A previously described automated thin-film deposition system based on rf-magnetron sputtering could deposit quite complex optical multilayer systems with good precision and with no one in attendance [SullivanDobrowolski, Appl. Opt. 32, 2351–2360 (1993)]. However, the deposition rate was slow, and the uniform area on the substrate was limited. We describe an ac-magnetron sputtering process in which the same deposition accuracy has been combined with significantly better film uniformity and a fivefold or sevenfold increase in the deposition rate. This makes the equipment of commercial interest. Experimental results are presented for several difficult coating problems.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 8, 1999
Revised Manuscript: September 3, 1999
Published: January 1, 2000
Brian T. Sullivan, Glenn A. Clarke, Takayuki Akiyama, Norman Osborne, Martial Ranger, J. A. Dobrowolski, Louisa Howe, Akira Matsumoto, Yizhou Song, and Kazuo Kikuchi, "High-rate automated deposition system for the manufacture of complex multilayer coatings," Appl. Opt. 39, 157-167 (2000)