When the surface really matters

Off-Axis Sputtering

A new approach to ion-assisted sputtering… without a separate ion source

Isoflux changed the game once by introducing cylindrical inverted magnetrons, enabling unparalleled uniformity, efficiency and high plasma energies for coating complex shapes.  But that same cylindrical configuration can bring something unique to flat surfaces as well – ion-assisted sputtering off-axis, without a separate ion source.

Combining our cylindrical magnetron configuration with a patented unbalanced magnetic field creates field lines which extend out of the ends of the cathode cylinder.  This allows sputtered atoms to coat a substrate placed off-axis while the magnets drive electrons and ions out the ends of the cathode through a process known as “ambipolar diffusion.” 

The Result:  Ion-assisted sputtering without the need for an expensive and hard-to-maintain separate ion source.

This configuration also provides exceptional uniformity.  Isoflux has demonstrated coating thickness uniformity of ±0.25 percent over a 16 cm diameter area with no rotation or masking.  No rotation or masking translates to simpler equipment and higher utilization and coating efficiency.  The data shown below is for a Ta2O5 coating applied off-axis to a stationary substrate.

Contact us to learn more about how off-axis coating could fit for your application.