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Magnetrons - Technical Information


Teer Coatings can supply magnetron cathodes for any thin film application. In most magnetron based systems the ion current density at the substrates is insufficient for the deposition of dense, high quality coatings. Such problems are most apparent when trying to deposit onto complex geometries or at large target to substrate separations. By using high magnetic field strengths in the unbalanced configuration, large increases in ion current can be made(more than 10 times) compared to conventional designs. The ability to generate high ion currents results in better adhesion and structure and also produces a much wider ‘operating’ window for efficient thin film formation.


In all of the Teer Coatings UDP coating systems 2, 4, 6 or 8 magnetrons are used in combination to produce high deposition rates, low cycle times and uniform deposition.

The magnetrons are unbalanced and are arranged so that neighbouring magnetrons are of opposite polarity (D.G.Teer UK Patent 2258343). This produces linking of the magnetic field lines between magnetrons preventing the escape of the ionising electrons and so enhancing the intensity of the plasma associated with the biased substrates. The ion current density, which is already high because of the use of high strength unbalanced magnetrons, is further increased.

This is shown in the following diagram. The ion current density for a plasmag system can be 100 times that of a conventional system with balanced magnetrons. The combination of high ion current density at low bias voltages is the optimum for the deposition of high quality, dense, adherent coatings with low internal stresses.

In addition to the standard range of magnetrons, Teer Coatings Ltd offer a full custom design and manufacturing service.

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