Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Read below to see how e-beam evaporation is a favorable alternative to film evaporation.

The process of e-beam evaporation is similar in the way thermal evaporation works. The source is heated to a certain temperature that’s above boiling point and then evaporated down to form a thin film on the substrate. There are, however, several notable differences that make e-beam evaporation more favorable then thermal evaporation.

Higher Density

The electron beam, or ebeam, that is used on the substrate has a higher dedicated amount of energy than thermal evaporation, thus yielding a higher density film. Additionally there is increased adhesion to the substrate because of this high density. This also makes this method more ideal for lift-off processes.

Multiple Depositions

The ability to utilize a multiple crucible electron beam gun, a variety of source materials can be deposited on the substrate without the vacuum breaking. Additionally there will be a lower degree of contamination from the crucible than there would be in PVD thermal evaporation. This creates a “safer” resulting film created on the substrate itself.

The Process

The process of e-beam evaporation is fairly simple. The source material is placed in the crucible and a filament is then heated. Once the heating process peaks, a large amount of electrons are drawn from the actual filament to form a beam. Several magnets are bent into shape allowing the beam to heat up all areas of the material. This is the basic concept of this evaporation technique and it is, to a certain degree, complex but it has also brought new opportunities for film deposition.

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