Oxide material research has increased considerably over the years because of its importance in the IC industry and because of the wide variety of electronic and optical properties made possible using these materials.
Due to the corrosive nature of oxygen, performing thin-film research in an oxygen environment often presents equipment challenges. For example, it is common to thermally evaporate materials in an oxygen environment of 10-5 Torr or higher while maintaining the substrate temperature at 800°C. The high oxygen partial pressure and temperature greatly reduces the lifetime of the heating elements in sources and substrate heaters. As a result, the equipment uptime is compromised, leading to shorter campaign lengths and high repair costs.
Using special oxygen-resistant materials, as opposed to traditional materials such as molybdenum and tantalum, it is now possible to operate Veeco’s innovative and proven sources and substrate heaters in high oxygen partial pressure environments. Oxygen-resistant sources are currently available from Veeco for temperatures up to 1150°C with oxygen partial pressures as high as 5milliTorr. Substrate heaters are also available for temperatures up to 800°C and oxygen partial pressures of 5milliTorr.