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Multi-technique thin film vacuum deposition systems, incorporating sputtering, e-beam, thermal evaporation, OLED, plasma cleaning

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Thermic Edge LTD.
30 Brunel Road,
St. Leonards on Sea,
East Sussex
TN38 9RT
+44(0)1424 850811

Mini Lab Multi Technique Thin Film Vacuum Deposition System


R&D pilot line box coater E Beam, Sputter and Thermal source, RIE options Turbo, cryo and diffusion pump options. Full range of sample tooling Large substrate capacity

The MiniLab is a new concept in vacuum deposition systems. It is an ideal tool for pilot line, R&D and academic teaching applications.

Created by an experienced team of designers with a background in UHV deposition technology, the MiniLab is a fully integrated mini box coater that achieves repeatable and professional results.

Problems associated with cramped multi— technique box coater systems have been overcome and miniaturised.

Because MiniLab was designed as a multi—technique system from the start, it is able to adapt to configurations that many larger coating units find impossible to attain.
With the maximum sample size at 370mm o/d MiniLab competes with major OEM system designs but at a fraction of the price. Sample change is rapid due to the simple quick release sample plate and boss arrangement.

Standard pumping is by way of a 500 lt/sec turbo molecular pump and dual stage rotary mechanical backing / roughing pump. An additional cryo panel can be mounted in front of the turbo if high gas loads are experienced.
Other pumping options (such as a dry scroll roughing pump) are available.

Most importantly, the Minilab is cost effective. The modular design concept allows for retrofit additions as and when the budget allows. The Minilab chamber readily accepts components from OEMs so the user is not forced into expensive proprietary purchases.

Techniques and control systems

The MiniLab can be configured for true multi— technique, multi—layer deposition processes making it ideal for small scale production and R&D prototyping.
A fully loaded system would, for example, include the following techniques:

a 4 pocket E-Beam source with water cooling;

HT and rotation device;

a 4 filament thermal source with discrete filament selection ( co—dep option);

a “flexihead” magnatron for sputtering;

a variable speed rotary sample stage 0-40 rpm;

sample heating; up to 300°C with Halogen lamps, or 1000°C with graphite element.

plasma cleaning / RIE EtchStik option;

box shielding;

sample shutter:

SQM—242 - a PC platform thin film process control system capable of co­deposition control.

EBE4 electron beam evaporator

A small footprint 4 pocket (3cc each) rotary hearth water cooled source with quick release emitter, permanent magnet focussing and beam sweep capability. There is a choice of solid state or variac type controls and PSU.

TE4 thermal (resistive) evaporator

4 boat / filament capability, water cooled base plate, removable shielding and co-deposition configurable. The TE4 is designed for all round capability and is an ideal entry level organic source.


For users wishing to perform reactive ion etch techniques without transferring to a dedicated RIE system, the EtchStik is a cost effective solution. 70mm aluminium electrode, variable height design, non water cooled, RF supply.

Sputter sources

The MiniLab accepts flexihead sources up to 4 inch diameter and fixed sources up to 7 inch diameter. The flexihead design allows for user defined area coverage and working distance giving greater control over the deposition rate and sample size. The source accepts DC, pulsed DC and HF supplies.

ARDK-8: Automated sample rotation kit variable speed motor, gearbox, controller, 10-60 rpm, Sample plate and boss.

ME1O: Mini e-beam evaporator for refractory metal wire samples — locates on side port. Cheapest e-beam retrofit on the market!

AS3000V: Small area dry etch / sample cleaning ion source. Variable 200eV - 3000eV beam energy.

SHC-300: Sample heater controller, digital timer, TC and set point, low hysterysis. 2 Zone.

Control and automation

Vacuum control is one button start / vent, whilst the Windows platform SQM­242 maintains programmable events and process sequencing for all automated deposition components and ancillaries.

Utilising the latest film monitor and control systems, the user is able to set multi—layer runs and control each step of the process and data log events for off line post analysis. The control system is supplied with off line software for setting up of film runs without the need to suffer down time. Up to 16 quartz crystal monitors and 4 discrete evaporation sources can be operated simultaneously.

Technical Specification

Chamber Material: all stainless steel 316
Finish: polished to mirror grade 8
System dimensions (mm): 1650x1120x650
Top plate ports: 3 of NW35CF
Side wall ports: 2 of NW35CF
Rear wall port: 1 of NW150CF
Front door port: 1 of NW63CF
Base port: 25 of NW25 0 ring sealed
Door: 12mm s/s with O ring seal
Door seal: 7mm viton in dovetail groove with 2 x thumb screw door retaining clamps
Bakeable: to 200°C
Leak tested: to better than 5 x 10e-9 mbar



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