Masking Shutter


A standard high vacuum deposition system requires the user to input a single wafer sample onto the substrate stage. The process chamber is then pumped down, and deposition takes place. Once the chamber is vented, the user can then remove their sample, and begin the process again if they wish to create a sample with a different thickness or film qualities for comparison. The problem is that once atmosphere is introduced to the deposition chamber and time elapses between runs, subtle changes in conditions can occur from run to run.

With the masking shutter stage enhancement, you can create many samples that are deposited with identical conditions, in a single batch. With complete control over exposure of each row and column, along with the capability to rotate the sample matrix, you can create samples with varied thicknesses and material architectures (depending on sources).

You can then properly identify the impact of subtle film differences with confidence, knowing every layer deposited was created in identical conditions.

Employing a masking shutter on your physical vapor deposition platform maximizes efficiency and productivity, as you can create so many samples in a single run. Beyond all this, the stage even allows for gradient and stepped films across a single, larger substrate.

Selectively expose rows and columns to create many samples in a single run with identical conditions.

Our group uses this stage to deposit thin films of organic semiconductors, and it allows us to fabricate multiple iterations of devices without having to break vacuum, which saves a significant amount of time. The stepped feature is especially nice because we can ensure that the layer being stepped is truly shared between devices. It is used directly by about 75% of our user base and saves upwards of 2-3 hours per day.

Dr. Matt Menke – University of Cambridge

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