Thin film deposition

  • Our research group has several deposition chambers, equipped with home-built magnetron sources.
  • Our work horse is a two inch planar circular magnetron
  • For UHV applications and for precious target materials a UHV 1 inch magnetron source can be used.
  • For large scale deposition two options are available : a rotating cylindrical magnetron (18 cm long, 4.5 cm diameter), and a planar rectangular magnetron (11 cm x 38 cm).

Thin film analysis

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (Quantafeg, FEI), equipped with EDX (EDAX).

This Electron Microscope allows the user to visualize the samples with a magnification up 1.000.000 times. Our microscope allows working at low-vacuum and ESEM mode, allowing non-conducting or biological samples to be examined. With EDX, the chemical composition of your sample can be determined. Also mappings can be carried out.

  • X-Ray Diffraction (D8, Brüker), equipped with an Euler cradle.

X-Ray diffraction allows to characterize the crystallographic properties of your sample and measure the out-of-plane and in-plane (due to the Euler cradle) orientation of the thin film. In X-Ray Reflective mode, the film thickness can be determined.

  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (VG).

XPS is a quantitative technique which measures the chemical state and the electronic state of the elements that exist in your sample. It is a surface chemical analysis technique that allows the user to determine the stoichiometry, composition and chemical state of your sample surface in "as-received" state, or from the bulk of the sample after ion-etching.

Plasma characterization

  • Energy resolved mass spectrometry (Hiden), allows to measure the energy and mass dictribution of neutrals, positive ions and negative ions in the plasma up to 1000 eV.
  • Langmuir probe (Hiden), allows to measure the plasma properties, i.e. plasma potential, floating potential, electron density, ion density, electron temperature and the EEDF.
  • Energy flux probes enables us to measure the energy flux (mW/cm2) towards the substrate.


Simulation of Metal Transport (SIMTRA) is a binary collision Monte Carlo program that allows the user to simulate the transport of sputtered particles through the gas phase flux during sputtering. The user is able to define the simulated configuration, and thus to mimic his own experimental setup. Not only the deposition profile and rate but also the properties of the metallic flux (energy, direction,...) are an output of the code. The program is offered as freeware.

Reactive Sputter Deposition (RSD) models the reactive sputtering process of a single sputtering target in (pulsed) DC mode with one reactive gas added.  The model provides the target and substrate condition, and the partial pressure of the reactive gas as a function of the deposition conditions. The program is offered as freeware.