Planetary & Dome Fixturing

There are a variety of configurations available for fixturing multiple substrates in a physical vapour deposition system. A carefully designed substrate fixture can optimize throughput, uniformity, yield, and/or deposition geometry. What follows are three commonly used techniques.

Lift-off processes require an orthogonal geometry (right-angles) between the patterned substrate plane and the incoming flux of material to be deposited. Using computer modeling of these geometries, lift-off fixturing can be designed which optimizes the substrate angle and maximizes the number of substrates that can be processed in a single batch.


Planetary fixturing adds a second axis of substrate rotation which results in excellent film thickness uniformity. Individual rotating planets are arranged in orbit around a central rotation axis with a non-integral gear ratio. Each time a planet passes through a given position along the orbit, it will do so at a different radial position. The non-repeating nature of this rotation motif leads to film thickness uniformities often better than 1%.


Three dome rolling fixturing maximizes the throughput and yield of a deposition chamber by fully populating the deposition flux with substrate area. Additionally, the rolling dome provides two axes of rotation which ensures high film thickness uniformity.


Our Angstrom system has substantially increased the reproducibility of our organic photovoltaic device fabrication process and overall provides us with a flexible and robust system for the development of new devices.

Dr. Sean Shaheen – University of Colorado at Boulder

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