PHTN1432: Vacuum Systems and Thin Film Technology
(2020 Winter)


Vapour plume from our PVD-75 sputtering system

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Course Description

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of high vacuum systems as well as thin film deposition. Students will study the physical behaviour of gases and the technology of vacuum systems including system operation and design. Applications examined will include high-vacuum coating systems and gas laser tube filling where attention will be paid to issues of gas purity and sources of contamination. Thin film deposition technologies will also be covered including thermal evaporation and sputtering techniques. Application of these technologies in fabricating optical coatings such as mirror, antireflective, and dielectric filter coatings will be examined. This course includes a substantial laboratory component involving the processing of gas discharge and laser tubes (including contamination control), mass spectroscopy, and the design and fabrication of various thin film optical elements such as dielectric filters and mirrors.

PHTN1432 Lab Images
A collage of images shot in PHTN1432 laboratories. This is an exceptionally practical course with laboratory work comprising an important part in which students can apply concepts learned in the classroom. This is the essence of college education: the application of theory to real-world problems and structures. Labs are completed in small groups (usually five or less students) in the Mass, Infrared, and Optical spectroscopy laboratory in V114A as well as our class-10000 cleanroom facility in V113C where thin-film structures such as dielectric filters and mirrors are fabricated.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for this course include PHTN1300 Principles of Light Sources and Lasers. This course is required for entry to this course.

Evaluation ...

One midterm test valued at 20% and one final test valued at 40%
Midterm on Monday, March 9th, 2020 in class (one hour in length)
Final Exam

Labs and assignments combined for a total of 40%

Course Policies ...

Course policies follow the Standardized Policies and Procedures for CEE (dated January 2011) and a complete set of rules pertinant to this course may be found in the T&LP on Blackboard. In summary:

Complete course policies can be found in the Teaching and Learning Plan (T&LP) document found on Blackboard.

Textbook

Basic Vacuum Practice, Third Edition by Varian Vacuum Products (now part of Agilent), Part Number 900-0085


Course Notes and Links

For Part I (Vacuum Technology) of the course: For Part II (Deposition Technology) of the course: General Notes:

Laboratory Assignments

Laboratory work is a vital portion of this course. Whether experiencing first-hand the difficulties encountered while depositing thin films in a high-vacuum evaporator in the cleanroom (for example, controlling deposition rates manually on a thermal source and producing an accurate deposit thickness) or simply observing how an auto-ranging vacuum gauge operates in the spectroscopy lab, laboratory work provides hands-on skills not obtained from classroom work alone. Niagara is proud to have two unique dedicated lab spaces: the spectroscopy lab in V114A and the class-10000 cleanroom in V113C, both of which are utilized in this course.

Students in 2020W will complete laboratory assignments in small groups (A and B). CHECK THE SCHEDULE carefully since some for some labs students attend only on alternate weeks and for others students attend EVERY WEEK.

Part 1: Vacuum Fundamentals Labs

Lab Date Lab Group Lab Number Due Date
Thursday 2020/01/16 BOTH A & B 1 (Spectroscopy)
Thursday 2020/01/23 Group A 2 (OES - Alcatel) 2020/01/30
Thursday 2020/01/23 Group B 3 (RGA - Edwards) 2020/01/30
Thursday 2020/01/30 Group B 2 (OES - Alcatel) 2020/02/06
Thursday 2020/01/30 Group A 3 (RGA - Edwards) 2020/02/06
BOTH A & B PRELAB (Vacuum Applications) 2020/02/06
Thursday 2020/02/06 Group A 4 (QPS - Alcatel) 2020/02/13
Thursday 2020/02/06 Group B 5 (HeNe - Edwards) 2020/02/13
Thursday 2020/02/13 Group B 4 (QPS - Alcatel) 2020/02/21 at 9:30 am
Thursday 2020/02/13 Group A 5 (HeNe - Edwards) 2020/02/21 at 9:30 am

All lab reports are due at the beginning of the next lab period on the following Thursday. Prelabs are also due at the beginning of the lab period upon entry to the lab.

Lab equipment survival skills

Lab 1: Spectroscopy Techniques

An introduction ("survival guide") to the use of spectrophotometers which are used in the remainder of the course to analyze deposited thin films and fabricated devices.

Both lab groups will attend this one week lab simultaneously

Vacuum Basics

These labs allow students to gain skills using vacuum systems and apparatus. Each group will alternate, completing one of these two labs on one week and the other lab on the following week. Each lab has a different due date and is due the week immediately after completion.

Lab 2: Optical Emission Spectroscopy

A discharge tube is evacuated then filled with air (a mixture of several gases) as well as a pure gas. When excited with a high voltage source, the resulting emission wavelengths are analyzed with a spectrometer to attribute specific lines to a specific gas source. Specific topics include calibration of the spectrometer and determination of uncertainties in wavelength readings.

Lab Weighting: 1.0

Lab report is DUE the week after the lab is performed, at the beginning of the lab period

Lab 3: RGA / Mass Spectroscopy

The mass spectrum of both pure gases and compositions (e.g. air) will be examined using a Residual Gas Analyzer (RGA).

Lab Weighting: 1.0

Lab report is DUE the week after the lab is performed, at the beginning of the lab period

Applications

These labs allow students to apply concepts and skills from the first few labs to real situations utilizing high vacuum system. Each group will alternate, completing one of these two labs on one week and the other lab on the following week. Each lab has a different due date and is due the week immediately after completion.

Prior to week 5 labs (i.e. lab 4 or lab 5), the "Applications" prelab is due in the lab/lecture. It will be returned prior to the due date for the first applications lab

Vacuum Applications PRELAB

Prior to week 5 labs (i.e. lab 4 and/or lab 5, alternately), this "Vacuum Applications" prelab is due in the lab/lecture (whichever comes first in the week). It will be returned prior to the due date for the first vacuum applications lab so you may correct any issues with calculations and such.

This prelab covers concepts required for both labs 4 and 5.

PreLab Weighting: 0.5

PRELAB submission due upon entry to the first lab period where you will be performing lab #4 or lab #5

Lab 4: QPS - Gas Quantity, Pressure, and Speed

The quantitative measurement of gas flow in a high-vacuum system will be conducted. Applications include crossover pressure of systems incorporating multiple pumps in series (e.g. a diffusion-pumped vacuum system).

Lab Weighting: 1.0
PRELAB (Vacuum Basics) is due in the lecture (or beginning of the lab period) prior to to this lab)

Lab report is DUE the week after the lab is performed.

Lab 5: Gas Laser Tube Processing

A major lab in which fundamental concepts learned so-far in the course are applied to the processing and filling of a helium-neon gas laser tube.

Lab Weighting: 2.0
PRELAB (Applications) is due in the lecture (or beginning of the lab period) prior to to this lab)

Lab report is DUE the week after the lab is performed.

Part 2: Thin-Film Deposition Labs

Lab Date Lab Group Lab Number Due Date
Thursday 2020/03/05 Group A 6 Thin-Film Intro
Thursday 2020/03/05 Group B 6 Thin-Film Intro
Thursday 2020/03/12 Group A 7 Optical Calibration / MDM 2020/03/19
Thursday 2020/03/19 Group B 7 Optical Calibration / MDM 2020/03/26
Thursday 2020/03/26 Group A 8 Dielectric Mirrors
Thursday 2019/04/02 Group B 8 Dielectric Mirrors

All lab reports are due at the beginning of the next lab period on the following Thursday. Prelabs are also due at the beginning of the lab period upon entry to the lab.

Lab: Introduction to Basic Thin Film Deposition Techniques

Students will operate a high-vacuum thermal deposition system to deposit a thin-film of aluminum onto glass substrates. During this lab students will be exposed to the operating principles of high-vacuum systems, practice working in a class-10000 cleanroom environment, gain experience controlling deposition rate by regulating filament current, and utilize in-process quartz crystal thickness monitoring to assure a proper film thickness. All of these techniques and procedures will be used in the next lab.

Lab: Optical Calibration of a Thin-Film monitor

Students will calibrate the tooling factors on a thin-film monitor by using optical means in which basic dielectric filters consisting of a layer of dielectric Na3AlF6 sandwiched between two thin layers of aluminum are fabricated. This structure, which resembles a Fabry-Perot interferometer, acts as a high-performance optical filter with a narrow spectral width. Filters will be modelled with thin film software, deposited in the cleanroom using the Bendix thermal evaporator, and filters will be analyzed by a Perkin-Elmer Lambda-3B spectrophotometer (in V114A outside the lab time). By correcting the model in software, the tooling factors for various substrate locations in the chamber will be determined.

PRELAB must be submitted to the lab instructor at least fifteen minutes prior to the assigned start time of the lab: FIFTEEN MINUTES early is the non-negotiable cutoff time and prelabs submitted after that will receive an automatic mark of ZERO. No excuses, no negotiation.

Sample Lab Marking Scheme as a PDF document. Print and append as the last page of the lab report.

Lab Weighting: 2.0

Lab: Dielectric Filters Project

A quarter-wave stack of alternating MgF2 and ZnS will be designed an fabricated in the lab on Sparky, our 13kW eBeam deposition system. Mirrors will then be analyzed spectroscopically and results correlated to effects such as stoichiometric composition changesknown to occur with eBeam techniques.

PRELAB must be submitted to the lab instructor at least fifteen minutes prior to the assigned start time of the lab: FIFTEEN MINUTES early is the non-negotiable cutoff time and prelabs submitted after that will receive an automatic mark of ZERO. No excuses, no negotiation.

Lab Weighting: 1.0

The lab schedule is subject to change based on availability of laboratory equipment

Contacts

For the Photonics Technician/Technology programs ...

For this specific course ...
Professor Mark Csele
Office: V13A (Office hours are POSTED on the Electroluminescent panel on the office door)
Telephone: (905) 735-2211 x.7629
E-Mail: (Be sure to include 'Lasers' in the subject line to avoid deletion by an anti-spam filter)

URL: http://technology.niagarac.on.ca/staff/mcsele

Copyright (C) Professor M. Csele and Niagara College, Canada, 2001-2020
This course is part of the TECHNOLOGY division