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Rotating Cylindrical Sputter Hardware Solutions

Post Time:Jun 13,2008Classify:Glass QuotationView:486

High Performing, Flexible and Comprehensive Rotating Cylindrical Sputter
Hardware Solutions

Abstract

The main applications for large area glass coatings can be found in the architectural, automotive, display and PV industry (architectural and automotive being the more mature businesses while display and PV are fast growing new segments). In all of these application fields, there is a strong evolution towards customization. In order for the customer to be able to produce his own unique product, application specific set-up and process tuning are key. The starting points to effectuate this process are well chosen and fit for use of hardware components at each position in the coater.

Bekaert developed a series of flexible and high performing sputter hardware components for rotating cylindrical magnetron applications. With these key components a customized and complete sputter solution can be worked out in close collaboration with the customer. Whether it concerns an existing coater in an upgrade/rebuild project or a new coater in a green field project, maximum flexibility can be offered for implementing all critical components needed for sustaining a controlled process to realize high end products.

It is the scope of this paper to put this comprehensive and solution oriented approach into perspective of current evolutions in the coater business and present new and advanced sputter hardware components.

Introduction

Vacuum coating by sputtering has established a leading position for the deposition of thin films because of its relatively easy scalability to high volumes and sizes, its good control of most layer characteristics and its wide variety of available materials and possible coating stacks for realizing all sorts of applications. These advantages have established sputter deposition as the preferred technique for the deposition of high quality thin films on large area substrates.

Within the large area coating business the rotating cylindrical magnetron concept has proven to offer superior properties relative to the planar concept and to satisfy most of the industrial requirements. Especially in architectural and automotive industry this technology is commonly accepted as state-of-the-art. In display and PV applications however, the use of rotatable technology is introduced more recently. The geometry and sputter performance of rotating cylindrical sputter targets result in several advantages relative to planar sputter targets, such as:

  • a larger useful target material inventory and increased target material utilization, leading to reduced machine down-time
  • an increased process stability for reactive depositions (drastically reduced arc sensitivity)
  • an enhanced target cooling leading to the ability to use higher power density and thus obtaining a higher deposition rate
  • a more focused ejection of particles
  • an enhanced anode functionality during AC sputtering.

In order to accommodate the stringent demands of the cutting edge products in these different industries (architectural, automotive, display and PV) and in order to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage, coater customization has become crucial. In this paper, customized hardware solutions for rotating cylindrical magnetron applications are presented, including each of the critical components needed for sustaining a controlled process. With these key components, a customized solution can be worked out in close collaboration with the customer. On the other hand, this customization goes far beyond the level of integrating hardware. Whether it concerns an existing coater in an upgrade/rebuild project or a new coater in a green field project, maximum flexibility can be offered for building in all critical components needed for sustaining a controlled process and end-product. In the next sections a total solution approach is offered, emphasizing this customization aspect.

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Source: Bekaert Advanced Coatings N.V.Author: admin

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