Sputter Coater

The sputter coater is down due to the device’s inability to pump the sample chamber to the required pressures to sputter. Damian and I have tried the following things to try and fix it.

  • Cleaned the pump.
  • Changed the hose.

Unfortunately, neither of those fixed the problem. I just now switched out the pump with a different one and the same problem is occurring. My next steps are:

  • Change out the hose material.
  • Re-teflon tape the other hose connectors that are connected to valves etc.

Changing the hose material did nothing for the pumping. Actually, it made it worse so it is most definitely not the hose, nor is it the pump. This leaves the following connections that need to be checked:

  • Gas inlet hose.
  • Pressure gauge.
  • Gas mixing valves.

Drat…a lack of Teflon tape is preventing me from looking at the rest of the valves.


Another project that is related to fixing the sputter coater is to investigate roughness. I feel like I am spinning my wheels on this one a good amount as the paper I am reviewing:

  • Rabinovich YI, Adler JJ, Ata A, Singh RK, Moudgil BM (2000) Adhesion between nanoscale rough surfaces: I. role of asperity geometry. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 232:10–16. PMID:11071726.

is not easy to follow as there seem to be missing steps with the RMS roughness calculations. Especially since I feel like equation 4 is coming out of left field with its coefficients. Of course, this is probably because I don’t know the field well enough…I am currently investigating other references but I am finding it difficult to find articles.

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