Sci-Tech Expert – Science & Technology News, Reviews and Articles

An Introduction Into How Sputtering Systems Function

September 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Sputtering is a common deposition technique that is continuously used in a variety of industries.

silicon-waferSputtering is a type of technique that is used to deposit thin films of a material onto a surface – or substrate. By first making a vaporous plasma and afterward quickening the particles from this plasma into some source material, the source material is dissolved by the arriving particles by means of vitality exchange and is shot out as impartial particles – either singular atoms, bunches of particles or atoms.

As these nonpartisan particles are launched out they will go in a straight line unless they come into contact with something – different particles or an adjacent surface. In the event that a substrate, for example, a Si wafer, is set in the way of these launched out particles it will be turned into a film of the source material.

In spite of the fact that sputtering as portrayed above appears to be moderately instinctive, acquaintance with the accompanying terms will provide a much better comprehensive understanding of how sputtering and sputtering systems function.

The Rundown of Deposition

Now and again depicted as the fourth state of matter – with the initial three being solid, liquid, and a gas, a vaporous plasma is really a “dynamic condition” where nonpartisan gas atoms, particles, electrons and photons exist in a close adjusted state all the while. A vitality source is also required to nourish and subsequently keep up the plasma state while the plasma is losing vitality into its environment. One can make this dynamic condition by metering a gas, like argon, into a vacuum metalizing chamber and permitting the chamber weight to achieve a particular level and bringing a live anode into this low weight gas environment utilizing a vacuum feed-through.

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How to Enhance the Sputtering Process

August 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

beam-splitterSputtering can be enhanced in a variety of ways.

With so many different deposition methods available today, the market has become somewhat saturated. Furthermore, because of the rapid advancement in technology, there are new ways to optimize material deposition, therefore expanding the industry in even more ways. Now, one of the most common deposition processes comes from what is known as sputtering. A sputter deposition system is efficient, quick, and is know for its high quality output. Here is a breakdown on how one can enhance the production of this process.

Process Breakdown

There are numerous ways that you can enhance the process of sputtering. One of the most common ways to do this is to use what is known as a magnetron sputtering system or an ion beam sputter deposition. The main difference between this and a basic sputtering system is that a magnetic field is being utilized near the target area. This field causes the electrons to travel and spiral along flu lines near the target rather than it being attracted towards the substrate. One of the advantages of this is that the plasma is “stuck” to an area near the target, without causing any damage to the thin film that is being formed. Remember, electrons will travel for a longer distance which increases the possibility of further ionizing Argon atoms. This tends to create a stable plasma with a high density of ions. More ions means that there is going to be more ejected atoms from the target, which in turn will increase the efficiency of the entire sputtering process.

Denton Vacuum, LLC can help you with all your vacuum metalizing needs. For more information, visit them online today.

Three Uses for a Vacuum Coating System

February 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Certain manufacturing techniques are shaping the modern world, and the future to come. It would not be possible to produce the kind of technology we have today, at the scale in which we use it, without some kind of method to reduce waste and improve conditions for production. Sputter deposition, for instance, allows us a level of precision down to mere microns in thickness. This allows us to create powerful semiconductors at an extremely small scale, powering ever smaller devices used in a host of applications.

Vacuum coating systems have had a major impact on every major sector in American and worldwide manufacturing. Here are a few of those practical applications.


Anti-glare coating is not a simple spray, or else it would be washed or rubbed away as the user cleans his glasses. Instead, the lens is placed into a vacuum sealed chamber where anti-glare chemicals can evenly coat its surface. The transition is so seamless that the user doesn’t even notice the coating.

Catheters are just one of many internal medical devices that benefit from acqueous coatings. These chemicals make the surface of the instrument pliable within the user’s body, so she can comfortably wear a device without fear of irritating her skin or internal organs.

Anti-microbial coatings further stop infection and improve patient recovery times. These coatings are applied to all manner of instruments, and they kill of infections that find their way into someone’s body through healing wounds.


Vacuum metalizing is used heavily in the aerospace industry, and in the auto industry to a certain extent. Plastic has a higher availability than stronger metals, and it’s not always feasible to manufacture a part made entirely of metals. Instead, the plastic is used as a base for a metallic coating. This strengthens the plastic with the properties of the metal and reduces the costs to manufacture all sorts of parts.


Vacuum coating systems are primarily used in situations where controlling temperature is imperative. This is one reason why it’s so useful in metallization, where the intense heat needed to turn the metal into gas would completely destroy any plastic parts to be coated. Instead, the chamber is cooled to a specific temperature.

These systems also allow for extreme precision in the coating of an object. There are no physical defects visible, and layers of chemicals are so thin that the substrate remains virtually unchanged.

Types of Police Speed Traps

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The speed limit of a road is a complex calculation. Long stretches of open road might let drivers travel at 70-80 miles per hour, while denser populations require lower speeds. Public safety is the biggest contributor, but there isn’t a set of rules that define how speed is set. Cities might review points where accidents happen, or make decisions based on the environment (like a dual lane highway near a mountain).  Before the officer ever picks up a police radar gun, you should know the warning signs of a speed trap.

Speed Limit Signs

Probably the oldest form of speed trap, a speed limit sign tries to help drivers get acquainted with local limits. Speed limits come from a road conditions, traffic flow and the speed that will total the minimal cost to society. While not a speed trap in the traditional sense, it is a sign that drivers need to slow down when they approach one. Remember, you can be ticketed for driving too slow as well.

Radar Guns

Police radar guns are probably the most popular form of speed trap for drivers to be aware of on the highway. Often, a cop will park his or her car on the side of the road out of view and flip on a radar device. The gun is designed to read the speed of drivers coming towards it. When there is a shift in the frequency emitted by the gun, the officer knows whether you are speeding.

Speed Cameras

Speed cameras can be a more subtle method of trapping drivers going too fast. It’s perfect for those who have a hard time holding their tongue when they are stopped by police. A camera that is placed at the side of the road records the oncoming speed of vehicles, and speeding cars are caught in snapshots. The driver may not even realize he has been caught until he receives the ticket in the mail.

Speed Boards

Speed boards are similar to speed signs, in that they tell the driver what speed is sufficient for the road. The sign has built in radar or laser technology that looks at how quickly a driver is moving and blinks a warning at them to slow down. It’s a subtle reminder to drivers, confronting them with the actual speeds they are travelling in an effort to get them to slow.

Police say that there are no monthly speed trap quotas they must meet to keep their jobs, but the goal is to get drivers to slow down. Speeding tickets often don’t add much to the city’s coffers, but they do help keep people safe. Observe the rules of road, but know a speed trap when you see one.
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Portable Power Supplies for the Aviation Industry

January 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Are you in the market for a portable power supply for the aviation industry? The aviation industry heavily relies on portable starting units for a wide variety of applications. The industry needs reliable aircraft ground power units for repeated starts and maintenance functions, including maintenance support, and air, environmental, and electric systems. The aviation industry also needs dependable portable starting units for aircraft engine starting needs.

If you’re searching for a new ground power unit for the aviation industry, you might be overwhelmed by the many options available on the market. How do you know which unit to buy? What if you need a custom-built unit? The key is to find a lightweight, reliable system that can be easily carried on board the aircraft. Here’s a look at the top portable power starting units for the aviation industry.

Lithium Portable Starting Units

Lithium is a popular choice for battery packs. Lithium portable starting units for the aviation industry come in a variety of sizes, from packs designed for small to medium size turbine engines to units that offer power to all electrically-started turbine engines. It’s important to find the right size battery pack that offers the features you need. Start Pac offers a lithium ion starting unit that is a full 26VDC battery pack, featuring a built-in charger. The charger offers 4.0 amps output and can be recharged for nearly six hours. This unit can be used for aircraft such as the Phenom 100 and Eclipse 500.

Why Lithium?

There are many benefits to owning lithium portable starting units. Lithium batteries are 42 percent lighter and 32 percent smaller than lead-acid batteries. Lithium battery packs also last longer; they offer twice the battery life of lead-acid batteries. What’s more, lithium battery packs don’t have sulfaction issues, which means they can be discarded without damaging the battery plates.

Lead Acid Portable Starting Units

The aviation industry uses a wide variety of lead acid battery packs for repeated starts and maintenance functions. This type of battery packs are available in 24-volt or 28 volt battery pack devices and offer large battery capacities. Start Pac, for example, offers a model that features separate removable batteries that can be changed in seconds. The 1324-1QC can be used to start turbine or piston engines with up to 500 horsepower. This specific model offers a charge time of nearly four hours and gives two to three starts between charges. You can also find lead acid portable starting units in 24 volt power supply.


This feature article has been sponsored by Start Pac, a leading retailer of reliable and lightweight portable starting units, including lithium and lead-acid starting units for the aviation industry. Visit the website to purchase 28 volt power supplies.

The Different Sputtering Methods

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Vacuum sputtering systems are an outstanding solution for sensitive devices that need a light, but dense coating. Optical coating systems create a dense covering that doesn’t interfere with function. Material is heated inside a chamber at such high temperatures and pressures that it condenses into a diamond-like film that is only micron thick.

Industries that develop semiconductor systems, medical tools and optics have already taken advantage of what this modern technology has to offer. These products are protected from abrasion, heat and pressure, as the coating developed by sputtering is so hard. Magnetron sputtering, ion beam sputtering and reactive sputtering are three types of sputtering methods commonly used for such purposes.

Magnetron sputtering creates an electromagnetic field around the target. Gases such as argon fill the chamber and the product is electrically charged of either an AC or DC current. This sort of ionization catches rogue electrons in the electromagnetic field. Ultimately the density inside the chamber of the vacuum is so great that the particles start to interact with the gasses in ways they wouldn’t under normal circumstances. This creates a load of energized ions that are bombarded onto the target’s surface, creating the strong film coating desired from this process.

Ion beam sputtering has the ability to function without an electromagnetic field. Ions removed from the product interact with electrons from another source with an opposite charge. Neutral atoms are then bombarded on the target substance to either conduct or neutralize it.

Reactive sputtering procedures change how the gasses in the chamber react based on chemical changes. Changing the pressure in the chamber allows the particles to layer on the target material in different ways. This includes the thermal evaporation system.

Guest post is provided by Denton Vacuum, LLC. Find out more on our e-beam evaporation systems by visiting

Systems That Are Used to Create Medical Devices

August 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Guest post is provided by Denton Vacuum, LLC.  This company manufactures ultra-thin metallic and dielectric coatings which are then used in many different industries.  Many of these coatings are produced through processes such as ion beam sputter deposition.  Check out their website for more information.

The technology that’s used to produce vital medical devices continues to advance rapidly.  Precision vacuum technology is a very important piece of the puzzle.  With these rapid advancements and scientific developments, many lives are transforming all over the world.

Medical devices are defined as any instrument, implant, in vitro reagent and other apparatus that’s used for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a disease or that’s used in order to improve the function of a body part.  Some of these medical devices require a very specific process for that particular instrument.

For example, optical coating systems require a special process.  In order to create a lens or mirror which helps to alter the way an optic reflects and transmits light, specific coating is require.  Typically an antireflection coasting is used.  These devices are used in order to help a person’s eye sight.

Medical devices serve a wide range of functions and include many different types of tools.  Cochlear implants, microchips that monitor artificial joints, pacemakers, wheelchairs and imaging systems such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are all examples of popular medical devices.

There are various coating technologies that are used in the production of medical devices including magnetron sputtering, electron beam evaporation and thermal evaporation systems.  In order to create optics for example, PVD Thermal Evaporation is widely used.

All devices require a change from the semiconductor to a metal.  The metals need to be deposited and the best method for that is physical vapor deposition.  Some of the techniques within that category include evaporation, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition and electrochemical techniques.

Measuring the Quality of Your Sputter Deposition System

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Guest post provided by Denton Vacuum, LLC, distributing vacuum deposition systems for a variety of high heat and high pressure environments. Visit their website for more product details.

For a variety of applications, many industries are using the thermal evaporation system for optical thin films. This commonly used technique requires the use of vacuum sputtering system, a highly sensitive machine that allows for temperatures that match plasma levels of our sun. The high heat, high pressure chambers allow materials such as metal and carbon to melt into a vaporous gas, which is then condensed on a target material in the form of a thin film. Controlling the physical and optical properties of the film deposited is extremely important for quality control.

Knowing how to evaluate the effectiveness of how your sputter deposition system is depositing your films will help you control the outcomes of the procedure. Depending on what equipment you choose to use, you can measure the quality of the thin films deposited on your target material. The most common device used to measure the quality of a sputtering system is a recording spectrophotometer. Spectral measurements can be taken with this device on single coatings and some multilevel coatings to measure the optical properties of the film. This essentially means that those using the tool to measure the quality of a film can analyze how light passes through it.

Although certain tools can be used to measure reflection and transmission data to extract the optical properties of a single layer thin film material, the real world accuracy and precision of measured data is not as clear. Thin films do not display perfect homogeneity which can cause difficulty in analyzing results.

Proper Care and Operation for Sputtering Technology

June 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Guest post is provided by Denton Vacuum, LLC, providing e-beam evaporation systems for a variety of industry applications. View their website for more information.

The one thing that all the various types of sputtering methods, including Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), ion beam deposition, physical vapor deposition (PVD), and a thermal evaporation system have in common is they use air tight vacuum technology to complete their sputtering tasks. Without this air tight seal, the sputtering process would not work efficiently or safely. Impurities can make it through the slightest leak, weakening the results, or worse, causing damage to the machine and its sensitive components.

Keeping the machine clean inside and out is absolutely essential for proper operation. Operators, or anyone else who touches the machine, should be properly trained and certified so they know what simple actions have massive effects. For example, touching anything inside the machine or any materials that would be placed inside the machine with your bare hands makes a huge difference in how the machine will perform. The oils in human hands cause a grease build up that will weaken the product of the machine’s efforts. This impedes its performance for optical coating systems and other industry applications.

There are special ways to clean the machine, and simply wiping it down with a towel is not recommended whatsoever. The backing place, dark space shield, interior walls and other surfaces need to be impeccably cleaned with alumina impregnated sand paper, blasted glass or chemical baths. The target to be entered into the machine for sputtering should also be flawlessly clean to prevent those impurities that would compromise the results. A trained and knowledgeable technician knows all the proper ways to operate and care for a sputtering vacuum and their expertise can be relied upon.

How Android Universal Remote Controls Work

May 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Getting an Android universal remote control for tablets and phones is not always an easy task and can actually be quite difficult because there are a lot of devices to choose from that differ not only in price, but also in quality, such as how good they are made and how reliable, app user interface, like whether or not it has easy to use buttons and custom macros, and functionality, such as whether you can turn up the volume when you leave the room. Part of the problem with selecting a universal remote control system for your Android phone or tablet is that you cannot know which one is good for sure until you buy it so you might end up with a lemon.


Traditional URC’s

One big issue that remains from the era of traditional URC’s where the remote was a physical remote like the ones that come for free with your TV, cable box, and stereo, is that you need to set them up. Traditional remotes come with a code database that can control all existing devices but cannot usually control ones made after the remote was made. This means that the URC’s had to have the correct code or codes “beamed” from the default remote. They had no other way of updating their code database. Beaming codes can be a tedious process, since sometimes codes for individual buttons need to be beamed as well. This makes programming the remote annoying. Plus, the buttons were physical buttons so they could not be moved around. This also meant that you were out of luck if the original remote had a function that was not supported by the URC.

Touchscreen phone URC’s do not have the same problem because new codes can be downloaded to the phone and sent to the IR transmitter via WiFi. And you can still put in new codes like you could with old URC’s if the online database is not up to date. However, Android URC’s come in two flavors that offer different functionality and may be suitable for different users depending on the user’s tastes.

Two types of Android remotes

One of the flavors is a plug-in that goes into your Droid’s headphone jack or USB recharging slot and lets you point and aim your Android like a normal remote. These usually require the least set-up time as the two flavors but they have a lot of limitations, so you will probably want to forego this option if you plan on using your TV a lot, which you will if you’re buying a universal remote control.

The other flavor is using a WiFi bridge to connect your phone to an IR transmitter. That sounds complex, but good solutions come with self-contained units. They connect your Android with your existing WiFi network to the transmitter, which is always aimed at the TV so you don’t have trouble aiming your remote at your TV and can control it when you leave the room. Also, this lets you use any number of Android or iOS devices as remotes.

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