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Vacuum Deposition with Stable and Fast Gas Flow Control

  • Vacuum deposition requires fast control of gas flow to allow process efficiency during vacuum coating
  • The Bronkhorst FLEXI-FLOW offers a 150 msec response time without overshoot and a large dynamic flow rang from 0.5 mln/min up to 20 ln/min
  • High accuracy instrumentation with a fast response time allows the sputter system to quickly correct gas flow when it observes that the thickness or transparency is deviating

Vacuum Deposition by Reactive Sputtering

In vacuum deposition equipment, mass flow controllers are used for the supply of gases. Bronkhorst’s newest flexible gas flow controller, the FLEXI-FLOW Compact, is an excellent choice for vacuum deposition processes by reactive sputtering, due to its fast response. It reaches setpoints within 150 milliseconds. The flow controller has a large dynamic flow range suitable to control gas flows from 0.5 mln/min up to 20 ln/min, which largely accommodates for the requirements of reactive sputtering.


Vacuum deposition by reactive sputtering can be applied for computer screens

Reactive Sputtering for Vacuum Deposition Technology

In vacuum deposition technology, fast flow control is essential. Each second saves time, saves energy, resulting in a better efficiency of the deposition equipment. The gas flows need to be supplied with a large dynamic flow range, in a reproducible way and with long-term stability.

  • Fast response flow control
  • Reproducibility and long-term stability
  • Service-friendly
  • Robust device for demanding applications

Flow Instrumentation for Reactive Sputtering

The FLEXI-FLOW mass flow controller reaches 150 msec response time without overshoot. This way, we can meet the requirements of vacuum coating customers that need multi-channel flow solutions offering stable and fast flow control in combination with shut-off functionality.


Fast Response Flow Control

End-users of vacuum deposition equipment require a very fast responding gas supply system. They optimize process conditions like pressure and gas flow and monitor the result by measuring the coating thickness during the coating process. During the process, there should be a stable, controlled gas flow to keep the coating of the correct thickness and composition.

When the sputter system observes that the thickness or transparency is deviating, it corrects the deposition process by adjusting the gas flows. Therefore, a very fast flow control is desired with a response in the 150-millisecond range.

The FLEXI-FLOW mass flow controller can do this. In case there are variations in inlet pressure, the gas flow controller keeps the flow at the setpoint as responsive as possible. When there are changes in the reactor chamber, the flow controller receives a new setpoint. This way, fast response to new setpoints results in less waste and less rejected products.

Shut-off functionality

A shut-off valve can be integrated to minimize leakage to the vacuum chamber in the phase of vacuuming – especially useful in ultra-high vacuum reactors.

Large Dynamic Flow Range Instrumentation

The large dynamic flow range with a high turndown ratio of at least 1:1000 reduces the number of models and spare parts needed and improves the flexibility of the vacuum deposition equipment.

Flow Controller with Wide Interface Capability

Compact multi-channel solutions are available with interface of choice through a gateway, making use of industrial protocols like EtherCAT and Profinet. Data produced in this way can be used for predictive maintenance.

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