June SVConnections Logo

In This Issue
* Proprietary or Off-the-Shelf?
* PVD Industry $15 Billion by 2014
* Graphene for All-Plastic Electronics
* TIP Manufacturing Competition
* Magnetic Thin Films
* Capturing Fingerprints
* How Thin Films Melt
* BP Closes Solar Plant
* 99% Efficient Photon Counter
* Microscope"Sees" Atoms for First Time
* A Rival for Silicon
* Next Generation Space Vehicle
* A Special Message from SVC


Filmetrics Thin-Film Thickness Measurement Systems

-Measure thickness from 1nm to 1mm

-Measure refractive index and other properties

-Used in thousands of applications worldwide

We offer the industry's only complete line of thin-film

measurement instruments. With our 24-hour online

"Hands On" support, expert help is only a minute away.



RD Mathis

The R.D. Mathis Company specializes in the fabrication of high vacuum evaporation sources for thin film coating industries. We offer a comprehensive selection of tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum sources through our catalog and offer custom fabrication to meet your specific coating needs. Our "LV Series" Low Voltage, High Current Power Supplies and "GP 100" Inert Gas Purifier compliment your evaporation process.





Veeco's new SOLUS™ DC Ion Source Controller features a state-of-the-art precision control system design providing reliable and stable power for ion source operation in all types of processes.  Integrated power modules and gas flow control with ratio capabilities allow for optimal ion source control and performance in the most demanding process environments.

To Learn More Visit:



Mustang Vacuum Systems Orion Roll to Roll Deposition Systems

Substrate: Up to 10,000 FT length, 1000 MM wide flexible substrates configured with 1-10 deposition sources for precision and speed.  Deposition zones are individually configurable for PVD sputter, evaporation, co-evaporation and sublimation enabling the next generation of thin film technologies.

Visit Us



Solid Sealing Technology

Solid Sealing Technology specializes in the design and manufacture of highly engineered hermetic products using metalizing, brazing, glass-ceramic sealing, welding, and critical assembly.  SST manufactures industry standard and custom designed Vacuum Feedthroughs, Coaxial Connectors, Multi-Pin Connectors, Thermocouples, and Isolators for high temperature, UHV, and high pressure applications.


Ph: 518-874-3600
Fax: 518-874-3610



Helium Leak Detector with Wireless Remote
portable helium leak detector is rugged, easy to use and now comes with wireless remote so you can operate at distances up to 300'. It comes with a user selected backing pump to match any application and with vacuum and sniffer standard operating modes. SmartTest provides the smallest detectable leak rate for helium: 5 x 10-12 mbar l/s.

Learn more.

Pfeiffer Vacuum, Incwww.pfeiffer-vacuum.com
Phone: 603-578-6500
Toll Free: 800-248-8254


Qulee Family

ULVAC offers three compact quadrupole mass spectrometers - the low cost Qulee BGM, Qulee CGM for high pressures and Qulee HGM for the highest sensitivity. All feature ease-of-operation and an integrated display and control eliminates the need for a PC. One-touch control displays the partial pressure in Torr, mbar, or Pascal of He, H2O, N2, O2, O2/N2 ratio and user selected gas.

Learn More




Power Your Electrostatic Chucks with Comdel

 With more than 30 models from 1 to 10 kV, Comdel has the ESC power supply that's right for your application, with bipolar or unipolar options, low stored energy and continuous current limit for protection from surges/arcs and built in RF filters for device protection and unsurpassed clamping.  Variable control and fully programmable with analog, RS232 or DeviceNet interface.  Learn more.


11 Kondelin Road
Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel: 978-282-0620 or 800-468-3144
Fax: 978-282-4980



Vacuum Research

Steel and Aluminum High Vacuum Poppet Valves

Aluminum, Stainless or Mild Steel Valves with flanges to match diffusion & Cryo pumps. Electroless nickel optional on steel valves. High conductance full opening port. Leak tested to better than 5 X 10-10 scc/sec. RoHS compliant and CE marked.


Phone: 800-426-9340

Web: www.vacuumresearch.com

Email: vrc@vacuumresearch.com


MEWASA has expanded the manufacturing possibilities of its bellows production, allowing the manufacture of bellows up to 1100mm in diameter. Combined with the modern PC-based control, our machine provides the flexibility to weld arbitrary bellows profiles, including oval shaped bellows with inside dimensions of 66.7 to 117.5mm.  MEWASA has widened its capabilities, offering greater design solutions to meet your engineering applications, whether it is larger dimensions or different profile shapes.

Contact: Ira Miller,

General Manager,

Mewasa North America


Tel: 520-797-6980

Lesker Logo




Global manufacturer & distributor of vacuum products. With our three divisions-The Vacuum Mart™, Process Equipment Division, & Materials Division-we are your One Supplier for a Complete Vacuum Solution. Offering quality products and quick delivery from our worldwide warehouses. Exclusive distributor for Solvay Solexis' Fomblin and Galden products for vacuum pumps & heat transfer applications.

 Make your life easier with Evatec's  advanced "Thin Film Toolbox"   Seamless integration of film design software, a proprietary strategy generator for layer termination, process recipe generation,download of process and finally coating itself enable manufacture of the highest quality optical coatings time after time. 
For information contact your local office.
Phone: +1 603 669-9656 . www.evatecnet.com
UC Components Logo 
Speed pump-down and vacuum performance with RediVac™ Vented Screws and Vacuum Baked O-Rings from

UC Components Inc.


HIPIMS Conference in Sheffield

International Conference on HIPIMS
Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield, United Kingdom
July 5-7, 2010

Featuring Two SVC Tutorial Courses
Click the links for course description, topical outline and detailed syllabus

Thin Film Growth and Microstructure Evolution
(Joseph Greene)

Sputter Deposition in Manufacturing
(David Glocker)

Click here for More Details
Video Image

Innovation by Surface Technology
View this short and colorful video, displaying how vacuum coating plays a role in friction reduction and wear protection surfaces, micro and sensor technology, applications of optical coatings, photocatalysis, and transparent scratch protection.

Watch it Now!
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Countless modern conveniences have traveled the journey from infancy to maturity; but few of us can claim to have been in close touch with the science, technology and vision behind their development.  SVConnections is designed to illuminate the work and progress of those individuals and organizations whose breakthroughs and discoveries have led to yet another amazing process or gadget, enriching our lives.  Read this latest snapshot of today's developments and stay on top of their impact on our personal and business lives.

Thin Film Photovoltaic Manufacturing Equipment: Proprietary or off-the-shelf?

It appears that equipment manufacturers targeting thin film photovoltaic manufacturing are coming up against serious barriers to entry.  Some firms making cells and solar panels appear to prefer to design and build their own fabrication equipment. According to NanoMarkets, the TFPV industry will have a capacity of around 29 GWp and will be spending about $4 billion on manufacturing equipment by 2015.

More at Thin Film Today:

Global PVD Industry Expected to be Worth Almost $15 Billion by 2014
From www.azom.com, May 6, 2010

According to a new technical market research report, PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION (PVD): GLOBAL MARKETS (MFG015D) from BCC Research, the value of the global PVD industry was nearly $9 billion Global PVD Industryin 2009, but is expected to increase to more than $14.8 billion in 2014, for a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7%.

The largest segment of the market, PVD equipment, is projected to increase at a CAGR of 10.5% to nearly $10.5 billion in 2014, after being valued at nearly $6.4 billion in 2009.

Materials deposited, which make up the second-largest segment of the market, are estimated at $1.4 billion in 2009, and are expected to increase at a 5-year CAGR of 12.2% to reach more than $2.5 billion in 2014.

The services segment is projected to have a CAGR of 9.8%, with values of nearly $1.2 billion in 2009 and nearly $1.9 billion in 2014.

The PVD industry has expanded over the past several decades. More sophisticated manufacturing and fabrication techniques and smaller-sized products have broadened the demand for vapor-deposited materials. New and existing products require materials that can be delivered by vacuum deposition of films on a growing variety of substrates.

(Click the image to read the full article on www.azom.com)
Image: www.azom.com

Graphene for All-Plastic Electronics: New light-emitting electrochemical cell contains no metal electrode

By Belle Dume, Optics.org, April 27, 2010

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are increasingly being used in everyday applications like televisions, camera displays and mobile phones. However, despite using carbon-based materials as the light-emitting layer, previous devices needed at least one metal electrode. Now, researchers in Sweden and the US have used graphene as the transparent cathode in a device similar to an OLED, called a light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC). The device is one of the first truly organic, or "plastic" electronic devices.


LEC during Light EmissionOLEDs contain an electroluminescent layer that is made of an organic semiconductor material sandwiched between two electrodes, at least one of which is transparent. OLEDs are not only more environmentally friendly and easy to process than conventional light sources, they can also generate photons across a range of colours to produce white light. Devices made from OLEDs run on little electricity too.


Manish Chhowalla's group at Rutgers University in the US began with graphite and oxidized flakes of graphene oxide from the graphite in an acidic solution. After filtering the suspension and transferring the resulting material to a quartz substrate, the film was then reduced and annealed at high temperatures in an oven containing argon/helium.

(click the image for the full article on http://optics.org)
Image: ACS Nano

NIST-the TIP Manufacturing Competition

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced a new manufacturing competition offering funding for approximately 25 projects totaling $25 million. The competition offers cost-shared funding for innovative research on manufacturing and biomanufacturing on materials, advances and critical processes. The due date for proposals is June, 15 2010.


The 2010 TIP competition is open to research proposals in three areas:

1) Process scale-up, integration and design for materials advances-addresses how new materials move from the laboratory to full production.

2) Predictive modeling for materials advances and materials processing-using the power of modern analysis, modeling and computation to streamline the design and production scale-up of new materials by more accurately predicting their performance.

3) Critical process advances-novel production technologies that dramatically improve the processing of new materials or resolve important bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the production of existing materials.


Click here to link to the program at NIST

Review the proposal link

Magnetic Thin Films and Nanostructures: Patterning New Properties

By Professor Robert Stamps, University of Western Australia, from AZoNano.com, May 18, 2010

Exceptional advances in the control of material properties has been achieved, through careful manipulation of geometry on nano- and sub-nanometre length scales, in magnetoelectronics and nanomagnetism. Advanced techniques now allow for the creation of structures patterned on sub-micron length scales in three dimensions. New phenomena has been discovered in patterned magnets that can be strongly controlled by ion bombardment, multilayering, and lithographic patterning.


Examples include: materials for microwave signal processing Magnetic Thin Filmstechnologies, whose properties that can be tuned by magnetic and electric fields; high speed switching of magnetization in elements used for data storage and spin electronics; and manipulation of magnetic domains and domain walls in carefully crafted structures that serve as model experimental systems for studies of complex dynamics.

(click the image for the full article on www.azonano.com)
Image: azonano.com

New Method Developed to Capture Fingerprints on Difficult Surfaces

By Gant Team, www.gantdaily.com, May 17, 2010

CSI notwithstanding, forensics experts cannot always retrieve Fingerprintfingerprints from objects, but a conformal coating process developed by Penn State professors can reveal hard-to-develop fingerprints on nonporous surfaces without altering the chemistry of the print.


"As prints dry or age, the common techniques used to develop latent fingerprints, such as dusting or cyanoacrylate - SuperGlue - fuming often fail," said Robert Shaler, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of Penn State's forensic sciences program.


This happens because most of the techniques currently used for developing fingerprints rely on the chemistry of the print. Fingerprints are made up of a mixture of secretions from the body that reacts with different chemicals to form a visible or fluorescent product. Infrared and x-ray imaging also target specific chemicals left behind by the ridges and valleys in the skin.


"Lots and lots of processes take advantage of the chemistry of fingerprints," said Shaler. "This approach looks at the geometry of the fingerprints."


The conformal coating applications suggested by Shaler and Ahklesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder professor in engineering science and mechanics, use the physical properties of the fingerprint, not the chemistry of the substances left behind. In fact, the researchers believe that even after the fingerprints are developed using the coating, forensics experts could sample the fingerprint material to determine specifics about the person who left the prints.

(click the image to read the full article on www.gantdaily.com)

How Thin Films Melt
By J.R. Minkel, Physical World Focus, May 21, 2010

If you heat a crystal that is just a few molecules thick, it melts differently from a macroscopically thick crystal. A team using gel-like beads in liquid as stand-ins for molecules examined melting in this "thin film" regime by tracking the motion of each particle. As they report in the 21 May Physical Review Letters, films thicker than four layers melt by passing through a phase that is part liquid and part solid, whereas films of two to four layers melt all at once. Single-layer films pass through a completely different phase between solid and liquid, they found.


Thin FilmResearchers would like to know how phase transitions, such as from solid to liquid, change when the substance is confined to fewer dimensions than the usual three. They have fairly good theories on the melting of a single layer of molecules, but more recently they have pursued the thin film regime--a few molecular layers. Thin films have properties in common with both 2D and 3D, and their melting is not well understood. For experiments, it's difficult to track individual molecules, so researchers often turn to microscopic plastic spheres floating in liquid, which act somewhat like molecules and can be tracked individually with a microscope and video processing software.

(click the image to read the full article on www.focus.aps.org)
Image: Y. Han, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

BP Solar Closes Last U.S. Plant Module Manufacturing Line: moves to China and India

BP Solar
BP Solar has closed their Frederick, MD facility for making modules. As result they will lay off 320 of 430 employees. Manufacturing of ingots and wafers will continue at the plant. Even though the solar market has been growing rapidly, cost cutting manufacturing has caused module production to go to China and India because of lower labor costs. BP has joint projects with Xinjiang Sun Oasis in Xi'an, China and Tata in India to produce modules. Unfortunately this move is counter-productive for the creation of more clean technology manufacturing in the U.S., as part of the U.S. Recovery Act.

Read the C&EN article

Original 2009 announcement by BP Solar

Image: BP Solar
New NIST Detector Counts Photons with 99% Efficiency

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and TechnNIST Logoology (NIST) have developed the world's most efficient single photon detector. The detector is able to count individual particles of light traveling through fiber optic cables with roughly 99% efficiency. The efforts of Sae Woo Nam's NIST team could bring improvements to secure electronic communication, advanced quantum computation and the measurement of optical power. More information is at: http://www.nist.gov/eeel/optoelectronics/detector_041310.cfm

Image: NIST

UCLA Researchers Use New Microscope to "See" Atoms for First Time

Featured In: Instrumentation, By EurekAlert, May 4, 2010

UCLA researchers report in the April 30 edition of the journal Cell that they have imaged a virus structure at a resolution high enough to effectively "see" atoms, the first published instance of imaging biological complexes at such a resolution.


The research team, led by Hong Zhou, UCLA professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, used cryo-electron microscopy to image the structure at 3.3 angstroms. An angstrom is the smallest recognized division of a chemical element and is about the distance between the two hydrogen atoms in a water molecule.


The study, the researchers say, demonstrates the great potential of cryo-electron microscopy, or Cryo-EM, for producing extremely high-resolution images of biological samples in their native environment.


"This is the first study to determine an atomic resolution structure through Cryo-EM alone," said Xing Zhang, a postdoctoral candidate in Zhou's group and lead author of the Cell paper. "By proving the effectiveness of this microscopy technique, we have opened the door to a wide variety of biological studies."


With traditional light microscopy, a magnified image of a sample is viewed through a lens. Some samples, however, are too small to diffract visible light (in the 500 to 800 nm range, or 5,000 to 8,000 angstroms) and therefore cannot be seen. To image objects at the sub-500 nm scale, scientists must turn to other tools, such as atomic force microscopes, which use an atomically thin tip to generate an image by probing a surface, in much the same way a blind person reads by touching Braille lettering.

(Click here to learn more at www.biosciencetechnology.com)

Advanced Production Technique Holds Promise for Silicon Rivals: Could silicon's choke hold on the semiconductor universe be threatened?

By Levi Beckerson (Blog) - May 25, 2010

Silicon isn't the best semiconductor in the world. But among the features keeping it nearly ubiquitous in electronic devices is the GA Transistorrelative ease of construction of silicon-based chips in comparison to superior materials. As with just about any mass-produced product in the world, quality has long since taken the back seat to quantity. 


One contender for semiconductor superiority is gallium arsenide. Unfortunately, as one might be led to believe, the vapor deposition method typically utilized to create gallium arsenide is more costly than its silicon counterpart. Fortunately for gallium arsenide, a group of DoE and NSF-funded professors, students and scientists based at the University of Illinois, has pioneered a new manufacturing process that will help even the field.


As the previously utilized methods of gallium arsenide semiconductor production involved deposition to create a thin film, devices either needed to be created directly on the substrate or in a more typical wafer design which could then be clipped out into multiple pieces much like a standard silicon wafer technique used for manufacturing computer processor cores. The cleverness of the UI team's take on the thin films isn't in a revolutionary deposition process, but in using the same process over and over on the same substrate. By utilizing the same substrate multiple times, stacking the thin films on top of each other, they save time, money and manpower involved in producing the same amount of film in single sheets.

Click image to read the full article on www.dailytech.com)

Image: John Rogers, University of Illinois

UC Researcher to Contribute to the Next Generation of Space Vehicle

Voxy News Engine, May 25, 2010

A University of Canterbury engineer is working with American scientists on the next generation of space vehicle.


Associate Professor Susan Krumdieck, of UC's Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been named as an investigator to work on the next generation of hypersonic vehicle. The hypersonic vehicle, which will use scramjet engines and travel at Mach 10-15, is regarded as a much more efficient replacement for the space shuttle as it will be able to essentially fly to space.


The project is being carried out by the US National Hypersonic Science Center for Materials and Structures (NHSC) and is funded by the US Air Force and NASA. An industrial contractor, Teledyne Scientific, and seven US universities are involved in various aspects of research including materials, materials processing, mechanics, atomistics and structures. Professor Krumdieck will be working directly with David Marshall of Teledyne and Professor Rishi Raj of University of Colorado at Boulder.


"It is exciting to be working on the really challenging science problems again," said Professor Krumdieck. "I don't know how many years in the future this vehicle might be, or what the probability is that they will ever figure out how to really do it, but that doesn't stop the Americans from trying virtually impossible things. That is how they keep challenging their researchers, and why they really do lead the world in science and advanced materials engineering."

(Click here to read the full article on www.voxy.co.nz)
A Message from the SVC President and Program Chairs
Thank You from SVC
Click the image to read a special message from SVC President, Frank Zimone, and from the Program Chairs of the 2010 SVC TechCon in Orlando, FL.

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