ET-010 plasma cleaning and glow discharge accessory
The ET-010 plasma cleaning and glow discharge accessory is a fully integrated option for the Safematic CCU-010 sputter/carbon coater that is designed for the pre-treatment or after-treatment of specimens in combination with a coating process. This accessory enables a plasma to be applied to specimens using argon or air as process gases. SEM specimens can be pre-cleaned to remove light surface contamination prior to coating, without the need to breaking vacuum between cleaning and sputtering processes.
Plasma pre-treatment also has the advantage of increasing the adhesion of thin films to a substrate or specimen. Additionally, it is possible to modify the surface properties of thin films after coating by plasma treatment. For example, TEM carbon films can be converted from hydrophobic to hydrophilic using an air plasma.
Plasma cleaning and glow discharge accessory features:
- insulated specimen stage for plasma treatment
- metallic specimen plate Ø 80mm to apply negative high voltage
- two quartz film thickness monitor positions (centre or edge)
- compatible with CCU-010 height adjustment and tilt
- “Plug and play” exchange with standard stage, microscope slide and rotary stages
- compatible with SP-010/SP-011 sputtering head and CT-010 carbon evaporation head
- process pressure selectable from 2e-1 to 1mbar
- high voltage power supply 10-50mA and connection to specimen plate
- full integration into the CCU-010 interface to adjust duration and power
Plasma cleaning and glow discharge accessory - application examples
The widely recognised “Cross Cut Test” according to DIN EN ISO 2409:2013 is a standard method for assessing adhesion to a substrate. IPA cleaned glass slides coated with 200nm of tungsten demonstrated significantly better adhesion after plasma treatment using the CCU-010 high vacuum sputter coater.
Both slides sputter coated with 200nm of tungsten. Below left: no plasma pre-treatment. Below right: after 300s argon plasma pre-treatment @ 15mA / 4E-1mbar
Hydrophobic-hydrophilic TEM grid treatment
Water droplet on 10nm carbon coated Formvar. Below left: without plasma-after-treatment = hydrophobic surface. Below right: after plasma treatment = hydrophilic surface.