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The Plasma Quest Ltd patented technology is a major evolution from the
traditional magnetron technology widely used in industrial and research circles.
The use of a remote high density plasma source to amplify the diode sputter deposition process has allowed us to deposit thin films with physical properties normally only achieved by ion beam deposition and at the very high deposition rates and coverage associated with high power magnetron sputtering. Though all materials are enhanced in quality, the benefits of the system are most clearly demonstrated in the deposition of dielectric and magnetic materials. The additional capability to use the plasma to assist the thin film growth process also improves material densification and allows control of materials morphology, stress and adhesion. The combination of high sputter rate, materials quality, and properties 'tuning' thereby opens up new materials systems possibilities, particularly relevant to flexible electronics and many other associated applications and processes.
- The Plasma Quest linear target system, which is currently in advanced stages of development, possesses all the advantages of HiTUS technology plus the possibility of coating large substrates up to and in excess of 50/60 cm.
- The Plasma Quest linear target enables the development of a large area linear process with the same advantages as HiTUS for roll-to-roll or in-line processes.
In summary:
Plasma Quest Limited's technology brings thin film deposition processes to the marketplace which eradicate the sputtering problems associated with magnetron, namely;
- Irregular process and deposition results (uniformity/roughness)
- Poor target utilisation (increases the cost of deposition)
- Difficulty in maintaining stoichiometry from compound targets
- Inability to sputter from thick ferromagnetic targets
- Complex methodology for control of reactive sputtering
- Difficulty in sputtering onto heat sensitive organic substrates
- Low deposition rate
Plasma Quest Limited's technology brings:
- High Target Utilisation Sputtering, HiTUS: > 90% compared to <40 % for magnetron sputtering. No racetrack.
- Much faster deposition rates (up to 10 times), especially for reactively sputtered dielectrics
- Reactive sputtering process simply controlled - no feedback system required
- Higher coating precision
- Better control of film characteristics, with properties close to bulk
- Better smoothness control, which currently can only be achieved through expensive, generally slower rate, technology
- High levels of repeatability and reproducibility
- Higher production speed (cost per unit of production considerably reduced)
- Possibility of in-line and roll to roll production line with multi-layer deposition
- Stress is readily controllable, from compressive to tensile, with zero stress in between.
- Low temperature process enabling deposition onto organic substrates
- Our technology can be easily integrated into many existing magnetron sputtering set-ups.
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