Genefinity, ltd., developed a novel air-to-air feedthrough for film substrates that can operate with webs of thickness up to several hundreds of microns. The feedthrough is based on a proprietary approach currently under patent evaluation and combines two mechanisms in order to reduce the gas throughput in the chamber while avoiding scratches on the film surface. The low throughput is obtained by carefully designing the channel dimensions in order to get a very low gas conductance. The inside wall has been covered with a low friction coating based on MoSi2 in order to reduce friction. Before entering the channel, the film passes through an electrostatic web cleaner and an adhesive roll cleaner.
In order to reduce scratches from dust particles, a special "dynamic seal" has been developed, whose details cannot be fully uncovered due to the ongoing process of patent acquisition. Basically, it consists of a "moving carpet" that slides on the internal walls of the channel while at the same time covering the film surface, thus fully protecting it from scratches. The drag action exerted by the seal against the walls help removing residual particles by pushing them out of the feedthrough.
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Two magnetron cathodes are used as deposition sources. Base pressure as low as 10-5 mbar can be reached.
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