Planar magnetron sputtering is widely used in the generation and deposition of nanoclusters because of the high rate and wide area of deposition. However, the magnetron discharge plasma is not uniform so the total target utilization is only about 10% due to the narrow and deep groove erosion on the target, known as a racetrack, decreasing its lifetime.
The new device, developed by a Spanish research institution and a Spanish advanced technology R&D company, comprises two chambers. The first chamber, devoted to the generation of nanoparticles, combines an FFE magnetron with a gas aggregation source. This arrangement allows the stable production of nanoclusters or nanoparticles beam overtime improving the use of the target. The injection of other gases in this chamber, apart from the sputtering gas, increases both, the stability and the production rate of the nanoparticle flux. The second chamber is arranged for the substitution of the substrates where the nanoclusters are deposited.
Industrial partners are being sought. In particular, companies which manufacture industrial advanced technology equipment and/or lab equipment. The collaboration would involve a license agreement for commercial exploitation of the technology.