11-065 Ion Gun Control no high voltage

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Over the years I have seen this problem a few times and thought that it would be worth mentioning.

The symptom is that there is no high voltage on the 11-065 ion gun control HV1 board, or the voltage is low.

11-065 Ion Gun Control

11-065 Ion Gun Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the system, the symptom will  be no or low target current.

If you have this problem the first thing to check is whether or not C5 on the HV1 board is blown out.   It is an electrolytic capacitor and these days most electrolytic have some creases in them which allow the capacitor to expand and release gas and fluid when it fails.

HV 1 board in 11-065

HV 1 board in 11-065

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The location of C5 on the HV1 board is shown below.

C5 location on the HV1 board in an 11-065

C5 location on the HV1 board in an 11-065

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a recent 11-065 repair the symptoms  were no high voltage on the beam and the COND was low. C5  on the HV1 board was obviously blown out so I replaced it.   However I still did not have any high voltage on the beam, and the COND voltage was also low.

The resistors, capacitors, diodes and transorbs on the HV1 board all checked out fine.  It was then that I remembered I have seen this problem once or twice before.   What happened is that when the C5 capacitor failed some of the electrolytic capacitor fluid seeped onto the board.  It was not really noticeable, but there was enough electrolytic capacitor fluid on the board to effectively add a high resistance to the board surface and load down the high voltage supplies.

The schematic for C5 in the filament circuit is shown below.

HV1 board schematic C5

HV1 board schematic C5

 

The solution was to clean the board with a diluted mixture of Alconox detergent and a tooth brush then rinse the board thoroughly in warm water.  Avoid wetting the transformers.  Blow the HV1 board dry with compressed air and then use a heat gun on low to completely dry the board.

After cleaning all of the electrolytic fluid off and drying the board everything worked fine.

Keep this in mind with any electrolytic capacitor failure where the capacitor blows out and  leaks on the board.

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Longer lifetime ionizer

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Longer lifetime ionizer for the 04-303 and 06-350 ion source.

04-303-ionizer

Longer-lifetime-ionizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you know, RBD Instruments’ 04-303 and 06-350 ionizer rebuilds last for an average of 1100 hours of run time. Depending on how much sputtering you do, that can translate into anywhere from 2 months to 3 years between ionizer replacements. But wouldn’t it be nice if they could last longer, such as 2000 hours or more?

Introducing the new long life 04-303 and long life 06-350 ionizer! There are two failure mechanisms related to the ionizers that we have addressed with our new and improved rebuild process. First, as part of the normal operation of the filament, tungsten slowly evaporates onto the base of the ionizer. That coating can cause leakage current between the grid and extractor that shows up as pressure on the 11-065 controller even when no gas is being fed into the source. That ghost pressure current typically shows up towards the end of the filament lifetime cycle. We have addressed this problem by cutting a groove into the ceramic base at the location where the tungsten deposit occurs. That groove will prevent the leakage current from happening when the deposition occurs.

The second improvement that we have implemented is a special low temperature filament wire. Besides running much cooler, the wire evaporation rate is greatly reduced so the deposition rate is also reduced proportionally. Just as with our normal ionizer rebuilds, the filament will hold its shape for the entire filament lifetime, resulting in a very stable and repeatable ion current.

Another benefit of our low temperature wire is that it takes much less filament current to get the same emission current as compared to the normal tungsten wire. As a result, the ion gun controller will also run 20% cooler and operate trouble free longer.

So how long with our new ionizer last? We are projecting between 2000 and 2500 hours but need more data to be able to provide an accurate answer. That is where you can help us. We will be offering a few of our new long-life ionizers at a reduced price and in return we ask that you keep a log of how many hours you get before the ionizer burns out. As that data comes in we will be able to provide an accurate average lifetime.

A longer lifetime ionizer  pays for itself by reducing how often you need to vent your chamber for maintenance.

For more information or to place an order, please contact us at sales@rbdinstruments.com or call us at 541 550 5016.

 

 

 

Ion source filament assembly for PHI 04-303 and 06-350

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RBD Instruments’ proprietary technique for rebuilding the PHI 04-303 ion gun and 06-350 ion source filament assembly results in more stable sputter rates and longer filament lifetimes than other ionizers. The pictures below are actual 04-303 ion source filament assemblies which show the visible light emitting from the filaments. Note that the 3 post RBD ionizers have a much larger and more uniform hot spot than the 5 post PHI filament. In terms of performance, a more uniform hot spot results in a more uniform beam shape. In addition, even with the additional two unnecessary posts, the PHI filaments will still slightly warp out of position over time. That in turn changes the sputter rate of the ion gun, which can result in inaccurate depth profile data unless you re-calibrate your sputter rate frequently.

In short, the RBD ion source filament assemblies outperform the PHI filaments, last longer, and the cost 75% less than a new ionizer. So the next time your 04-303 or 06-350 ion gun needs a new ion source filament assembly, send it to RBD for a rebuild!  You will save $$ and get the benefits of a longer lifetime ion source filament assembly and more stable sputter rates.

RBD carries exchange ion source filament assemblies so we can send you a rebuilt one and then you return your old one to us after you install the rebuilt ion source filament assembly.

Contact us for more information at RBDinstruments dot com