Ion Sources

DC Gridded Ion Sources

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The KDC products are enhanced designs of the typical Kaufman source. Traditional ion beam processing is available with the high quality and the stable beams output by these sources.

Kaufman & Robinson incorporates updated design features to the traditional Kaufman (KDC) ion source technology. KRI’s new KDC product line brings advancements such as self-aligned ion optics and modern switch mode power supplies. These benefits have led to more productive, reliable and less costly Kaufman gridded ion source products. The Kaufman (KDC) product line consists of an ion source portfolio which spans a variety of physical sizes and performance specifications.

We provide a comprehensive Kaufman (KDC) product package. The package is complete with components required to install and operate the KDC products, including the Kaufman (KDC) ion source, application-specific ion optics, electron source neutralizer, power supply controller, vacuum feedthroughs, and cables.

KDC products are used across the globe in world class research and industrial fabrication of optical, photonics, magnetic and microelectronic devices. The KDC packages are configurable to suit installation platforms. These configurations can be integrated into numerous vacuum process platforms, including bell jar systems, small multi-purpose R&D systems, dedicated planetary motion deposition or etching systems, box coaters, single wafer load-lock cluster tools, web coaters, rotary, low profile sputtering systems, and in-line coaters.

The KDC products are applied in standard and emerging material processes. The ability to work at the atomic level makes the KDC products effective tools to engineer films and surfaces with nanometer precision. Whether its density compaction, stress control, optical transmission, resistivity, smooth interfaces, improved adhesion, vertical sidewalls and critical etch depths, the KDC products are responsible for yielding beneficial material properties.

    Features & Benefits

    • DC Thermionic discharge
    • Optlin self aligning ion optics
    • Neutralization with filament or LFN (low frequency neutralizer)
    • Gas compatibility with Ar, Kr, Xe, O2, N2, H2, others
    • Beam Type: collimated, convergent, divergent
    • Internal mount or CF mount versions

    Typical applications include:

    • Ion beam assisted deposition
    • In-situ preclean in sputtering & evaporation (PC)
    • Surface modification and activation (SM)
    • Direct deposition of thin and hard coatings (DD)
    • Low energy ion beam etching (LIBE)
    • Biased target ion beam sputter deposition (BTIBSD)
    • Ion beam sputter deposition of single and multilayer structures (IBSD)
    • Ion beam etching of surface features in any material (IBE)
    • Ion beam trimming, tuning and figuring of precision devices (IBE)
    • Ion beam polishing for microscopy sample preparation (IBP)
    Ion beam current> 10 mA>100 mA> 250 mA> 400 mA> 650 mA
    Beam voltage100 - 1200 V100 - 1200 V100 - 1200 V100 - 1200 V100 - 1200 V
    Beam size at grid10 mm40 mm75 mm100 mm160 mm
    Gas flow1 - 5 sccm2 - 10 sccm2 - 15 sccm2 - 20 sccm2 - 30 sccm
    Length115 mm171 mm201 mm235 mm252 mm
    Diameter40 mm90 mm140 mm194 mm232 mm

    Beam Shaping Ion Optics

    The KDC products offer a variety of ion optics designs. These designs determine the spatial distribution of ion current density downstream from the grid exit plane. With defocused ion optics design, the ions diverge as they exit the source, spreading the ion beam as they travel downstream. With a focused ion optics design, the ions converge to a focal point downstream of the grid exit plane. With a collimated ion optics design, the ions exit the grid with a trajectory nearly parallel to the ion source axis. These unique beam shapes are then matched to the appropriate ion beam process.

    Decoupled Ion Energy and Current

    For most of the operational range, the KDC products allow independent operation of important ion beam properties. For example, the ion energy and ion current can be set without a mutual interaction between the two parameters. The flexibility to interchange the ion energy (Vb) and ion current (Ib) at a given ion beam power (Pb = Vb x Ib), brings a valuable tool in process optimization. The KDC products produce an ion beam with essentially a mono-energetic ion energy distribution. Whether a substrate surface is bombarded with 200eV ion or 1000eV ions will influence the ion/material interaction. The KDC products output stable ion beam currents with variations typically less than 1% from the set-point. Whether a substrate surface is bombarded with a current of 1mA or 1000mA will influence process rates and temperature.

    High Density DC Discharge

    The KDC products utilize a well-proven and efficient plasma generation process. the discharge chamber, a cathode thermionically emits a reliable source of electrons. The electrons are attracted to a DC biased metal anode. The neutral gas species is efficiently ionized due to a confining magnetic field. This mechanism produces a high density plasma of many gases, including Ar, Xe, O2, N2 and other reactive gases.

    Non-immersed neutralizers

    The standard KDC neutralizer configuration is an inexpensive refractory metal filament stretched across the ion beam. The filament is heated to thermionic emission temperature. The filament neutralizer may be replaced with an alternative non-immersed neutralizer. The non-immersed neutralizer sits to the side of the source and outside the ion beam. When the neutralizer is outside the beam, the time between maintenance is significantly longer for the non-immersed neutralizer versus the filament neutralizer. This non-immersed configuration is suited for low frequency maintenance installations and long operational runs when it is important to minimize the risk of process interruption.

    Self-Aligning Grids (OptiBeam™)

    The KDC product line incorporates KRI’s patented self-aligned ion optics technology. The OptiBeam™ grids do not require an alignment procedure. Through advanced engineering and precision construction, the straightforward assembly procedure assures the grids are aligned. The benefits of the self-aligning grids includes beam repeatability, extended grid lifetime, maximized ion current, reduced maintenance time and improved uptime.

    Stable Neutralization

    The product line provides a dedicated and regulated electron source neutralizer. With a reliable source of electrons, the products can process dielectric, electrically isolated, and electrostatic sensitive substrates. The correct amount electrons are present in the ion beam and they arrive at the substrate surface to provide an electrically neutral process. The KDC operation does not need to rely on an ambiguous source of electrons such as exposed and conductive chamber hardware. Coating build-up and stray electromagnetic fields, which may be present in the vacuum chamber, will not disturb the ion beam quality, stability or neutralization of the KDC products. However, in the case, when the neutralization process is not so critical, the KDC products do allow operation without the neutralizer.