EMS 150T Turbo-Pumped Sputter Coater / Carbon Coater

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EMS 150T Turbo-Pumped Sputter Coater/Carbon Coater

The EMS 150T is a compact turbomolecular-pumped coating system suitable for SEM, TEM and many thin-film applications. The EMS 150T replaces previous the following models EMS 575X and EMS 950X.

The EMS 150T is available in three formats:

EMS 150T S a high resolution sputter coater, suitable for oxidising and non-oxidising metals

EMS 150T E a high vacuum carbon coater for SEM and TEM applications

EMS 150T ES a high resolution sputter coater and high vacuum carbon evaporator

Key Features

  • Metal sputtering or carbon evaporation - or both in one space saving design
  • Fine grain sputtering for advanced high resolution FESEM applications
  • High vacuum turbo pumping allows sputtering of a wide range of oxidizing and non-oxidizing metals suitable for SEM, high resolution FESEM and also for many thin film applications
  • High vacuum carbon coating ideal for SEM and TEM carbon coating applications
  • Advanced design carbon rod evaation gun simple operation, reproducible results
  • Control of evaation current profile ensures consistently reproducible carbon films
  • Precise thickness control using the film thickness monitor option
  • Fully automatic touch screen control rapid data input, simple operation
  • Multiple, customer defined coating schedules can be stored ideal for multi-user laboratories
  • Automatic vacuum control, which can be preprogrammed to suit the process and material no needle valve to adjust
  • Intelligent recognition system automatically detects the type of coating insert fitted
  • Easy-to-change, drop-in style specimen stages (rotation stage as standard)
  • Vacuum shutdown feature leaves the process chamber under vacuum when not in use improved vacuum performance
  • Pump hold allows the system to be held in continuous pumping mode, awaiting user input before continuing the process
  • Thick film capabilities up to 60 minutes sputtering time without breaking vacuum
  • Ergonomic one piece molded case easy maintenance and service access
  • Ethernet with local FTP server connection simple programmer updates
  • Power factor correction complies with current legislation (CE Certification) efficient use of power means reduced
  • Three-year warranty

Ideal for SEM, high resolution FESEM and TEM applications

EMS150T is available in three formats: sputtering, carbon evaporation or both. Depending upon the selected configuration, the EMS 150T can be a top-of-the-range sputter coater for high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a carbon coater suitable for SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or both, in a single easy to use system.

The ability of the EMS150T to rapidly sputter a wide selection of oxidizing and non-oxidizing metals also makes it an ideal platform for many thin film applications.

Molded case with color touch-screen

The EMS150T is presented in a custom molded, one-piece case. The color touch screen allows multiple users to input and store coating protocols. The case houses all the working components, including the efficient 70L/s air-cooled turbo molecular pump. Automatic bleed control ensures optimum vacuum conditions during sputtering.

The vacuum chamber has an external diameter of 165mm (6.5") and comes with an integral implosion guard. The EMS150T includes vacuum shutdown which enhances vacuum performance by allowing the chamber vacuum to be maintained when the system is not in use. A variable speed rotary specimen stage is fitted as standard, with other stages available as options.

Sputter coating, carbon coating or both

The EMS150T is available in three formats, each with a range of optional accessories:

  • EMS150T S a high resolution sputter coater for oxidizing and non-oxidizing (noble) metals. A wide selection of sputtering targets is available, including iridium and chromium, which are highly recommended for FESEM applications.
  • EMS150T E a high vacuum carbon coater, ideal for the production of highly stable carbon films and surface replicas for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The system uses economical 3.05mm diameter carbon rods.
  • EMS150T ES a combined system with both sputtering and carbon coating. The 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.

Each of the above can be fitted with a range of optional accessories (eg. metal evaporation, carbon fiber coating, film thickness monitor). See options for details.

Rapid data entry

At the operational heart of the EMS 150T is a simple color touch screen which allows even the most inexperienced or occasional operator to rapidly enter and store their own process data. To further aid ease of use, a number of typical sputtering and evaporation profiles are already stored.

Ramped Carbon Evaporation (EMS150T E and EMS150T ES)

This profile is used to produce carbon coatings from a specifically shaped carbon rod. It can be used in place of the pulsed carbon rod process when a greater repeatability of the deposited thickness is required.

Implemented from software version 2-0039 onwards.

Generally, this process requires the use of the extended height chamber. However, the short chamber may be used for coating thicknesses greater than 12nm with default parameters. Additionally, if the short chamber is used the FTM will be inaccurate due to the close proximity of the high temperate rods.

Pulsed Cleaning for Aluminum Sputtering (EMS150T S and EMS150TES)

Aluminum is often difficult to coat due to its fast oxidizing properties. Also its oxidized layer is difficult to remove as it reduces the required target voltage to product a sputter current of 150mA. This increases the time required to clean the target.

However, the EMS150T now has a special profile for aluminum to cycle the plasma which reduces this cleaning time. The cleaning cycle is then auto terminated as its target voltage rises above 300V, thus preventing an already clean target coating the chmaber excessively.

Implemented from software version 2-0041 onwards.

Improved Tolerance to Out Gassing Substrates

The pump time out has been moved to a new level defined by "safe outgas threshold" parameter, this is user definable between 5 x 10-2 and 2 mbar.

Until now the system would limit the time to achieve operational vac of 1 x 10-3 to 10 minutes. With the new modification once the "Safe outgas threshold" has been achieved the system will pump continuously. Implemented from software version 2-0042 onwards.

Controlled Evaporation Process

This process can automate a metal evaporation process when using low power evaporation sources. It can be used with the FTM.

The use of key properties about the source and required termination allow the process to:

  • Bring the source current up to the point of evaporation.
  • Ramp the current up at a controlled rate until evaporation is seen.
  • Close the shutter and shut the evaporation PSU down when the specified thickness is seen.
  • Check the source for open or short circuit when starting the process.

This process will be available on the EMS150T with software version 2-0048 or later. Consideration should be made to the thermal effects of the evaporation source when using the FTM to control the process.

Improvements to the Pulse Carbon Rod Evaporation

Continued work on this process has found that the thickness deposited can be variable if the power applied to the rods is either too high or too low. With the optimum current being a narrow margin between them. However, limiting the available voltage supplied to the rods increases this current window. This coupled with reducing the spigot diameter to work at a more optimum point in the PSU operation produces a more continuous spark which in turn produces a more repeatable thickness.

This improvement can be implemented by:

  • Software version 2-0046 or later implements the voltage limit. Note all the carbon rod profiles should be deleted if a unit is updated to this software version.
  • The evaporation current should be set between 60 and 65A.
  • The reduced spigot diamter of 1.2mm can be produced with the blue handle rod shaper.

Glow Discharge Attachment

The primary application of glow discharge is as a technique for the surface modification, or wetting or hydrophilisation of newly-evaporated transmission electron microscopy (TEM) carbon support films.

Freshly-made TEM carbon support films tend to have hydrophobic surfaces which inhibits the spreading of suspensions of particles in negative staining solutions. However, after glow discharge treatment with air, the carbon film is made hydrophilic and negatively charged, thus allowing easy spreading of aqueous suspensions. With subsequent magnesium acetate treatment the surface is made hydrophilic and positively charged.

In addition to glow discharge treatment using air, other process gases may be used to modify surface properties. For example, methanol as a process gas results in the surface becoming hydrophobic and negatively charged. Such treatment can facilitate the optional absorption of selected biomolecules


Sputtering: 0-150mA 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 built in rest periods).

Carbon evaporation: A robust, ripple free DC power supply featuring pulse evaporation ensures reproducible carbon evaporation from rod or fiber sources. Current pulse: 1-90A

Metal evaporation and aperture cleaning insert (option): For thermal evaporation of metals from filaments or boats. For cleaning SEM or TEM apertures a standard molybdenum boat (supplied) 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: up to four minutes.


Instrument Case 585mm (W) x 470mm (D) x 410mm (H)
(total height with coating head open: 650mm)
Weight 33.4 Kg
Packed dimensions 725mm (W) x 660mm (D) x 680mm (H) (Weight 42 Kg)
Work chamber Borosilicate Glass: 152mm (Inside D) x 127mm H
Safety shield Integral polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cylinder
Display 145mm 320 x 240 colour 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 ten coatings carried out and reminders for when maintenance is due
Sputter target Disc style 57mm. A 0.3mm thick chromium target is fitted as standard. EMS150T S and T ES versions only


Turbomolecular pump Internally-mounted, 70L/s air-cooled turbomolecular pump
Rotary pump Edwards RV3 50L/s two-stage rotary pump, with vacuum hose, coupling kit and oil mist filter
Vacuum measurement Pirani gauge as standard. A full range gauge (10428) is available as an option
Typical ultimate vacuum 5 x 10-5 mbar in a clean system after pre-pumping with dry nitrogen gas
Sputter vacuum range Between 5x10-3 and 5x10-1 mbar
Specimen stage 60mm rotating stage. Rotation speed 8-20 rpm

Services and Other Information

Gases Argon sputtering process gas, 99.999% (TS and TES versions); Nitrogen venting gas (optional)
Electrical supply 90-250V ~ 50/60 Hz 1400 VA including RV3 rotary pump power. 110/240V voltage selectable
Conformity CE conformity
Power factor correction Complies with the current legislation (CE Certification) and ensures efficient use of power, which means reduced running costs


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