Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) is a thin film deposition technique that is used to deposit materials onto substrates with minimal setup. A base system consists of a target manipulator and a substrate carrier which is mounted in a vacuum chamber. An excimer laser is used to energize the surface of a target to produce a deposition plume. The plume is typically directed towards the substrate where a thin-film is deposited. Since each shot of the laser is directly related to the amount of material ablated, the deposition rate can be calibrated and controlled very precisely.
Schematic of Typical PLD Process
The individual components of NBM Design’s PLD systems are designed with versatility in mind. Typical components found in a PLD system include a target manipulator, substrate heater, and vacuum chamber. Each component can be configured to meet almost any chamber geometry. In addition, our components can be delivered with automation packages for full computerized control.
NBM Design’s PLD systems grant the researcher the ability to perform quick experiments of material combinations to assist in determining the optimum performance characteristics of the deposited thin films. The NBM Design system is designed to be rugged and reliable, offering consistent and reproducible performance.
Reflection High Energy Electron Diffraction (RHEED) systems can be installed into PLD systems for deposition monitoring. Typically, RHEED is performed at very low pressures. A special apparatus is employed that allows the electron gun to be differentially pumped, allowing it to be used in the high partial pressures typical for PLD. Using this technique, vital lattice information can be gathered in real-time, giving the user in-depth information about the film quality.
At NBM Design, we will work with you to customize a complete solution that integrates RHEED components with the pumping stacks, support structures, and installation services required to meet your specific needs.
We offer many target manipulator configurations which have single or multiple targets and simple rotation to laser-synchronized movement via our Recipe Builder. Each of our targets is secured in a spring-loaded holder that allows the target to be resurfaced and mounted in the same position without further position verification. A cross-deposition shield is included in most of the configurations to help avoid deposition from neighboring materials.
Rotating Substrate Heaters have been our specialty since we began delivering PLD systems. Like our target manipulators, our heaters are constructed using high-quality components for very reliable service. The maximum temperature that the heater can reach is 1200°C, the highest available for use in oxygen. A load-lock can be integrated into the system to allow for sample transfer without breaking vacuum and the modular design of our heaters enables specific customizations to meet certain requirements and allow for easy integration with load-lock equipment.
Complete PLD RHEED Systems
NBM Design’s core focus is on the design and manufacturing of standard and custom laser deposition systems for researchers, material scientists, and process engineers.
Our fully-integrated PLD-RHEED systems include:
- Multiple target selection with individual control of target dynamics.
- Flexible chamber design with full accessibility to internal components.
- 1200°C rotating substrate heater with X, Y, and Z adjustability.
Additionally, we can provide a complete lab setup which includes a laser, laser support, gas cabinet, and optics set up. We can also provide any additional accessories necessary to complete a functional PLD lab.