Thin Film Coating Systems

Magnetron sputtering is a highly versatile technology for thin film deposition. Running at typical pressures in the 5×10-3 mbar range and using Ar gas, it employs a glow discharge or plasma generated by a purpose-made high negative-voltage power supply to generate gas ions which bombard the surface of a ‘target’ of the coating material. Material is then \’sputtered\’ from the target due to the impact of the Ar ions.  

Sputter deposition can be carried out using DC power supplies for metals and RF power supplies which can sputter metals and insulating targets such as silica. Although more expensive, RF sputtering can be used to deposit almost any material.

Ar is used as the process gas because it is inert and relatively inexpensive, but gases such as O2 and N2 can be introduced to deliberately react with the sputtered material to deposit oxides and nitrides for example. Additional techniques include pulsed DC sputtering for specific applications.

HHV offers a full range of circular and linear magnetron sputter sources which are engineered to meet specific and stringent R&D and production requirements. It uses well proven designs providing ease of use, with excellent target utilization, deposited film uniformity and reliability.


BT150 and BT300 Bench Top Coaters

The new HHV BT150 and BT300 are compact and economical bench top coating systems designed to suit the needs of electron microscopists and researchers.

Both systems are designed for ease of use and feature a full-colour, menu-driven, touch-screen control system for fully-automatic control. The control system can store up to 30 different process recipes for easy recall and can output process data to a separate device for storage. In addition to EM applications, BT-series can also be configured for metals sputtering and metals evaporation for researchers.BT-series systems can sputter non-noble metals such as aluminium where the turbo pump option is fitted.

BT150 for SEM and TEM sample prep

BT150 has a 165mm diameter x 150mm tall borosilicate glass chamber and is configured for SEM and TEM sample preparation. Options include:-

• Dual DC sputter sources for sequential metal sputter deposition on samples up to 150mm diameter 
• Triple DC sputter sources for metal deposition on samples up to 200mm diameter 
• 100mm and 150mm diameter rotary substrate stages, 200mm diameter planetary stage 
• Choice of rotary pump, dry scroll pump and turbo pumping systems 
• Extended chamber height options

All BT300 systems are fitted with a standard integrated source shutter.

Wide range of sample stages

BT-series features a wide range of sample stages. The static stage for SEM stubs features water cooling to provide protection against specimen heating, and includes a sputter etching and cleaning facility. Use of the etching facility can improve the image contrast of some specimens, and non-delicate specimens can be cleaned by removal of adsorbed water to improve film adhesion. BT150 stage options include rotary and planetary designs for SEM stubs and rotary options for substrates up to 4” / 100mm. In addition to these the BT300 also features rotary and planetary stages for substrates up to 8” / 200mm diameter for research applications.

Glow discharge cleaning

BT-series has the option of a glow-discharge system for TEM work. Glow discharge process converts the surface of a carbon support film from hydrophobic to hydrophilic properties.

Integrated film thickness monitoring

BT-series includes the option of a fully-integrated film thickness monitor system. The system is integrated into the touch-screen controller and provides control of the thickness of sputtered films.

Easy target change

BT150 and BT300 use easy-to-change targets to allow specimens to be coated with different materials where required. Systems with rotary pump can sputter noble metals including Au, Au/Pd, Pt and Cu. Adding the optional turbo pump allows both systems to sputter oxidising metals such as Al for research applications.

Vacuum pumping options

The systems can be specified with a two-stage rotary pump for ‘everyday’ operation with carbon and noble metals. The turbo pump option provides additional vacuum performance those users requiring true high vacuum conditions. Sputter systems can sputter non-noble metals such as Al where the turbo pump option is specified.

BT-series can be specified with a dry-running scroll pump where oil-free vacuum is required.

Comprehensive safety and certification

BT150 and BT300 are provided with comprehensive safety systems and interlocks to provide protection for the user.

BT150 and BT300 are CE marked. UL-certification can be provided.

Ease of operation 
Full colour, high resolution, touch screen control system 
Recipe storage and editing for up to 30 processes 
Process data output to mass storage device or PC 
Optional integrated film thickness monitoring system 

Complete range of deposition techniques 
Carbon fibre and carbon rod techniques for TEM 
Glow discharge accessory for hydrophilic surface modification of carbon films for TEM 
Noble metals sputtering techniques for SEMS 
putter deposition of metals such as aluminium for R&D (requires turbo pump option) 
Resistance source option for metals deposition for EM and R&D 
Automatic shutter options 

Versatility for the researcher and the electron microscopist

The HHV Auto306 is a versatile and compact coating system which has been developed to meet the demands of the researcher and electron microscopist. With its full range of vacuum systems, chamber and modular process accessories the Auto306 offers a range of techniques to complement the modern laboratory.Auto306 is available with glass bell jar and glass cylinder chamber options. Also available is the versatile FL400 front-loading box chamber which provides additional height and width for the fitting of extra process accessories.

Customers can specify from a wide range of modular process accessories which include thermal resistance sources and power supplies, the 3kW EB3 electron beam source, source shutters, work holders and film thickness monitors.The vacuum system is controlled and monitored by a rugged PLC with touch screen for easy operation. Pumping options include diffusion, turbo and cryo pumps with oil-sealed or dry scroll backing pumps. An integrated high vacuum valve with backup battery protects pumps and samples.

Features n benefits

Touch screen PLC control of vacuum chamber for easy operation
Choice of deposition sources and power supplies
Range of work holders
Range of vacuum chambers to suit applications
Intelligent high vacuum valve protects  the pumps and samples
Compact unit minimizes space requirements
No compressed air required

The multi-purpose deposition system for Research & Development

Auto500 is a versatile front-loading coating system with box chamber for research & development or pre-production applications. The chamber accommodates large diameter substrates and allows a range of resistance evaporation, electron beam and sputter processes to be performed without breaking vacuum.The front-loading chamber is mounted on a pedestal which also houses the vacuum system. A rugged PLC is used to control the vacuum while a full-height 19” equipment rack places the PLC screen and process accessory controls within easy reach of the operator.

The Auto500 can be configured with a single source or for multiple sources of different types to provide the user with great flexibility. The system can be upgraded with more or different accessories as requirements change.The range of deposition sources is complemented by a range of work holders which provide for sample rotation, high-temperature heating and substrate bias.A range of diffusion, turbo-molecular and cryo pumps is available to suit the widest range of requirements. Auto500 is also available with dry pumps for oil-free vacuum.


Anti-reflective coatings
Organics/polymers & OLEDs
Photonics research
Compound semiconductors
Solar cells

TF500, TF600, TF800 Box Coaters Versatile box coaters with ion beam capability

The HHV TF500, TF600 and TF800 are developed for enhanced levels of process capability. A choice of chamber sizes and accessories, deposition techniques, work holders, load locks and pumping options allow the system to be configured to your exact needs. TF500 allows multiple sources to be accommodated while TF600 and TF800 add the benefits of ion beam processing. All systems are available with load lock options.The range of process accessories includes resistance sources and electron beam sources, plus RF and DC sputter sources. Ion source options include RF and DC variants with narrow-beam for etch and broad-beam for surface modification.
Both systems are fitted with stainless steel chambers which have the high vacuum pump mounted on the rear. The top plate and bottom plates are designed specifically to give the optimum arrangement for each customer and can simultaneously accommodate resistance, e-beam and sputter sources. Dedicated sputter systems can be configured for upward or downward deposition.Control options include a PLC-controlled vacuum system and manually-operated process accessories for simplicity, or a PC-based system which provides users with advanced functions such as recipe control and data logging. Pumping options include scroll pumps, dry turbo pumps and cryo pumps.



Turbo pumps: 450 l/s mag-lev turbo, 500 l/s conventional turbo
Cryo pumps: 1500 l/s cryo pump
Backing / roughing: Rotary pump or dry scroll pump
Ultimate vacuum (typical for 500mm chamber): <5 x 10-7 mbar

TF600 and TF800

Turbo pumps: 1000 l/s to 2200 l/s mag-lev turbo
Cryo pumps: 1500 l/s or 3500 l/s cryo pump
Backing / roughing: Dry scroll pump
Ultimate vacuum (typical for 500mm x 600mm tall chamber): <5 x 10-7 mbar
Ion source: Industry standard broad beam or narrow beam, RF or DC operation

ID500, ID750 Forensic Coaters Forensic coating systems

The original metal deposition systems for fingerprint development

Now built by HHV, the ID500 and ID750 forensic coaters are used for the detection of fingerprints using the Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) technique developed by the UK Home Office and Edwards in the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed the original UK Home Office specification for 600mm and later 750mm VMD systems was written around that early work. ID500 and ID750 systems are the latest developments of the Edwards originals and are now supplied and supported by HHV Ltd. ID750 is a full-size system designed for national or regional forensic labs. The high-throughput vacuum system with water vapour cryo pump provides short cycle time and allows rapid processing of evidence. ID500 is a smaller unit designed for local agencies or where budget constraints apply.

On both systems, operation of the vacuum system and the water vapour cryo pump (standard on ID750) is managed by a rugged industrial PLC and touch-screen. Operation of the deposition sources uses traditional controls to maximise flexibility while chamber lighting provides the operator with a clear view of the process. Both systems are supplied with enamelled work holders fur use with magnetic or wire attachment of evidence. ID750 has a standard rotary drive for cylindrical evidence, which is optionally available on ID500.


CT150 PECVD ToolCluster PECVD tool for R&D

CT150 is a cluster tool for the deposition of silicon layer for thin film & Hetro-junction Intrinsic Thin layer (HIT) solar cells, metals, metal oxides, metal nitrides, dielectrics, and other materials for nanotechnology applications. CT150 has four process chambers for different PECVD & PVD processes. Substrate handling is provided by magnetically-coupled transfer arms with options for automation.Deposition of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon based doped, un-doped, and its alloy materials. Individual process chamber connected to central transfer / isolation chamber along with entry / exit load lock connected to transfer chamber.

 Substrate transfer : magnetic arm or robot

 Substrate size up to 300 mm x 300 mm 

 Horizontal deposition

 Semi / fully automatic

 Power source : VHF / RF

 Substrate temperature up to 250 deg C

ION-ETCH 150 RIE Tool 

RIE For Nano Fabrications

The HHV ION-ETCH 150 Reactive Ion Etching system is a compact system for use in nanofabrication technology applications. The capacitively-coupled plasma reactor is configured for the etching of silicon based materials, compound semiconductors, dielectrics, sputtered metal films, polymer and other materials. The 300 mm chamber can take substrates up to 6” diameter and incorporates a gas shower head for uniform process gas distribution. The system is computer controlled and has a turbo pumping system to provide base vacuum. An optional wet-type dynamic oxidation abatement system facilitates neutralisation of the process gases. 

  • 300 mm chamber accommodates up to 6” diameter wafer substrate  
  • Adjustable source to shower head distance for optimal process gas distribution
  • 13.56 MHz plasma power supply
  • Automated with PC control and turbo pumping system
  • Integrated exhaust abatement system

Astronomical Telescope Mirror Sputter Coater

Astronomical telescope mirror sputter coater

HHV has supplied a number of telescope mirror coaters to observatories in India in recent years, and has also recently completed an export order from a customer in Russia for a large sputter coater to deposit single or multi-layer coatings on an astronomical telescope mirror of 2.55 metre diameter and a weight of 3 tonnes. 
Telescope mirror coating .This sputter coater  ( shown in photo) has a process chamber comprising two torispherical halves size of 3.1m diameter and 1.5 m height.  During opening of the chamber the upper half is lifted and moved away from the lower part of chamber horizontally using a system of rails and a high-output motor drive. The inner chamber surfaces are suitably polished for low out gassing rates.

Three HHV 20kW water cooled rectangular magnetron sources hold Aluminum targets of size 180 mm x 1000 mm. The magnetrons are designed so the magnets are isolated from the cooling water. The magnetrons are supported in the upper chamber with mechanisms to adjust the distance and angle for downward deposition onto the telescope mirror. The SiO2 based protective layer for both Al and Ag coating is deposited using ion assisted reactive sputtering of a high purity silicon target using a pulsed DC power source.

The 3 tonne mirror is supported in the lower part of the chamber on a centrally-mounted rotary hub. Arms from the central hub lead to three 9-point kinematic supports with soft pads on which the mirror rests during the re-coating process. The location of these supports is critical since they have to take the weight of the mirror. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is used to determine the optimal position of the mirror supports.A cryo pump based vacuum system with roots and dry pumps facilitates to evacuate the process chamber to a vacuum level of 5x 10-6 mbar. A mass flow control system admits process gas into the chamber with a flow rate of 1 to 500 sccm. Sensors are provided to monitor the coating thickness, reflectivity and uniformity and the entire system including vacuum and deposition process is controlled automatically by a SCADA-based control system.

The system was supplied with a separate pre-cleaning chamber fabricated out of corrosion free materials. The chamber has a whiffle tree mirror mount to hold the various sizes of telescope mirror during manual cleaning operations to remove the previous reflective films without damaging the substrate with HCl, HNO3 and distilled water.Exporting a well engineered, complex sputter coater for precise multi layer metal coating with protective layer coating on a heavy weight, large surface telescope mirror with proven processes perfectly illustrates the capabilities of the HHV Company.


System specifications

Chamber size :  Customized  

Sputter source : 3 x 1000 mm magnetron source 

Ion sources : 1 x 1000 mm linear ion source

Pump type  : Cryo pump based vacuum system

Vacuum    :  5 x 10-6 mbar

Coating specifications

Reflection coefficient value (Al+Sio2)
Muti-layer Aluminum based coating
0, 32 – 0, 38 µm    :    > 80%
0, 38 – 0, 78 µm    :       85% 
1, 00 – 2, 50 µm    :    > 90%

Muti-layer Silver based coating (NiCr +Ag+Sio2)
                0, 38 – 0, 78 µm    :       >94% 
                1, 00 – 2, 50 µm    :      < 94%

Total coating thickness on the reflecting surface is     < 350 nm 
Thickness variation of the coatings is         < 5%.

Thin film systems for electronic device production

BC 500 Rotary Box Coating System


Magnetron sputtering system
HHV’s magnetron sputtering system has been engineered for the mass production of electronic components such as electrical contacts, connectors, relays, thick film resistors, reed switches and sensors.The system has been design to deposit rare materials like Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), Rhodium (Rh), Gold (Au) and Silver (Ag) to produce highly efficient, uniform thin films for even the most complex applications. Comprehensive SCADA-based vacuum and process control automation provides repeatable run-to-run operation. Process recipe selection is provided and the system can send out SMS messages in the event of needing attention. A cryo-based pumping system enables an ultimate vacuum of < 5x 10-7 mbar in the chamber.

System description 
The sputtering tool is fitted with a cylindrical process chamber of 500mm diameter x 700mm height. The cylindrical drum-type substrate holder can accommodate up to several thousand substrates, depending on size. The cylinder is fitted vertically and is driven by a DC drive mechanism with variable rotation speed from 1 to 20 rpm which enables uniform deposition of materials on the substrates. An HHV water-isolated magnetron sputter source is fitted. The sputter target has dimensions of 145 mm x 550 mm and the source is designed for target utilization of greater than 60%. The source is optimally positioned for uniform deposition of material onto the rotating substrate holder.The source can be powered with 10 kW DC or Pulsed DC to suit the target and the required quality of the deposited films. A mass flow control system is integrated to provide the required process gases.



Versatile design to deposit range of rare materials

Front loading chamber

Touch screen computer control

Easy to load and unload

Fast cycle time


Substrate holder size : 320 mm diameter x 650 mm height

Sputter target size : 145 mm diameter x 550 mm height

Ultimate vacuum : 5 x 10-7 mbar