- The Laser MBE solution that grows: Start with a PLD chamber and a load lock, add more modules later!
- UHV PLD deposition chamber, UHV transfer of substrates and targets via load-lock
- Modular concept: Easy upgrade to central transfer module and additional modules
- Advanced process automation, perfect also for supperlattice deposition
- Oxygen resistant substrate heater with advanced temperature measurement, 1000°C
- Laser heating of substrate optionally available
- Flexible advanced target manipulator with cross-contamination shielding and target carousel transfer
- Vacuum chamber prepared for system upgrades (RHEED, plasma sources, OES/FTIR,…)
- SURFACE Fluence Control option, for 100% reproducible results
- Fully enclosed beam line for hassle-free, safe operation
- Turn-key delivery
- Advanced online support via internet
The PLD/Laser MBE Chamber
The SURFACE PLD/Laser MBE chamber is designed for research and provides all the features needed for advanced Laser MBE:
- UHV transfer of substrates and PLD targets
- cool wall design prevents outgasing from chamber walls over deposition time
- windows and ports for in-situ analysis: RHEED, OES or FTIR, mass spectroscopy
- ports for additional deposition or plasma sources
- advanced SURFACE substrate heater or laser heater
- target manipulator holding a carousel with up to five 1" diameter PLD targets
In addition, two mass flow controller channels for process gas supply into the chamber are standard. They enable automated control of the process atmosphere and pressure.
By the design of the target manipulator in connection with the control software, cone formation on the target surface is avoided and even wear of the target is guaranteed. The laser beam will hit each spot of the target under two different incidence angles, so cones affecting the stoichiometry of the ablated material cannot form.
To achieve even target wear, two different modes of target movement during deposition are available:
- Toggling: The target carousel moves back and forth in a continuous motion so that the laser beam hits the target at any radius from the target center. This mode is easy to set up, only the target diameter needs to be known.
- Scanning: The target carousel is moved so that the laser beam “writes” defined tracks on the target. Target rotation speed and track spacing are adjusted to match the laser spot size and repetition rate. This achieves a very even wear of the target surface.
The system can be equipped with SURFACE substrate manipulators/heaters for 1000°C maximum substrate temperature and 1" substrate diameter (other sizes upon request). Optionally, laser substrate heaters are available for selective heating of films and rapid heating/cooling rates. All substrate manipulators include a front shutter to protect the sample while no deposition is running. The substrate manipulators are optimized for in-situ RHEED (reflective high-energy electron diffraction): They allow for ±120° of substrate rotation, ±3° of tilt, and height adjustment to optimize the substrate position relative to the electron beam.
SURFACE also offers a high pressure RHEED system, enabling in-situ monitoring of film growth and quality.
If more throughput is required, several PLD/Laser MBE chambers can be combined into one cluster module, sharing one laser. An extended beamline with automated mirrors then guides the laser beam to the required chamber. A laser server computer controls the laser and the beam lines automatically based on a request table, and deposition processes in the PLD chambers are delayed until the laser is available for the particular chamber.
SURFACE Fluence Control
Optionally, the Laser MBE can be equipped with SURFACE Fluence Control. This feature greatly enhances reproducability of film depositions: Before each deposition step, the laser fluence is automatically calibrated and the pulse energy adjusted to maintain constant deposition conditions over time. For calibration, the target carousel is moved to a position that enables the laser beam to exit the chamber through a window opposite of the laser entrance window. An automatic safety shutter is opened, and a power meter can measure the pulse energy. This design ensures that the only additional optical component in the beam path during the measurement is the exit window. Normally this window is protected by the safety shutter and will stay clean for a long time. In this way, the true pulse energy arriving at the target can reliably be determined.
The Load Lock
The load lock chamber provides loading capabilities for substrates and PLD targets. It is pumped by a standard turbomolecular pump. Up to five samples and two target carousels can be loaded at the same time.
The SURFACE Laser Star Laser MBE/PLD module is highly automated to control the whole deposition process. This ensures easy operation of the system. The PlumeMaster software is based on the proven Windows XP Professional operating system. Several process steps with individual settings can be combined into one deposition program. Intuitive process visualization, highly flexible data logging with data export, and self-test capability are additional features.
The supplied software also includes SURFWARE – the advanced customer support tool from SURFACE:
- Fast contact to the SURFACE support group
- Audiovisual support by SURFACE support engineers via internet (TCP/IP) and the integrated webcam
- The support engineer can remotely control the system while maintaining audiovisual contact
- Easy troubleshooting of hardware problems as well as customer issues with process programming
- Automated software update procedure via internet
Upgrade to a Cluster System
The Laser MBE system can easily be upgraded to a fully featured cluster tool. For the upgrade, the load lock and the PLD chamber are separated, and the central cluster transfer module is inserted between them. The modular design and wheeled support frames for each cluster module facilitate the whole process. This hassle-free upgrade path lets the system grow with your needs and your budget!