in timer. The maximium sputtering time is 60 minutes (without ‘breaking’ vacuum and with built in rest periods)
Carbon evaporationA robust, ripple free DC power supply featuring pulse evaporation or ensures reproducible carbon evaporation from rod or fibre sources. Current pulse: 1–90 A
Metal evaporation and
aperture cleaning insert
For thermal evaporation of metals from filaments or boats. For cleaning SEM or TEM apertures a standard molybdenum boat (supplied) can be fitted. The metal evaporation head is set up for downwards evaporation, but upward evaporation can be achieved by fitting two terminal extensions (supplied). Evaporation times: up to four minutes
Services and other information
GasesArgon sputtering process gas, 99.999% (TS and TES versions)
Electrical supply90–250 V 50/60 Hz 1400 VA including rotary pump power. 110/240 V voltage selectable
ConformityCE conformity: Power factor correction. Complies with the current legislation (CE Certification) and ensures efficient use of power, which means reduced running costs
Options and accessories
10879 Carbon rod evaporation insert for 3.05 mm Ø rods (T E and T ES only). Includes manual rod shaper and 3.05mm Ø x 300 mm (pack of ten) carbon rods
10837 Glow discharge insert. Used to modify surface properties (eg hydrophobic to hydrophilic conversion) (R S and R ES versions only). Can be retrofitted
10457 Metal evaporation and aperture insert, including the ability to evaporate upwards or downwards (TE and TES version only). Supplied with a pack of 10 tungsten filaments and a molybdenum (Mo) boat
10455Carbon fibre insert, supplied with 1m carbon fibre cord and 1m of standard grade carbon fibre cord. NB: For additional supplies see Carbon supplies
10453 Additional sputter insert for quick metal change (T E and T ES versions only). NB: This is an entire sputtering assembly; individual targets can also be purchased
10360Variable angle 'Rotacota' rotary planetary specimen stage (rotational speed 8–20 RPM). 50 mm Ø specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm, 10 mm, 6.5 mm or 1/8" pin stubs. Stage rotation speed variable between 8–20 RPM
10357 Variable tilt angle specimen stage with adjustable tilt up to 90˚. 50 mm Ø specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm, 10 mm, 6.5 mm or 1/8" pin stubs. Stage rotation speed variable between 8–20 RPM
10458 Flat rotation specimen stage for 4"/100 mm wafers, includes gear box for increased coverage. Stage rotation speed variable between 8-20 RPM
10357 90 mm Ø specimen stage for glass microscope slides (up to two x 75 mm x 25 mm slides). Stage rotation speed variable between 8–20 RPM. Includes gear box to allow optional FTM to be used
10454 Film thickness monitor (FTM) attachment. Including oscillator, feed-through, quartz crystal holder and quartz crystals
10429Extended height vacuum chamber (214 mm in height - the standard chamber is 127 mm high). For increased source to specimen distance and for coating large specimens
10422Vacuum spigot allows more convenient connection of the vacuum hose to the rear of the Q150T when bench depth is limited
Thermal evaporation

Thermal evaporation of carbon to generate thin conductive layers for scanning electron microscopy applications like energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and wavelength dispersive x-ray spectrometry (WDS).

High-vacuum carbon coaters

High-vacuum carbon coaters have become more widespread over the past few years. Their big advantage is a virtually "clean" vacuum, achieved by a turbomolecular pump, which is particularly important for TEM applications like the production of carbon support films or surface replicas. Producing very thin amorphous carbon layers also requires high-vacuum.

Follow us: twitter linkedin facebook
European offices
© LOT Quantum Design 2016