May 2018 newsletter

Ion Times

SVC TechCon 2018

Plasma Process Group will be exhibiting at the 2018 SVC TechCon, booth 631 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. Come see us on Tuesday May 8th or Wednesday May 9th for the latest news, product information, and answers to whatever questions you may have!

Optatec 2018

We will also be exhibiting at the Optatec show held at the Messe in Frankfurt GmbH May 15th -17th. We are looking forward to seeing our European customers as this will be our first international show! We will be in exhibition hall 3 booth J90.

Feedback Loop

Part of our mission is listening and responding to your needs. We do our best to stay on top of new developments and process requirements, and to design solutions to meet these. However, we do rely on our customers to tell us what they need to do, or what they would like to be able to do. If you have recently come up with a great idea and you need equipment to pursue this, let us know what you need! We can provide tips and suggestions about ion beam source operation and sputter deposition that help accomplish your goals. We are here to help!

New approach to an old problem…

Compared with evaporation systems, Ion Beam technology has always been the comparatively slow deposition rates. With a High Current ion source from Plasma Process Group, we can now offer deposition rates nearly double the standard 600mA process rates. Available with our 16cm RF ion source, the High Current configuration can output up to 1000mA of beam current at up to 1500V of ion energy.

16cm High Current Ion Source
16cm High Current Ion Source
16cm High Current Ion Source
RF Neutralizer

In a given vacuum system, ion beam deposition rates are a function of two parameters: beam current and voltage. To first order, doubling the ion beam current will double the atoms sputtered from the target, thus doubling the deposition rate on your substrates. The key is to provide this ion current increase in the controlled, directional manner available only with gridded ion sources.

Our 16cm High Current ion beam source does indeed provide the increase in a controlled, reliable manner. We have kept the same footprint, size and shape as the legacy 16cm sources. We worked hard to improve RF efficiency and added extra RF power for unprecedented performance. Our standard grid shapes are all functional with this High Current ion source. It uses all the standard feedthroughs and connections from Plasma Process Group. The ion source can be run completely from the front panel of your I-Beam power supply or controlled remotely.

Complete High-Current Package
Complete High-Current Package

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

February 2018 newsletter

Ion Times

Embracing the New Year

With January past and the big Photonics West show over we want to thank customers and prospective customers who stopped by our booth last week. We hope to continue working with you this year and into the future! With the rapid expansion of the photonics market, we, too, are bringing in some new resources and staff to help fulfill the dramatically larger volume of orders we have seen in the last year. We will strive to meet your needs for Ion Beam sources, Ion Beam systems, and support equipment!

Business In Florida

Come visit us in Orlando Florida this May at the SVC TechCon! We will be in Booth 631 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center on May 8th and 9th

The Mad Scientists’ Lab

We’ve been busy in the Lab at Plasma Process Group. We are bringing our newest Techne IBD System online as a test platform for customer processes – an Apps Lab! Available by the day, you can rent the use of our fully-automated, dual Ion Source, Planetary-equipped, 200+ layer Techne Ion Beam Deposition chamber. Need to validate a new process, but all your chambers are in full use? Use ours! Want to try IBD, but don’t want to spend the capital dollars on an unproven idea? Try it in our chamber!

Techne IBAD System
Techne IBAD System
Techne IBAD System
Planetary holder

Our Applications Lab optical deposition tool utilizes high quality equipment for IBD process. It can handle over 200 layers, each with a different thickness as needed, with an endpoint termination accuracy of a few milliseconds. The layers can be terminated on Time/Power, by QCM, or even by a third-party device such as an OMS. The system offers a planetary fixture capable of handling optics as large as 6.5 inches on each of its three available planets, or larger numbers of smaller optics on each planet. With uniformity capabilities of better than +/-0.5% over the full diameter of the planet, and planet-to-planet variation typically better, almost any optic can be run in this system.

A 16cm RF ion source provides the deposition capability, with rates of up to 4 A/s SiO2, or up to 1.5 A/s TiO2. Multi focal point grids offer the most consistent deposition plume for longer processes. A 12cm RF ion source offers Ion Assist capabilities for substrate pre-cleaning and in-process Assist. Both ion sources can be run on most gases or even combinations of gases.

Up to three different materials can be used in the process. Rotating target faces ensure that the deposition plume coming from these targets remains constant throughout your process runs, leading to even better run-to-run reproducibility. You are welcome to use any target materials we currently have in house and are welcome to bring in any other material you need (non-toxic or radioactive)! Contact us for more details.

Just because we like saving you more money, we also built our system to require a bare minimum of your time to run a process. Not only is the system fully automated using recipes built on site or at your leisure before hand, but the chamber itself takes a mere 30 minutes to reach process pressures from atmosphere leaving you with the maximum time spent testing your process and minimum spent waiting for equipment to be ready. Further, using our Apps Lab gives you full access to one of our system Techs who can walk you through (or just plain run) your process. Give us a call to set up your appointment time!

Techne IBAD System
Software control

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

January 2018 newsletter

Ion Times

Photonics West 2018

Happy New Year! We hope to see you soon. Plasma Process Group will be exhibiting at Photonics West later this month, in the North Hall, booth #4341. Come see us if you have questions or want to chat about an idea. The show is at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and runs from Tuesday January 30th thru Thursday February 1st.

One Stop Shop

Plasma Process Group can be your one stop shop for Ion Beam System needs! On the top end, we offer our Techne Ion Beam Deposition System. With dual ion sources (deposition and assist), either fixed-axis high speed or planetary fixture, and a rotating face two-target assembly, the Techne is designed for production Ion Beam processes. It has an optimized geometry and it can handle almost any process with excellent uniformity and rates. With a small chamber volume and an large Cryopump, it can produce your coatings quickly.

Techne IBAD System
Techne IBAD System
3cm DC Source
3cm DC Ion Source

We also offer a wide range of gridded ion beam sources, both DC and RF. Our 16cm RF Ion Source is an industry workhorse, with up to 1000mA beam current and a variety of grid shapes. Our 12cm RF Ion Source provides an excellent mid-range Assist capability for evaporation chambers, or as a secondary ion source for DLC systems and IBD processes. Our 3cm DC Ion Source is a great budget option for research and prototype systems. We also offer 6cm RF, 8cm DC, and 13cm DC Ion Sources, as well as a 6×30/22cm Linear RF Ion Source, capable of switching between 6x30cm and 6x22cm grids for varying process needs. We are always adding to our product line. Stay tuned…

In the field of Ion Source Power, we have our I-Beam series all-in-one power supplies. Operating as both new supplies and direct replacement for most older Ion Tech-style supplies (both DC and RF), the I-Beam brings Power to the 21st century! The I-Beam 703 RF Supply can drop-in replace the entire cluster of RF2001 supplies needed for Ion Tech-style systems. All I-Beam supplies use the market standard for communications and so are backward-compatible in older systems while still offering new diagnostic information, higher communication capabilities, and 21st century circuit technology. The I-Beam 601 and 602 can replace your 20-year-old MPS Power Supply without interruption to keep you going for another 20 years!

A wide variety of grid options are available as well, for every size ion source we make and several we do not! We offer numerous standard grids made from Molybdenum and graphite. Most sizes of grids come with several shape and hole pattern options to provide the best ion beam for your specific situation. We also have RF and DC neutralizers! Whether you need a new RFN for your system or just a replacement gas isolator, we can provide the parts and services to keep you up and running. We can also replace your DC filament or Plasma Bridge Neutralizer!

Maybe you already have a fully-functioning system making excellent products, and all you really need is a vendor for the occasional replacement part that gets consumed or damaged. Plasma Process Group can help with that too! Call or e-mail us, and we’ll be happy to help with your parts needs!

16cm Quartz Discharge Chamber
16cm Discharge Chamber

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

August 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

Milling About

Here at Plasma Process Group we have recently made the investment in a second CNC Mill for grid manufacturing! We expect to have the new mill in-house by mid September, and reach full production capabilities in October. This should help bring down the lead times many of our customers have been faced with over the last few months, and in the future to fill larger orders more quickly.

A Ghost in the System

Your deposition system has been trundling along, making product and money for years now, perhaps even decades, when suddenly something goes wrong. Maybe you know exactly what the problem is, perhaps you don’t and the problem is just a ghost (or shall we call it a specter?) in the system. Either way, Plasma Process Group has the solution. We can provide replacement parts for many of the components of your Ion Tech style equipment, from ion sources and grids to neutralizers, power supplies, and even beaded leads and heater bulbs! Give us a call, and we can start getting your process back from the dead zone!

How to Make Ions (Part II)

So you’ve decided to get a new (or upgrade your existing) ion source. You know you want ions, but you don’t know how best to make them – will a DC ion source work? Do I need an RF ion source? Is having more ions always better? Can the ion source be 3cm from my substrates? Can the ion source be 3m from my substrates? Will convergent grids increase my deposition rates? There can be a bewildering array of questions, possibilities, and options, and that is why Plasma Process Group is here to help! We will take whatever information you can provide about your chamber, expected process, and specifications, and help you put together the ion source package that works best for you!

16cm RF Source
16cm RF Ion Source
3cm DC Source
3cm DC Ion Source

Once the ions leave the ion source, it makes no difference whether they were created using a DC or RF ion source. They will have the same downstream properties, and the same effect on your targets and substrates. It is what happens inside the ion source that makes a difference. A DC source is simple, robust, and inexpensive, but the high-current filament that creates the plasma and neutralizing electrons is quite vulnerable to reactive gases. DC ion sources are available in 3cm, 8cm, and 13cm sizes. RF sources are far more versatile, allowing the use of reactive gas or combination of gases in the ion source, and have very low maintenance requirements, but are more complex and more expensive. RF ion sources are available in 6cm, 12cm, and 16cm round, and 6cm x 30cm rectangular sizes. The size of the ion source largely determines the maximum beam current that can be extracted.

Both DC and RF ion sources can be provided in any of three different mounting configurations. Flange Mount offers the ion source fixed directly to a flange, with the back of the ion source typically being the flange itself. This uses the minimum amount of space inside the vacuum chamber, but offers no flexibility of movement or positioning – the ion source points straight out from the flange. Extension Mounted ion sources are also fixed to a flange, but are extended out from the flange itself using several posts. This allows the distance between the ion source and its target to be set to whatever value is required in the chamber, but still does not allow any angular adjustment. Internal Mount takes the ion source off the flange entirely, and allows it to be positioned at any angle desired inside the vacuum chamber. This configuration also allows the largest variety of flange options.

Grids for your ion source are available in four general categories. First, convergent grids narrow the ion beam to create a higher-density plasma that can improve etch and deposition rates at the sacrifice of uniformity. In a deposition process, convergent grids will tend to punch through the center of the target material rapidly, giving a very low utilization fraction. Second, divergent grids spread the ion beam and create a more uniform density plasma that improves beam coverage and process uniformity at the expense of etch or deposition rates. These grids are usually the optimum choice for Ion Assist applications, as they provide the largest and most uniform coverage area. Third, multi-focal point grids use varying convergent and divergent regions on the grid to create a (relatively) uniform beam over an optimized diameter. Typically these grids are used for deposition operations to provide good deposition rates while still using a much larger fraction of the target material. Finally, flat grids (usually graphite) provide a collimated ion beam. Flat grids have highly predictable ion beam shapes, but offer few other advantages or disadvantages. Be sure to check out our grid selection guide.

Collector include unstable RFN emission, inability to reach high emission levels, and over time an increase in required gas flow to the RFN due to increased erosion of the ceramic discharge chamber. All of these can cause complete process failure when the ion source in turn becomes unstable and goes out. A new Collector can provide as much as 3000 hours of performance before replacement.

At Plasma Process Group, we understand the importance of a functional RFN. We also understand how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble an RFN to reach the highest number of hours of performance between refurbishments. Send us your failing RFNs, and we’ll send them back cleaned, repaired, and ready-to-go, helping you keep system downtime as low as possible and results as consistent and reliable as your RFN!

The remainder of an ion source package is determined by the choice of source size, type, and mounting. We are hear to help you with these selections and provide a quote for your desired setup.

13cm DC Source
13cm DC Ion Source

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

July 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

Powering Your Process

If you’re struggling with failing power supplies in your Ion Beam process, Plasma Process Group can help! Our I-Beam 703 can replace the whole batch of RF2001 power supplies you are likely already using for your RF sources, and our I-Beam 600-series can replace your older MPS power supply for your DC ion sources. Best, these I-Beam supplies come with proven reliability plus the excellent service and support you should expect from us.

Making Grids

In the last few months, we have been inundated with orders for new ion source grids. You may have noticed our lead times have extended. In order to help you, we are pleased to announce the acquisition of another CNC milling center to help resolve this backup. Scheduled to be up and running in the next two months, we hope we will be able to handle large orders of grids without adding a several week delay to smaller orders! This additional CNC capacity will also help us process orders for graphite or custom grids faster.

Target: Neutralized

Lurking behind every RF ion source, shrouded by … the shroud… is a little-known and poorly understood device that holds the success of your entire process in its tiny little … orifice. A well-functioning RFN goes unnoticed because everything works as it is expected to, but a struggling RFN can cause a wide range of problems such as ion beam instability ion source failure, and even complete process failure. A better understanding of your RFNcan help keep these catastrophic problems from becoming a … catastrophic problem.

RF Neutralizer
RF Neutralizer Brochure
RFN Flanges
RFN Flanges

RFNs come in one size, but many different configurations. They can be installed on any flange that allows all three leads to pass through to the Matching Network. In practice, this means any flange equal to or greater in size than a 2.75-inch Conflat. The most common flanges are the 2.75-inch and 6-inch Conflat. The emission from the RFN will couple with the ion beam as long as the electrons can easily reach the ion beam without interference fromother objects in the chamber. The RFN does not need to point directly at the beam! It is important that a ground-potential surface not be too close to the RFN, since the electrons will happily go there if the beam is much further away. However, it is also critical that there be good ground-potential surfaces in the chamber, since there will always be more electrons than ions!

Chambers with heavily coated liners often see unusual effects from the RFN and ion source, including beam current instability and RFN emission instability. A bright plasma halo around your target material that travels with the target when it changes position is a strong indication that electrons from the RFN cannot find a good ground surface.

Inside your RFN is a shaped metal Collector made of pure Nickel. Chosen for its conductivity and machining properties, the Nickel Collector serves as the electronic pathway for the ions in your RFN discharge chamber while the electrons are ejected through the orifice. However, Nickel and in particular hot Nickel react very quickly with oxygen and water vapor. This is why the RFN always operates on inert gases like Argon, even when the ion source is operating on Oxygen or other reactive gases. Further, when Nickel reacts, it does not develop a surface oxide layer like some metals. Rather, the reactant travels into the material. This allows the Collector to work longer, but also means that when it finally fails, it cannot be simply cleaned and reused. During a refurbishment the Collector should be replaced each and every time. Symptoms of a poorly-working

Collector include unstable RFN emission, inability to reach high emission levels, and over time an increase in required gas flow to the RFN due to increased erosion of the ceramic discharge chamber. All of these can cause complete process failure when the ion source in turn becomes unstable and goes out. A new Collector can provide as much as 3000 hours of performance before replacement.

At Plasma Process Group, we understand the importance of a functional RFN. We also understand how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble an RFN to reach the highest number of hours of performance between refurbishments. Send us your failing RFNs, and we’ll send them back cleaned, repaired, and ready-to-go, helping you keep system downtime as low as possible and results as consistent and reliable as your RFN!

Interested in more information on your RFN? We offer new RFNs but also take a look at our website here for more information about keeping your RFN in good condition as long as possible. Also, customers are welcome to obtain a free account to access training and instructional videos on RFN maintenance and refurbishment. As always, send us an e-mail or give us a call with any questions or to request a quote!

RFN Refurbish Service
RFN Refurbish Service

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

June 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

Opening Doors

Coming to Colorado any time soon? Maybe for the OSA Optical Design & Fabrication Congress in July? If you should find yourself in our area any time and would like to visit, let us know! We’d love to have you visit to take a look around, show off our facility, and answer your questions!

Surfing the 5G Wave

Scheduled for 2020, the 5G Wireless revolution is bearing down like a tsunami and if you hope to get in on your share of that several billion dollar market, you are going to need IBS! Next generation wide-band notch filter and DWDM optic specs virtually demand the precision process control available only in IBS deposition systems, and the transmissive (loss) requirements require a film defect count unavailable through most other means. If you don’t have IBS capabilities, take a look at our Techne System! If you do, let us know what upgrades you need and we’ll show you how we can help!

Lining Up Your Ions

Plasma Process Group now has a 6cm x 30cm RF Linear Ion Source. Designed with flexibility in mind, RF and DC leads exit this source from the side instead of the rear, allowing the source to be installed in the chamber in a more ideal location than previous similar sources. Additionally, versatile grid mounting allows this source to be used with flat graphite 6x30cm grids or shaped Molybdenum 6x22cm grids, providing a range of options from a single source – 6x30cm and 6x22cm grids can even be swapped between processes!


6x30cm Linear Ion Source
6x30cm Linear Ion Source

6x22cm Grids
6x22cm Shaped Moly Grids

Linear Ion Sources offer a powerful alternative to large-area ion sources for ion assisted deposition. By aligning the ion source radially, a 30cm grid pattern in a linear ion source provides complete ion assist coverage to a 60cm rotating planetary fixture. Linear ion sources can also be paired end-to-end to create a 6x60cm or even 6x90cm ion beam, covering planetary fixtures of 120cm or even 180cm in diameter. The ion beam from Linear ion sources are also remarkably uniform along the long axis, ensuring that the entire planetary surface rotating through the beam receives the same ion dose. Also, since the Plasma Process Group Linear Ion Source is RF-driven, it can function on reactive gases like Oxygen, allowing a better, more controllable film stoichiometry. The benefits of this are numerous, but perhaps most importantly can include a significant reduction in the optical absorption coefficient.

A Linear Ion Source Package from Plasma Process Group will include the ion source itself with your choice of grid style, plus the vacuum interface needed for your system. It will also include the I-Beam 703 Single-Unit power supply to run all aspects of your ion source, the cables for the supply, and the RF Matching Network. The complete package include the RF Neutralizer and its interface kit, providing overall every item needed to install and run this device.

More detailed information about this ion source can be found here, and Run data and calculated beam shapes can be found here. Our vacuum interface options can be found here, along with grid choices for the Linear ion source. Finally, as always feel free to contact us directly with questions!

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

April 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

SVC TechCon 2017

Plasma Process Group is pleased to be attending the 2017 SVC TechCon on May 2nd and 3rd. We will be in booth #1003, so if you plan to attend please stop by and see us! As always, we will be more than happy to discuss ideas, talk tech, or even just chat!

Growing Pains

If you requested a quote from us in the last few months, you may have noticed something very unusual – long lead times! We have recently seen a tremendous increase in the number of customers and orders which caught us by surprise. We apologize to those of you who have had to wait longer for a grid set or 12 weeks for a power supply, and we are happy to announce that our lead times are starting to return to normal. The new staff that we have hired are finishing training which is increasing our production capabilities. We have also undergone a shift in the organization of the company – streamlining our production throughput without sacrificing quality. Our goal is to have high-quality staff producing high-quality products!

A Modern Take on an Ancient Greek Goddess

Techne IBD System

In ancient Greece, a successful engineer was said to be blessed by Techne, the Goddess of craft and invention. Indeed, “Techne” is the root of the modern word “technology”. With that in mind, the Techne IBD System from Plasma Process Group is engineered to present a new, fresh, and inventive platform for Ion Beam coatings, Ion Etch processes, and Ion Deposition capabilities for the Optical, Biomedical and other industries.


Techne IBD System
Techne IBD System

Inside Techne
Techne – A Look Inside

Building on the foundations from the Ion Beam systems that came before, Techne creates a much more user-friendly, intuitive, and easy-access environment for engineers, operators and maintenance technicians to work with. PLC-based controls eliminate the need for Operating System interface with updates, driver issues, crashes, and all the other headaches that come with any home computer. Chamber liners are easy to remove and clean. RF Neutralizers are placed at shoulder height within easy reach from the front of the machine drastically simplifying both tuning during operation and removal for refurbishment. Dozens of improvements have been made making Techne a far superior system to use on a day-to-day basis.

The Techne is also a physically smaller system, providing significantly more efficient use of laboratory space. With dual access doors the Techne can be placed in a dividing wall, allowing clean-room access to parts pre- and post-coating from the front and maintenance access from the rear. Featuring four 8-inch planets or six 7-inch planets, the total throughput of the Techne is comparable to a much larger system, while still reaching the same or better rate and uniformity specifications. Additionally, stationary masking for deposition processes results in almost perfect run-to-run repeatability as well as excellent planet-to-planet uniformity.

Rotating target faces keep the deposition plume much more constant through the life of the target, resulting in consistent process repeatability over not just two or three runs, but dozens of runs with no physical changes needed. Additionally, the face rotation of the targets offers a much higher utilization fraction of the target face, meaning less wasted material when the target is changed. A new three-target assembly is in testing right now, which will bring additional material capabilities to the system. Overall, the Techne provides an easy, inventive, and much less expensive means of expanding your existing ultra-high quality Ion Beam offerings or adding Ion Beam capabilities to your company.

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

February 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

PPG @ NCCAVS – IBS ASAP!

Please come visit us in the Holiday Inn, San Jose, booth #60 on February 23rd. We encourage everyone to stop by and chat, ask questions, and talk through what we can do to help you meet your deadlines, expand your business, and meet your production and R&D goals this year.  Hope to see you there!

Replacement Power Supplies

We try to keep a close watch on the needs of our customers to put ourselves in the best position to help you when you need it, and as fast as possible! As such, we have noticed a recent and extraordinarily large uptick in the number of old Ion Tech power supplies failing. For us, this translates into a big spike in the need for our I-Beam 703 All-In-One power supply, which replaces the entire RF2001 setup including the RF Generator. Due to the sheer size of this spike, we have gone through great lengths to improve our ability to directly assist you – including hiring several new staff members to help with everything from circuit board soldering to unit configuration! Since our I-Beam 703 is a direct, drop-in replacement for your old Ion Tech 2001 setup, save yourself some time and the huge headache of being system-down when those old units fail and look into our replacement power supplies now!

The Little (6cm) Ion Source That Could

Getting a round ion source to fit in a square vacuum port can be challenging. Sometimes you need an ion source of a smaller size just to make everything work. Plasma Process Group is delighted to offer our 6cm RF Ion Source, designed for coating or etch systems that are short on space but still want to run reactive processes (oxides, nitrides, etc.).

6cm RF Ion Source
6cm RF ion source
6cm - Flange Mount
6cm – flange mount

Smaller than both the 16cm and 12cm RF sources but still capable of outputting 200mA of beam current at up to 1500V, this little guy can still be the workhorse for a smaller batch process system or a great assist source for a small evaporation or e-gun coater!

The 6cm RF Ion Source is designed to be mated with the I-Beam 703 All-In-One power supply from Plasma Process Group, but will work with most older Ion Tech power supplies as well. Since it is an RF Source, the 6cm does require an RF Matching Network. Highly-divergent or highly-convergent grids are available, with 25cm focal points to provide either optimum beam current density or optimum beam uniformity. The 6cm ion source measures 7.5-inches in diameter by 5.6-inches in depth. The shroud is not water-cooled, so only two feedthroughs are required – RF Power and DC Bias/Gas. This source is also typically purchased with an RF Neutralizer, which requires one additional flange (2.75-inch CF or larger). Give us a call or send an e-mail and we’ll help configure your complete source package, or just get you the parts you need!

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

January 2017 newsletter

Ion Times

Photonics West 2017

Please come visit us in the Moscone Center North Hall, booth #5046! We encourage everyone to stop by and chat, ask questions, and talk through what we can do to help you meet your deadlines, expand your business, and meet your production and R&D goals this year.  Hope to see you next week!

Northern California AVS

Please come visit us in the Holiday Inn, San Jose, booth #60 on February 23rd. We encourage everyone to stop by and chat, ask questions, and talk through what we can do to help you meet your deadlines, expand your business, and meet your production and R&D goals this year.  Hope to see you next week!

White Papers

While white paper may not seem interesting, Plasma Process Group has some white paper with valuable text on it! Take a look at our Learning Center area where we have an array of white papers covering some of the research we’ve done regarding IBAD coatings and processes. All research presented in these white papers was done on our in-house Deposition System, which is, by the way, available for your use as an Applications Laboratory.

Getting the Most from your Gear

In a coating facility, nothing hurts more than having a system down. Thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per day can be lost when a system is not working. It is therefore critical that these systems be kept in excellent condition as much as possible. While Plasma Process Group provides services to keep your system running at peak performance, we also understand that sometimes it doesn’t make sense to send us your equipment for maintenance.

Grid Cleaning
Grid Care
RFN Maintenance
RFN Maintenance

As such, we have put together a number of different pages on our website regarding best maintenance practices, pitfalls, and tips & tricks to keeping your equipment in good shape.
Take a look through our maintenance notes and see if you could be doing something to help keep your systems running.

We have maintenance information and notes, performance standards, and refurbishment hints for almost all parts of your ion source package.  We are continuously adding more to the available information on our website, so check in often. You will find useful training videos in our ‘Resources’ section. The videos do require authorized access which is free when you sign up.

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions

December 2016 newsletter

Ion Times

16cm of Deposition Domination

The engineers at Plasma Process Group have developed a higher-current ion source that can achieve 800mA without needing a separate 1000W generator! They poured over every hotspot, analyzed each strap and connection, and evaluated the efficiency of the matching network and made some significant improvements in the interface allowing us to reach such a high beam current!

Photonics West 2017

Our biggest show of the year is coming up soon! Plasma Process Group will be exhibiting at Photonics West 2017 in booth #5046. Come visit us between January 31st and February 2nd in the North Hall of the Moscone Center. See what’s new, chat about what’s old, or run a custom idea by us – we’ll be there to talk to you!

The Impending Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again – when we all eat to much and wish we could remember why we thought spending so much time with family was a good idea. It’s also the time of year when schedules get tight! If you’re hoping to get an order in before the end of the year, now is the time to submit that PO so we can ship that order as soon as possible! Our Source Package and Power Supply lead times are already extending through February, so lock your place in line before it’s too late! As a reminder, Plasma Process Group will be closed for Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 24), Christmas (Monday, Dec. 26) and New Year’s (Monday, Jan. 2)

12cm Ion Beam Source – Featured Product

If you aren’t already using Ion Assist in your coating applications, it’s probably time to start thinking about it. The advantages of using ion assist are extensive, including dramatic improvements in environmental stability, contamination minimization, and better control over absorption to name a few. The 12cm RF Ion Beam Source from Plasma Process Group is a popular choice as an upgrade to evaporative, magnetron, and IBD systems. Providing up to 400mA of ion current at up to 1500V ion energy, our 12cm ion source can even be used as a primary deposition source.

12cm RF Ion Source
12 cm RF Source
12cm Internal Mount Interface
Internal Mount Hardware

When used as an assist ion source, typical applications require more modest current and voltage in the 200mA and 100 – 300V range. Our 12cm ion source is capable of running on pure O2, N2, and many other reactive gases. For applications requiring a bit more flexibility, or for less-than-ideal chamber configurations, the 12cm source is available in an Internal Mount configuration, requiring just three 2.75-inch conflat feedthroughs, and allowing the source to be set freely into the chamber at any angle necessary for your process.

The 12cm source is available with an array of different grids ranging from lightly-dished Molybdenum 130cm focal points to highly-divergent or -convergent options, as well as collimated flat graphite designs.

As a complete package, the 12cm source will include grids, an RF Neutralizer, our single-unit I-Beam 703 power supply, RF Matching Network and Controller, cables, and all the vacuum feedthroughs – everything you need to install and run the source in your chamber! Plus, you’ll get our absolutely unbeatable customer service.


I-Beam 703

RF Neutralizer

Wondering why you want a gridded ion source for your ion assist application? Take a look at these technical papers and their references. Yes, Ion Beam is more expensive, but it makes a huge difference when working with sensitive materials like Tantalum, Niobium, Halfnium, and Zirconium. It also makes steep-edged filters, gratings, and other complex optical devices possible, providing control over the process unachievable with gridless sources.
Of course, if you already have an ion beam source and you just need a vendor for parts and maintenance, give us a call or send an e-mail!

Plasma Process Group – Simple Ion Beam Solutions