• Heater Stages Overview
  • Standard Stages
  • Linear Motion and Rotation
  • Sample Biasing
  • Water and Gas Cooling
  • Sample Transfer

Sample Heater Stages Overview

Heater Stages

Thermic Edge offer a complete range of hot stage sample heaters for all deposition systems and applications. Heaters and samples can be mounted in any orientation and our range of manipulators provides cost effective options for sample rotation, heater rotation, sample transfer and sample / heater positioning. Every stage comes with the necessary power, thermocouple and water feedthroughs required so all you need to do is connect the services and it is ready to use. Heater controllers and power supplies are also available from Thermic Edge.

Environment

Standard heaters and stages have been developed for use in vacuum, air (or O2 rich environments) and ultra-high vacuum (UHV).

Viton® sealed rotary feedthroughs for high vacuum applications permit high torque applications. Magnetic and ferrofluidic rotary feedthroughs can be used to provide true UHV systems.

Thermic Edge substrate heaters and stages can be altered to operate in corrosive atmospheres. For example our all-graphite heater head stages supplied for the production of solar cells work in an aggressive copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) atmosphere for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

Heater Head

Any of our heaters can be mounted to our stages. The versatile heater range covers wafer sizes from Ø50mm [Ø2”] to Ø152mm [Ø6”] and temperatures up to 1600°C [2912°F]. Our button heaters have been developed for Ø25mm [Ø1”] samples and the SiC3 coated graphite range has been expanded to include Ø200mm (Ø8”) wafers.

Our square and rectangular heaters can also be mounted to stages.

All our heaters provide high thermal uniformity to the substrate, with ±0.5% temperature variation available. *

*Configuration dependant

Orientation

Stages can be mounted into the chamber in any orientation. Usually, they are mounted into the top of the chamber (so that the heater is facing downwards) or into the bottom of the chamber (so that the heater is facing upwards). This makes features such as rotation and sample transfer more straight forward. Sometimes the only available port is in the side of the chamber, and in this instance, we can provide solutions such as the assembly shown on the right. Typically, the heater head is smaller than the bore of the available port diameter, however it is possible to mount the stage to the chamber and the attach the heater through a larger port or door.

Rotation

Thermic Edge offer solutions for heater head and sample rotation. This can be motor (stepper or inverter) or manual (handwheel) driven.
Heater head rotation around the central axis is available to evenly apply heat to a surface. By fixing an arm to the central shaft, it is possible to position the heated sample over multiple deposition sources without needing to bring the system up to atmosphere.
the heated stage between different by cradle or central shaft rotation. We will happily incorporate our customers’ motors and preferred temperature controllers if required. The stage can be run manually, or it can easily be integrated into the systems’ PLC control.

Features:

  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”)
  • Manual (handwheel) or motor driven
  • Sample rotation through central shaft or outer cradle
  • Cost-effective Viton® sealed rotary feedthroughs for high vacuum applications
  • Magnetic and ferrofluidic rotary feedthroughs for UHV systems
  • Rotary joints for water / gas cooled heaters with rotating heater head
  • Sample transfer solutions using high precision positioning motors
  • Fully customisable with complete bespoke solutions available

Our Rotary / Linear feedthroughs comprise a central shaft sealed with Viton® seals, supported with Igus® bearings and encompassed in a robust stainless-steel flanged housing.

The profile of the Viton seals ensures a secure vacuum for both rotary and linear movement is formed with minimal compression, making them both highly versatile and reliable.

All feedthroughs can be configured with the following.

  • Handles/knobs for manual manipulation
  • Pneumatic rotary actuator for rotation
  • (Stepper / Servo) Motor for rotation
  • Pneumatic, motorised or solenoid actuators for linear manipulation

UHV – Magnetic

HV – fluorocarbon Viton® sealed rotary feedthroughs for high vacuum applications permit high torque applications.

Ferrofluidic?

Z-shift

Our Standard Linear Manipulator is fabricated from a pair of Conflat flanges, connected by edge welded bellows. Aluminium yolks offer strength and stability whilst keeping the assembly lightweight. It’s design, unlike many others, includes two guide bars which straddle the bellows assembly. This reduces the bending motion on the travelling flange yolk and alleviates the twisting stress on the lead screw when load is applied, allowing for the travelling flange to move towards the fixed flange in a controlled, precise motion as well as maintaining parallelism between the two flanges and minimal wear on the lead screw.

All manual Standard Linear Manipulators are installed with a metric/imperial digital linear scale with 100 µm resolution. The design includes mounts for either digital encoders or limit switches which can be added upon request.

The use of high-quality stainless-steel linear bearings (low friction coefficients) and Igus® guides ensure the smoothest operation coupled with a longer life span.

Where standard Z-shifts cannot be used, Thermic Edge can build the Z-shift odd the stage flange, as shown to the right. This design includes three guide bars, which make it self-supportive and therefore do not rely on the lead screw for rigidity (anti-deflection/rotation).

This large travelling platform design can accommodate a single bellows size up to ø93.0mm (internal, through bore) or multiple DN16-35/40CF bellows (3x max) for varying feedthroughs.

Linear manipulators of this style can be fitted with varying positional encoders and scales upon request. They can be configured with mounting flanges ranging from DN2022-350CF (Conflat) or ISO200-400K/F (ISO clamped/bolted) and standard strokes of either 50,100 or 250mm.

Upon request, our in-house design and engineering team can accommodate larger flange sizes and/or increased stroke lengths (up to 1000mm) as well as top flange X-alignment and tilting configurations, to suit your individual requirements.

Cooling

Thermic Edge offers a complete range of hot stage sample heaters for all deposition system applications. An important feature offered by Thermic Edge on our heater stages is water cooling, which has many benefits including:

  • Integration with customer systems
  • Defined pressure and flow rates to ensure sufficient cooling
  • Use on all heater types including rotating heater heads
  • Use with sample biasing
  • Cooling power feedthrough to allow higher current
  • Reduction of heat load on the chamber and other equipment

Water-cooled heaters can be mounted in any orientation and used with our full range of manipulators and biasing systems. Thermic Edge also supply chillers with our water-cooled stages where required.

If fast cool down of the samples is required, Thermic Edge offer a gas cooling option. Inert gas flows over the sample to cool it quickly, reducing process time. We work with the customer to provide suitable valves and fittings for your application.

The graphs shows acutal data for a Thermic Edge heater Stage with gas cooling. The red line shows the stage cooling profile with no gas flow present. The blue line shows the gas cooled profile. It takes 4 minutes 10 seconds for the heater to reach a safe venting temperature (300°C for this stage) with the gas flowing. Without gas flow it takes almost 20 minutes.

Bias

Thermic Edge supply heater stages with RF sample bias up to 1000W and DC sample bias up to 1000W for sample preparation and to improve the quality and purity of thin films.

Where the option of RF or DC biasing is required, Thermic Edge will also provide airside RF shielded cabling and filtering.

The option of biasing is available with all our other stage options which include sample rotation, tilting, Z-shift, cooling and automatic or manual sample transfer.

Connection is typically made with an N type or 7/16 coaxial connector.

Heater and stage are fully shielded internally to prevent unwanted plasmas away from the sample.

Shutter

Our stages can be fitted with manual, pneumatic or stepper motorised shutters, to provide more control over the deposition or to allow gradient deposition.

Sample Management

Thermic Edge provide solutions for sample transfer for all deposition system applications. We work closely with our customers to integrate our sample heater stages with their loading systems. Stages can be top or bottom mounted, with manual or automatic sample loading / wafer transfer.

Features:

  • Heaters and samples can be mounted in any orientation
  • Our standard range of Z-shifts or pin lift provides cost effective sample transfer solutions
  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”)
  • Outer cradle sample rotation for high temperature uniformity across sample
  • High precision servo / stepper motors allow home positioning for loading and unloading
  • Proximity sensors and micro switches for defining Z position and rotation position (required for stepper motors)
  • Configurations for high vacuum, UHV, oxygen, air and corrosive environments
  • Temperatures up to 1600°C as standard (higher temperatures can be achieved on request)
  • Fully customisable with complete bespoke solutions available
  • Built and tested in the UK

Cradles allow the sample to sit directly above the heater, without the need for a sample plate or a

See our Heater Stages brochure for more information on sample transfer.

Thermic Edge offers a complete range of hot stage sample heaters for all deposition system applications. Heaters and samples can be mounted in any orientation and our range of manipulators provides cost effective options for sample rotation, heater rotation, sample transfer and sample / heater positioning.

Features:

  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”)
  • Sample rotation through central shaft or outer cradle
  • Sample biasing (RF or DC) up to 1000W
  • Water-cooling to protect feedthroughs and / or reduce heat load on the chamber
  • Gas cooling to reduce sample cool down time
  • Sample transfer solutions using high precision positioning motors
  • Configurations for high vacuum, UHV, oxygen, air and corrosive environments
  • Temperatures up to 1600°C as standard (higher temperatures can be achieved on request)
  • Supplied with suitable internal thermocouple to measure control temperature
  • Fully customisable with complete bespoke solutions available
  • In-vacuum and air side cable assemblies included
  • Built and tested in the UK

Stages can be offered with sample biasing (RF or DC) up to 1000W and complete with temperature controller and power supply. For stages with RF biasing, full shielding and power / thermocouple line filtering is supplied. Water cooled heaters can be supplied with chillers.

Stages can be fitted with any of our standard heater head types (Inconel, Nichrome (NiCr), Silicon Carbide (SiC3) coated graphite, Carbon-Carbon Composite (CCC), tungsten and lamps) and permit configurations to suit every environment.

Any flange type can be used, although it is recommended to have a large enough bore to allow the heater head to pass through fully assembled.

View our standard stages page to see typical configurations that we supply. However, Thermic Edge specialise in providing bespoke solutions, using our own range of manipulators and feedthroughs and biasing designs that form a plasma perfectly confined to the surface of the substrate without any secondary plasmas forming in unwanted areas. The plasma remains stable even under sample rotation.

Standard Stages

Standard Features SMF01 SMF02 SMF03 SMF04 SMF05 SMF06
Max Operating Temperature 1000 1000 1000 1800 1800 1200
Rotating Head No No No No Yes No
Rotating shaft sample Holder Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Rotating Cradle sample holder No No No No No Yes
Central Shaft Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Motor – belt driven Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Motor – Direct drive No No Yes Yes No No
Power Feedthroughs Yes No Yes Optional No No
T/C Feedthrough Yes No Yes Optional No No
Optional
Water cooling – Base Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Water Cooling – Heatshield Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Water Feedthrough Yes No Yes Yes No No
RF / DC Bias Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Z-Shift for sample transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Z shift to move heater head Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Z shift to move Sample holder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Linear Movement for Pin Lift No No No Yes No No

Thermic Edge offers a complete range of hot stage sample heaters for all deposition system applications. Heaters and samples can be mounted in any orientation and our range of manipulators provides cost effective options for sample rotation, heater rotation, sample transfer and sample / heater positioning.

Features

  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”). Longer available as specials
  • Sample rotation through central shaft or outer cradle
  • Sample biasing (RF or DC) up to 1000W
  • Water-cooling to protect feedthroughs and / or reduce heat load on the chamber
  • Configurations for high vacuum, UHV, oxygen, air and corrosive environments
  • Temperatures up to 1800°C as standard (higher temperatures can be achieved on request)
  • Supplied with suitable internal thermocouple to measure control temperature
  • In-vacuum and air side cable assemblies included
  • Built and tested in the UK

For stages with RF biasing, full shielding and power / thermocouple line filtering is supplied. Water cooled heaters can be supplied with chillers. Thermic Edge also supply power supplies and temperature controllers.

Stages can be fitted with any of our standard heater head types (Inconel, Nichrome (NiCr), Silicon Carbide (SiC3) coated graphite, Carbon-Carbon Composite (CCC), tungsten and lamps) and permit configurations to suit every environment.

Any flange type can be used, although it is recommended to have a large enough bore to allow the heater head to pass through fully assembled.

Contact Us

Get in touch with our technical sales team today if you need any assistance or a bespoke solution.

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Linear Motion and Rotation

Thermic Edge have developed a full range of standard linear manipulators and rotary feedthroughs which can be used to fulfil most sample heater stage requirements, making for a cost-effective solution. They can be used for sample rotation, heater rotation, sample transfer and sample / heater to source positioning.

We will happily incorporate our customers’ motors and preferred temperature controllers if required. The stage can be run manually, or it can easily be integrated into the systems’ PLC control.

Features:

  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”)
  • Manual (handwheel) or motor driven
  • Sample rotation through central shaft or outer cradle
  • Cost-­effective Viton® sealed rotary feedthroughs for high vacuum applications
  • Magnetic and ferrofluidic rotary feedthroughs for UHV systems
  • Rotary joints for water / gas cooled heaters with rotating heater head
  • Sample transfer solutions using high precision positioning motors
  • Fully customisable with complete bespoke solutions available
  • Built and tested in the UK

Our Standard Linear Manipulator is fabricated from a pair of Conflat flanges, connected by edge welded bellows. Aluminium yolks offer strength and stability whilst keeping the assembly lightweight. It’s design, unlike many others, includes two guide bars which straddle the bellows assembly. This reduces the bending motion on the travelling flange yolk and alleviates the twisting stress on the lead screw when load is applied, allowing for the travelling flange to move towards the fixed flange in a controlled, precise motion as well as maintaining parallelism between the two flanges and minimal wear on the lead screw.

All manual Standard Linear Manipulators are installed with a metric/imperial digital linear scale with 100 µm resolution. The design includes mounts for either digital encoders or limit switches which can be added upon request.

The use of high-quality stainless-steel linear bearings (low friction coefficients) and Igus® guides ensure the smoothest operation coupled with a longer life span.

Where standard Z-shifts cannot be used, Thermic Edge can build the Z-shift odd the stage flange, as shown to the right. This design includes three guide bars, which make it self-supportive and therefore do not rely on the lead screw for rigidity (anti-deflection/rotation).

This large travelling platform design can accommodate a single bellows size up to ø93.0mm (internal, through bore) or multiple DN16-35/40CF bellows (3x max) for varying feedthroughs.

Linear manipulators of this style can be fitted with varying positional encoders and scales upon request. They can be configured with mounting flanges ranging from DN2022-350CF (Conflat) or ISO200-400K/F (ISO clamped/bolted) and standard strokes of either 50,100 or 250mm.

Upon request, our in-house design and engineering team can accommodate larger flange sizes and/or increased stroke lengths (up to 1000mm) as well as top flange X-alignment and tilting configurations, to suit your individual requirements.

Our Rotary / Linear feedthroughs comprise a central shaft sealed with Viton® seals, supported with Igus® bearings and encompassed in a robust stainless-steel flanged housing.

The profile of the Viton seals ensures a secure vacuum for both rotary and linear movement is formed with minimal compression, making them both highly versatile and reliable.

All feedthroughs can be configured with the following;

  • Handles/knobs for manual manipulation
  • Pneumatic rotary actuator for rotation
  • (Stepper / Servo) Motor for rotation
  • Pneumatic, motorised or solenoid actuators for linear manipulation

Biased Heater Stages

Thermic Edge supply heater stages with RF sample bias up to 1000W and DC sample bias up to 1000W for sample preparation and to improve the quality and purity of thin films.

Where the option of RF or DC biasing is required, Thermic Edge will also provide airside RF shielded cabling and filtering.

The option of biasing is available with all our other stage options which include; sample rotation, tilting, Z-shift, cooling and automatic or manual sample transfer.

Connection is typically made with an N type or 7/16 coaxial connector.

Heater and stage is fully shielded internally to prevent unwanted plasmas away from the sample.

Water and Gas Cooling

Thermic Edge offers a complete range of hot stage sample heaters for all deposition system applications. An important feature offered by Thermic Edge on our heater stages is water cooling, which has many benefits including:

  • Integration with customer systems
  • Defined pressure and flow rates to ensure sufficient cooling
  • Use on all heater types including rotating heater heads
  • Use with sample biasing
  • Cooling power feedthrough to allow higher current
  • Reduction of heat load on the chamber and other equipment

Water-cooled heaters can be mounted in any orientation and used with our full range of manipulators and biasing systems. Thermic Edge also supply chillers with our water-cooled stages where required.

The above graphs shows acutal data for a Thermic Edge heater Stage with gas cooling. The red line shows the stage cooling profile with no gas flow present. The blue line shows the gas cooled profile. It takes 4 minutes 10 seconds for the heater to reach a safe venting temperature (300°C for this stage) with the gas flowing. Without gas flow it takes almost 20 minutes.

Sample Transfer

Thermic Edge provide solutions for sample transfer for all deposition system applications. We work closely with our customers to integrate our sample heater stages with their loading systems. Stages can be top or bottom mounted, with manual or automatic sample loading / wafer transfer.

Features:

  • Heaters and samples can be mounted in any orientation
  • Our standard range of Z-shifts or pin lift provides cost effective sample transfer solutions
  • Standard linear shifts with travel up to 250 mm (10”)
  • Outer cradle sample rotation for high temperature uniformity across sample
  • High precision servo / stepper motors allow home positioning for loading and unloading
  • Proximity sensors and micro switches for defining Z position and rotation position (required for stepper motors)
  • Configurations for high vacuum, UHV, oxygen, air and corrosive environments
  • Temperatures up to 1600°C as standard (higher temperatures can be achieved on request)
  • Fully customisable with complete bespoke solutions available
  • Built and tested in the UK

 

See our Heater Stages brochure for more information on sample transfer.

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