Deposition Laboratory


To help develop reflective optical elements as well as experimental samples for all the APS users.


The deposition laboratory is located in class 10,000 cleanroom on the APS experiment hall floor near sector 1. In addition, an air-class 1 cleanhood is available and is used for handling and loading optics.

Large (1.5 m) Sputter Deposition System

The 1.5 m sputter deposition system consists of four large vacuum chambers, each 16" in diameter (406 mm) and 66" (1670 mm) long . The first chamber next to the clean hood is a load lock chamber isolated from the other three chambers by a computer-controlle1.5 m Sputter Deposition Systemd gate valve.

Mirror substrates as large as 150 cm long, 20 cm wide, and 14 cm high can be loaded into a substrate carrier inside the vacuum system using guard rails. The substrate can be outgassed in the load lock chamber using a UV lamp. The substrate-carrier transport assembly is driven by a stepper-motor. The full length of a 1.5 m substrate can be coated using the transport assembly.

The third vacuum chamber is the deposition chamber, where four ports on the bottom along the chamber axis are designed to house the sputter cathodes. Currently four 3" diameter magnetron sputtering guns compatible with both DC and RF operations are deployed.

Small Sputter Deposition System

This system has two 3" diameter DC magnetron sputter guns, attached to a 9.5" O.D. (241 mm), 4' (1200 mm)-long vacuum chamber, which is pumped down to10^7 Torr. The system is designed to handle small substrates up to 4" (100 mm) long and less than 1" (25 mm) thick. The substrate-carrier transport assembly has a travel distance of ~3 feet (914 mm). A uniformity of better than ±5% can be obtained.

The system is computer controlled and capable of making both single and multilayer coatings.


  • Substrates as large as 1500 mm long, 20 cm wide, and 14 cm thick can be coated.
  • A variety of targets materials are available.
  • Substrate cleaning is available.
  • Both thin films and multilayers can be made promptly in less than two weeks.
  • Ellipsometry, interferometry, and x-ray scattering are used for thin-film characterization.

X-ray mirrors, multilayers and experimental samples have been routinely fabricated. Hundreds of thin-film depositions have been made. We can reliably provide high-quality thin-film and multilayer products, and we are constantly improving our equipment to satisfy the demand from the APS user community.