Turbo-Pumped Sputter Coater/Carbon Coater

The Q150 GB is a modular glove box version of the highly successful Q150T ES Plus bench top turbomolecular-pumped coating system – suitable for SEM, TEM and many thin-film applications. The Q150 GB comes as standard with sputtering and carbon rod evaporation inserts and a rotating specimen stage. Options include metal evaporation, glow discharge, film thickness measurement and special stages to suit a range of specimen types.

Key Features

  • Modular construction for mounting in glove boxes
  • Integral glove box pressure monitoring
  • Remote operation from a touch screen control panel
  • Metal sputtering and carbon evaporation in one system
  • High vacuum turbo pumping – allows sputtering of a wide range oxidizing and non-oxidizing (noble) metals
  • High vacuum carbon rod coating – ideal for SEM and TEM carbon coating applications (carbon fiber available as an option)
  • Vacuum shut down feature – leaves the process chamber under vacuum when not in use, improved vacuum performance
  • Thick film capabilities – up to 60 minutes sputtering time without breaking vacuum
  • Integral pressure interlock switch – automatically turn off pumping if pressure becomes too high
  • Three-year warranty

Product Description

Based on the market-leading Q150T Plus coater, the Q150 GB is single platform for both sputtering and carbon rod evaporation. Metal evaporation using filament or boat sources is also possible using an optional insert.

Depending upon user preference, the Q150 GB can be a top-of-the-range sputter coater for high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), or a high vacuum carbon coater suitable for SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The flexibility of the Q150 GB can be further expanded using a range of optional accessories.

The Q150 GB can sputter both oxidizing and non-oxidizing (noble) metals, making it ideal for many thin film applications.

The Q150 GB has an integral turbomolecular pump and additionally requires a suitable rotary pump or dry pump to "back" the turbomolecular pump. See Ordering Information for more details.

Flexible modular design

A modular design enables the vacuum chamber to be mounted through the base of the glove box or – when modification to the glove box floor is not possible – inside the glove box itself (optional feedthroughs are required).

A separate power supply housed in a rugged case is designed to be floor-mounted and can be positioned conveniently beneath the glove box or bench. The touch screen user interface is housed in a robust stainless steel case and can be positioned outside of the glove box environment, if preferred.

Options for glove box mounting:
    1. Vacuum module mounted in the floor of the glove box

      A cut-out is made in the floor of the glove box and the vacuum chamber fitted and sealed with the gasket supplied. External connections from the floor-mounted power supply, vacuum pump and argon gas can then be made directly to the chamber.


  1. Vacuum module placed inside the glove box

    The chamber assembly is placed inside the glove box and the power supply, vacuum pump and argon gas connections are made through two KF40 feedthroughs in the rear of the glove box.

Note: Each Q150 GB can be supplied with a basic accessory/configuration kit to suit either internally or externally mounted vacuum chambers. For this option please order the connection kit. Additional kits can be designed on a case-by-case basis to allow the Q150 GB to be adapted to various manufacturers' glove boxes. Please contact us for further details.

Touch screen user interface – rapid data entry

Enclosed in a stainless steel case and mounted at a convenient position outside the glove box, the touch screen allows multiple users to input and store coating protocols.

At the operational heart of Q150 GB is the touch screen controller, which allows the most inexperienced or occasional operators to rapidly enter and store their own process data. To further aid ease of use, a number of typical sputtering and evaporation profiles are provided.

Vacuum module – including "vacuum shutdown" and glove box pressure interlock

The vacuum module houses all the working components, including the 70 L/s air-cooled turbomolecular pump. An automatic bleed control ensures optimum vacuum conditions during sputtering and a full-range active gauge is fitted as standard to monitor the vacuum.

The Q150 GB includes "vacuum shutdown", a convenient feature which enhances vacuum performance by allowing the chamber vacuum to be maintained when the coater is not in use.

A unique feature of the Q150 GB is the integral pressure interlock switch. This independently monitors the pressure inside the glove box and turns off the vacuum pump if the glove box atmosphere is unacceptably reduced due to a vacuum leak.

The vacuum chamber is 214 mm high to allow for increased source-to-substrate distances required for coating large specimens. It has an external diameter of 165 mm and comes with an integral implosion guard. The chamber assembly is easy to remove to allow specimen exchange and chamber cleaning.

A variable speed rotary specimen stage is fitted as standard, with full height adjustment from 0 to 190 mm above the base plate. Other stages are available as options.

Sputter coating and carbon coating as standard, plus an option for metal evaporation

Quick-change deposition inserts can be swapped in seconds and the intelligent system logic automatically recognizes which insert is in place and displays the appropriate operating settings.

High resolution sputter coating

The Q150 GB features a high-resolution sputter coater insert (3200) for oxidizing and non-oxidizing (noble) metals. A wide selection of sputtering targets is available, including iridium and chromium (Cr), which are highly recommended for FE-SEM applications. Please see Ordering Information for details of available metal targets.

Carbon rod evaporation

The high vacuum carbon rod coating insert (3230) is ideal for the production of highly stable carbon films and surface replicas for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The Q150 GB uses economical 3.05 mm diameter carbon rods, and the advanced "anti-stick" carbon rod evaporation gun offers simple operation and reproducible results.

A carbon fiber evaporation insert (3250) is available as an option (see Options and Accessories).

Controlled ramped carbon rod evaporation

This comes as standard with E and ES models and has two important benefits. Careful control of evaporation allows precise control of carbon thickness (with or without the optional film thickness monitor). In addition, the quality of the resulting carbon films is enhanced by the eradication of "sparking" – a common and unwanted feature of less advanced coating systems.

Controlled pulse carbon cord evaporation

If the optional carbon fiber insert (for E and ES models) is fitted, then controlled profiles ensure carbon is evaporated in short pulses. This significantly reduces the amount of debris (including large carbon fragments) associated with traditional carbon "flash" evaporation. Also, it allows the carbon cord evaporation process to be accurately controlled using the optional film thickness monitor (FTM) accessory.

Metal evaporation/aperture cleaning option

A quick-change insert (3260) allows metal evaporation from tungsten baskets or molybedenum boats – ideal for thin film applications. For ease of set up in a glove box, the metal charge can be loaded into the evaporation source away from the vacuum chamber.

Each of the above configurations can be used with a range of optional accessories. For further details, see Additional Information.

Options and Accessories

The Q150 GB has an extensive range of other options and accessories, including a glow discharge insert, film thickness monitor (FTM) and specimens stages to suit most applications. For details, see Additional Information.

Additional Information

Q150 GB Options and Accessories

A range of interchangeable, plug-in style coating head inserts are available:

  • Sputtering head insert (3200): Suitable for oxidizing and non-oxidizing (noble) metals. Supplied with a 54 mm Ø x 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) target as standard. For additional targets, see Ordering Information.
    Note: changing sputtering targets is easy, but additional sputter head inserts (3210) can be purchased for a quicker coating material change
  • Carbon rod evaporation head insert and accessories for 3.05 mm Ø rods (3230)
Optional coating inserts
  • Carbon rod evaporation head insert for 6.15 mm Ø rods (3240).
  • Carbon fiber evaporation head insert (3250)
  • Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning head insert (3260). Using tungsten wire baskets and molybdenum boats. Includes electrode extensions to allow upwards evaporation, if required. Note that when the electrodes are fitted, some stage options cannot be used
  • Glow discharge insert (4513). Used to modify surface properties, e.g. hydrophobic-hydrophilic conversion. (R S and R ES versions only). Can be retrofitted.
Specimen stages

The Q150 GB has specimen stages to meet most requirements. All are easy-change, drop-in style (no screws) and are height adjustable (except for the rotary planetary stage).

  • 6800-S rotation stage, 50 mm Ø (supplied as standard). This stage only rotates – no tilt or height adjustment.
  • 6801 rotate-tilt stage, 50 mm Ø with height adjustment. Target to stage height variable between 37 mm and 60 mm. The tilt angle can be preset.
  • 6803 variable angle rotary planetary specimen stage. 50 mm &Oslash specimen platform with six stub positions for 15 mm or 6.5 mm or ⅛" pin stubs.
  • 3360 flat rotation stage for 4"/100 mm wafers. Includes gear box which needs to be fitted when the optional FTM is being used, or for coating over the full area of the stage.
  • 6804 rotation stage for glass microscope slides. Allows two 75 mm x 25 mm slides to be coated.

All rotation stages have rotation speeds that can be variable between 8 and 20 rpm.

Other options, including FTM and glow discharge
  • 3270 extended height chamber. 87 mm higher than the standard stage – useful for tall specimens.
  • 3290 Film Thickness Monitor (FTM). Consists of a controller and quartz crystal oscillator built into the Q150 GB and a vacuum feed through, chamber mounted crystal holder and quartz crystal. As sputtered or evaporated material is deposited onto the crystal, so its frequency of oscillation is modified. This modification is used to measure and control the thickness of material deposited.
  • 4513 glow discharge insert. Used to modify surface properties (e.g. hydrophobic to hydrophilic conversion).


Vacuum module size 267 mm W x 490 mm D x 494 mm H, total height with coating head open is 767 mm
Power supply size 310 mm W x 357 mm D x 262 mm H
User interface size & weight 160 mm W x 157 mm D x 42 mm
Weight: 40 kg
Packed dimensions 725 mm W x 660 mm D x 787 mm H (44 kg)
Work chamber Borosilicate glass 152 mm Ø (inside) x 214 mm H
Safety shield Integral polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cylinder
Display 145 mm 320 x 240 color graphic TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display
User interface Intuitive full graphical interface with touch screen buttons, includes features such as a log of the last 100 coatings carried out and reminders for when maintenance is due.
Sputtering target Disc-style 57 mm Ø x 0.3 mm thick chromium (Cr) target is fitted as standard
Specimen stage 60 mm Ø rotation stage. Rotation speed 8 ~ 20 rpm
Specimen shutter An automatic shutter is fitted as standard to shield specimens during pre-sputtering of oxidizing metals and protection during evaporation out-gassing procedures.
Vacuum Internally mounted, 70 L/s air-cooled turbomolecular pump.
Rotary pump 5m3/hr Pfeiffer DUO 6 two-stage rotary pump with oil mist filter. (Order separately: 91003)
Vacuum measurement An active, full-range gauge is fitted
Typical ultimate vacuum 5 x 10-5mbar
Sputter vacuum range Between 5 x 10-3 and 5 x 10-1mbar
Interlocks The Q150 GB is interlocked to prevent continuous pumping of the glove box in the event of a vacuum leak
Sputtering 0-150 mA to a predetermined thickness (with optional FTM) or by the built-in timer. The maximium sputtering time is 60 minutes (without breaking vacuum and with rest periods automatically built into the process).
Carbon evaporation A robust, ripple free, D.C. power supply, featuring pulse evaporation, ensures reproducible carbon evaporation from rod or fiber sources. Current pulse: 1-70 A.
Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning insert (option) For thermal evaporation of metals from filaments or molybdenum boat can be fitted. The metal evaporation head is set up for downwards evaporation, but upward evaporation can be achieved by fitting two terminal extensions (supplied). Evaporation times is up to four minutes.
Services and other information
Gases Argon sputtering process gas 99.999% ("zero grade").
Nitrogen venting gas uses the glove box atmosphere as the source.
Electrical supply 90-250 V ~ 50/60 Hz 1400 VA including rotary pump. 110/240V voltage selectable.
Conformity Power factor correction. Complies with the current legislation (CE Certification) and ensures efficient use of power, resulting in reduced running costs
Pack: Each
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