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Thin Films

IJ Research uses an evaporation technique and sputtering systems for the thin film coating. The evaporation is being used for anti-reflection (AR) coating, a metallization such as Al, Ag, Ni or Cu on glass, ceramic or polymer. Our system is being used for a metallization on certain polymers even they outgas.

Most of typical sputtered coatings we apply over substrates are metallic, dielectric, resistive and some polymer. A thin film can be applied over almost any materials as long as the materials can be vacuum compatible, i.e., can be vacuum chamber friendly with no outgassing and can withstand the raised temperature up to approximately 400OC in hot plasma chamber. Since most of the thin film coating has a requirement of certain film adhesion strength, depending on the adhesion requirement, IJ Research chooses one appropriate adhesion layer material and selects what coating chamber to be used from a number of difference chambers we have. If we compare RF and DC Magnetron sputtering in terms of coating adhesion strength, DC will get you higher adhesion than RF. It is also generally faster in the processing. If RF needs to be used for any reason and yet there is a good demand of high strength, we may enhance the coating for higher adhesion strength through a secondary supporting processing after the sputtering is done.

Cleanroom:

One of the important steps for a “good” thin film coating is to clean the surface.

How cleaned substrate can be a barometer for a good coating. IJ Research has two cleanrooms and one of them has Class 100 equivalent cleanliness condition. A laser beam particle counter regularly checks out dust sizes and populations.

Crew members in the room clean the room, equipment, furniture, etc. whenever it shows more dust. This cleaning is an additional cleaning activity at IJ Research besides weekly cleanroom cleaning.

IJ Research applies thin films over glass, ceramic, sometime metal or polymer. A typical thickness we apply is in the range of a few hundred or a few thousand in Angstroms. In the same systems, we coat many of our glasses and sapphires for our brazing or sometime for soldering typically with no use of any flux.

For feed through, we thin film metallize ID as well as OD of the insulator and braze with a metal flange. For a window assembly, window cap assembly or opto-electronic

package, we metallize the OD of the window or lens for a subsequent brazing with a metal flange.

IJ Research metallizes edge of a sapphire window and then A/R coat on a C/A. Then, this window will be brazed in a metal housing of flange.

We routinely use Cr/Ni/Au, Ti-W/Ni/Au, Ti/Pt/Au any many others per customers’ requests. We also coat ceramic oxides. Of course, we sputter on oxides, nitrides and borides along with many others.