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Choosing a Chamber

During the past 15 to 25 years, the equipment used to deposit optical thin film coatings has changed dramatically. This guide will explain how to pick the best chamber based on needed functions.

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Choosing a Chamber [1.95M]

 

Ion Bombardment Characteristics During Growth of Optical Films Using a Cold Cathode Ion Source

In the present work, the energy and flux of impinging ions are evaluated in the context of ion-assisted deposition of optical films and ion-induced modification of polymer surfaces for improved adhesion. The experiments were performed in a vacuum system equipped with a broad beam cold cathode ion source.

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Ion Bombardment Characteristics During Growth of Optical Films Using a Cold Cathode Ion Source [171K]

 

Bipolar Pulsed DC Sputtering of Optical Films

Bipolar pulsed DC sputtering is a new technique for high rate reactive deposition of dielectric oxides on diverse types of substrates. This effort reports on the application of Bipolar pulsed DC sputtering to generate single layer and multilayer oxide coatings on flat, curved, glass and plastic substrate surfaces. The optical (refractive index and extinction coefficient) and physical (durability and moisture stability) properties of Ta2O5 TiO2, ZrO2, Nb2O5, WO3, Al2O3 and SiO2 films and film stacks are presented.

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Bipolar Pulsed DC Sputtering of Optical Films [274K]

 

Ion-Assisted Deposition of E-Gun Evaporated ITO Films at Low Substrate Temperatures

ITO films have traditionally been deposited by sputtering on low temperature substrates and by evaporation on substrates heated to high temperatures. Recent work in our Application Laboratory using ion assisted deposition (IAD) at low substrate temperatures with a broad beam cold cathode ion source has resulted in ITO film properties comparable to non-IAD high temperature evaporation. This work reports the electrical and optical properties for ITO films deposited over a broad parameter space.

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Ion-Assisted Deposition of E-Gun Evaporated ITO Films at Low Substrate Temperatures [166K]

 

Stability and Repeatability of 2-Layer Anti-Reflection Coatings

The manufacture of a simple antireflection (AR) coating design can often prove to be more difficult than anticipated.  By changing to a different material system, we were able to use a different 2-layer design which is much less sensitive to these process variations and which improved the yield to 100%. The theoretical basis for this reduced sensitivity is given, together with confirming experimental results.

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Stability and Repeatability of 2-Layer Anti-Reflection Coatings [248K]

 

Thickness Distribution of Evaporated Films

The emission distribution characteristics of an evaporation source can be used to define the correct geometry in the vacuum chamber for the production of uniform-thickness coatings.

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Thickness Distribution of Evaporated Films [104K]

 

Dense Moisture Stable Titania and Silica Ion Assisted Deposited Films Deposited Using a Compact Cold Cathode Ion Source

The cold cathode ion source is a relatively mature device but has generally been regarded as having limited utility in applications requiring large area, uniform ion beams or improving the oxidation of reactive processes and increasing the refractive index of deposited films.

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Dense Moisture Stable Titania and Silica Ion Assisted Deposited Films Deposited Using a Compact Cold Cathode Ion Source. [165K]

 

Measurement and Correlation of Ion Beam Current Density to Moisture Stability of Oxide Film Stacks Fabricated by Cold Cathode Ion Assisted Deposition

Cold cathode ion sources, which are capable of continuous operation with 100% oxygen, have traditionally been used in a high current/low energy mode to assist in the fabrication of low absorption, high index oxide films. This work reports on the use of the cold cathode ion source at high energy levels to generate moisture stable thin film optical stacks.

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Measurement and Correlation of Ion Beam Current Density to Moisture Stability of Oxide Film Stacks Fabricated by Cold Cathode Ion Assisted Deposition. [1206K]

 

Optimizing Source Location For Control of Thickness Uniformity

For a substrate rack in single rotation it is theoretically possible to achieve perfect thickness uniformity simply by developing the correct mask profile for the emission characteristic of the evaporation source.

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Optimizing Source Location For Control of Thickness Uniformity [175K]

 

Why Ion Assisted Deposition (IAD)?

The use of energetic ions and radicals are preconditions to achieve films of good quality with reactive coating processes at room temperature and both also help to broaden the accessible parameter range in case of processes at elevated temperatures.

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Why Ion Assisted Deposition (IAD)? [56K]

 

Characterization of a Plasma Ion Source and of Ion Assisted Deposited Optical Thin Films

It is well known that IAD (ion assisted deposition) using a plasma source improves the optical and physical characteristics of optical thin films. There are many types of plasma sources. The broad beam CC-105 "cold cathode" plasma source is a small versatile ion source that is easily retrofitted into existing deposition chambers or new installations. This paper discusses characterization of the ion produced by the plasma source and the properties of thin films produced using the plasma source for IAD (ion assisted deposition).

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Characterization of a Plasma Ion Source and of Ion Assisted Deposited Optical Thin Films [161K]

 

X-1 Silver: A High Durability Silver Coating for use in Harsh Environments

Silver reflective coatings are attractive in optical systems because of their intrinsic high reflectance over a broad spectral range. Their use has been limited due to their tendency to tarnish when exposed to harsh operating environments. Denton has developed a silver coating with greatly increased durability as measured by its resistance to attack by salt fog and other standard environmental tests.

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X-1 Silver: A High Durability Silver Coating for use in Harsh Environments [18K]

 

The Effects of Pumping Speed on the Operation of a Cold Cathode Ion Source

A cold cathode ion source is a differentially pumped device with one end of the plasma chamber open to the vacuum environment of the coating system. Therefore, the operational parameters of the ion source and the quality of the films made using the ion source are affected by the parameters controlling the vacuum level. These include the pumping speed of the chamber, any leaks that may be present and the controlled flow of any gases into the chamber. The pumping speed of the chambers is the major factor not directly controllable that affects the quality of the films that can be made using the ion source. In this study we will present data on the operational parameters of a cold cathode ion source at different pumping speeds and the subsequent effect on the optical properties of TiO2 films.

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The Effects of Pumping Speed on the Operation of a Cold Cathode Ion Source [67K]

 

Characterizing Optical Thin Films (I)

Physical vapor deposition is the most common technique used to deposit optical thin films for a large variety of applications. This requires the ability to get a solid material into a vapor (gaseous) form, to transport it to a surface onto which the film is to be deposited, and to be able to control the physical and optical properties of the resultant film. Sputtering and evaporation in a vacuum are the prevalent techniques used to get solid materials into a vapor form. Regardless of the deposition technique used, it is necessary in the development of coating equipment and coating processes to have the ability to determine the physical and optical properties of the resultant films. There is a considerable range of equipment available to do this. However, all film Optical thin film manufacturers have to have the ability to measure the performance of finished devices. A recording spectrophotometer is the workhorse instrument to do this. Spectral measurements of single layer coatings and certain multi-layers structures can be used to extract optical properties of the films.

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Characterizing Optical Thin Films (I) [126K]

 

Characterizing Optical Thin Films (II)

This is a follow-up article to the first article (I), in which we developed the mathematical tools to determine the optical properties of optical thin film materials from the measured spectral data for a single layer coating. In the previous article, we also demonstrated that there was a very good correlation between the calculated optical properties and the design properties where the films were homogeneous and the precision of the data was very good, out to five decimal places. In the real world, we do not make homogeneous films (i.e., they all have at least a little bit of inhomogeneity) and our spectral measurements are not accurate to five decimal places. In this article, we will discuss the effects of inhomogeneity on the spectral performance of optical thin films, we will discuss techniques of making routine spectral measurements for characterization and we will demonstrate the results characterizing actual deposited thin film materials.

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Characterizing Optical Thin Films (II)[57K]

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N-Paper.xls [34K]

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Exp-Excel [10K]

 

Considerations and Examples for Determining Precision of Indirect Optical Monitoring

Optical monitoring is the control method of choice for precision optic manufacturers. Advances in control systems over the last decade have made available powerful and convenient components for ease in manufacturing of optical thin films. Never the less, the level of precision obtainable using these systems, is dependent upon other process choices made by the system manufacturer and the thin film engineer. In this paper we discuss these process choices and how they affect precision. Then, using a fully automated optical monitor system, we make a series of coatings where the process control parameters are varied to show the variation in the precision obtainable. Precision in this case will be determined by the computer stored monitor data, data observed by the technician during the deposition and the spectrally measured placement of the measured result.

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Considerations and Examples for Determining Precision of Indirect Optical Monitoring [151K]

 

Ion-assisted Deposition of Moisture Stable HfO2 Thin-films

This paper reports the process parameters used to make moisture stable HfO2, the optical properties of HfO2 in the UV-visible spectral region and gives an example of a moisture stable thin-film coating of a HfO2/SiO2 LWP filter.
©2001 Optical Society of America
OCIS codes: (160.4760) Optical properties; (310.3840) Materials and process characterization
HfO2 (hafnium oxide) is a common material used for manufacture of UV filters due to being transparent down to about 250nm. Also, it exhibits less sensitivity to moisture instability than many other thin-film materials. It is possible to make fully dense, moisture stable films using IAD (ion-assisted deposition). However, unlike many other oxides, it is necessary to use a mixture of argon and oxygen.

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Ion-assisted Deposition of Moisture Stable HfO2 Thin-films [30K]

 

The Characterization of TiNi Shape-Memory Actuated Microvalves

Reference: Materials Research Society Symposium Procedures, Volume 657 ©2001 - EE8.3
B.-K. Lai, G. Hahm*, L. You*, C.-L.Shih, H. Kahn, S. M. Phillips* and A. H. Heuer

Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, *Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7204Co-sputtering has been used to fabricate equiatomic thin films of TiNi, a shape memory alloy, which form the basis of microactuators with many applications in MEMS. The stress evolution of TiNi films will be described. The performance of the TiNi actuators has been characterized, with regards to actuation force, recoverable strain, time response, and fatigue resistance. The performance of microvalves using these actuators will also be presented.

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The Characterization of TiNi Shape-Memory Actuated Microvalves [120K]

 

Optical Monitoring of Thin-films Using Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

Reference: © 2002 Society of Vacuum Coaters 505/856-7188, 45th Annual Technical Conference Proceedings (2002) ISSN 0737-5921

Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE) offers a precise technique for measuring thin film properties. Advanced SE instrumentation has been demonstrated as an excellent technique for monitoring the growth of optical films for sputtering applications. We have recently extended this technique for PVD E-gun evaporated films. In this paper, we will show how an SE system was integrated into a standard optical coating system with an electron beam source and used for in situ film thickness monitoring of the growth of single layer films. During deposition of the films, the SE provided real time determination of the film thickness and refractive index. Additionally, the SE data was analyzed to study the homogeneity of the films. Finally, a model was developed for in situ control of multi-layer stacks and demonstrated for a 3-cavity 17-layer band pass filter.

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Optical Monitoring of Thin-films Using Spectroscopic Ellipsometry [261K]

 

Spectroellipsometric Characterization of Plasma-deposited Au/SiO2 Nanocomposite Films

Reference: ©2000 American Institute of Physics, Journal of Applied Physics Volume 87, Number 1, Jan. 1, 2000

Nanocomposite films consisting of metal nanoparticles embedded in a dielectric matrix were fabricated by simultaneous sputtering of a gold target and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of hydrogenated Si02. The optical constants of the films were determined from spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements and were modeled using the Maxwell-Gannett effective medium theory. The particle size dependence of the free electron absorption was included according to the limited electron mean free path effect using a broadening parameter A=0.16 determined from the comparison of the measured spectra with transmission electron microscopy micrographs. Using bulk interband optical constants or gold, very good agreement was obtained between the model and the measured spectra but only in the narrow particle size range ~10-20nm, the latter of which marks the onset of phase retardation effects. For smaller particles, the energy of the surface plasmon resonance was progressively blueshifted with respect to the predicted value. This was interpreted by a size dependence of the interband transitions as a result of strain-induced variation of the lattice constant within the particle.

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Spectroellipsometric Characterization of Plasma-deposited Au/SiO2 Nanocomposite Films [2.65MB
]

 

Substrate and Morphology Effects on Photoemission From Core-Levels in Gold Clusters

Reference: ©2001 Elsevier Science B.V., Surface Science 472 (2001) 33-40, All Rights Reserved

The combination of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of supported gold cluster on SiC02 reveals the importance of cluster morphology in determining core-electron binding energies. As-deposited films show a discontinuous dependence of the binding energy on gold content, associated with a transition from coagulated or partially coalesced cluster to isolated cluster. In contrast, annealed films exhibit a smooth increase in binding energy down to very low gold content. Comparison of the photoemission from annealed clusters deposited on and embedded in the insulating Si02, as well as clusters deposited on a conducting ITO substrate, was used to highlight the contributing factors that determine the core-electron binding energy and line-width, namely: (i) initial-state effects relating to the electronic structure, (ii) final-state effects relating to relaxation processes, and (iii) the cluster charge, including the influence of image charge screening.

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Substrate and Morphology Effects on Photoemission From Core-Levels in Gold Clusters
[2MB]

 

Design of Multi-Band Square Band Pass Filters

All dielectric band pass filters typically consist of all dielectric mirrors made up of quarter-wave optical thick layers and half-wave thick cavity layers. The cavity layers can also be thicker as long as they have multiple half-wave optical thickness. Filters with a single cavity layer will have a triangular shape. Filters with multiple cavity layers can have a square shape. In this paper we will discuss what happens when the cavity layers are made very thick, resulting in multiple pass bands within the quarter-wave stack rejection region.

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Design of Multi-Band Square Band Pass Filters [172KB]

 

Design and Development of Optical Coatings on Laser Bar Facets

There are a variety of optical coatings needed on laser bar facets to make them functional. There are also several different types of laser bar facet materials to be coated which complicates the problem a little bit. These coatings fall into three types; antireflection coatings, high reflectors and partial reflectors. A wide range of coating designs and materials to be used in the coatings has been studied.

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Design and Development of Optical Coatings on Laser Bar Facets
[412KB]

 

Plasma Deposition of Anti-reflective Coatings on Spherical Lenses

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) was used to fabricate multilayer anti-reflective coatings (ARCs) on spherical fiber couplers. Two and four-layer designs were applied for single and double-band ARCs centered at 1300 nm and 1550 nm, respectively. The systems consist of SiO2 as a low index material, and SiN1.3 or TiO2 as high index materials, obtained from different precursors (SiH4, SiCl4, and TiCl4). The deposition was controlled in-situ by single wavelength (632.8 nm) reflection monitoring. The optical and mechanical performance of the lenses was evaluated and related to the deposition conditions and the film microstructure.
©2001 Optical Society of America
OCIS codes: (310.6860) Thin films, optical properties; (310.1620) Coatings

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Plasma Deposition of Anti-reflective Coatings on Spherical Lenses [147KB]

 
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