Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

V-203 Vacuum Materials and Large System Performance

This tutorial is intended for those who wish to learn the basics of vacuum materials and large system performance. Materials used for sealing and constructing high vacuum systems, as well as fluids for pumping and lubricating will be reviewed. The performance of large systems used for coating rigid and flexible substrates forms the backbone of work done by members of the SVC. Here we will describe the performance of systems used for coating rigid substrates (batch coaters) and flexible substrates (roll coaters). We will characterize when, why, and how to cross-over properly from roughing pumping to high vacuum pumping for all types high vacuum system types. We will illustrate the effects of outgassing, permeation and gas loading on system operation.

Topical Outline:
  • Materials in vacuum
  • Seals, joints, and valves
  • Rough pumping large systems
  • System performance
  • Multichamber systems

Attendees in this tutorial receive the text, A User’s Guide to Vacuum Technology, 3rd edition, John O’Hanlon (John Wiley & Sons, 2003).


Course Details:

Materials in Vacuum

The properties of the materials used within vacuum environments are central to the proper construction and performance of large systems. This module describes fundamental, important properties of commonly used vacuum materials.

  • Metals: steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.
  • Glasses, soft and hard
  • Alumina ceramics
  • Polymers
  • Elastomers
  • Cleaning and outgassing
  • Fluids, greases and dry lubricants used in pumps and within chambers
  • Selecting lubricants for high and ultrahigh vacuum chambers
  • Selecting pump fluids for mechanical, turbomolecular and diffusion pumps.
  • Review questions and summary of answers

Seals, Joints and Valves

The majority of vacuum systems in use today are constructed of steel, stainless steel or aluminum. Welding and brazing are used to fabricate chambers. Vacuum systems are of no use unless we can load and unload parts to be treated; this requires windows, doors, and flanges that can be resealed in a reliable manner.

  • Argon arc or heli-arc welding
  • Carbide precipitation in welding stainless steels
  • Brazing and soldering metals
  • Glass-to-glass seals
  • Glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal seals
  • Elastomer gasket joints
  • Metal gasket joints
  • Valves: small, large, and special purpose
  • Motion feedthroughs: rough vacuum to ultrahigh vacuum
  • Review questions and summary of answers

Rough Pumping Large Systems

Most practical production systems today are designed for a specific application. Because of their size, roughing systems are no longer simple. This module describes roughing techniques for several kinds of vacuum pumping applications.

  • Prevention of water aerosol formation during pumping
  • Preventing particle formation during roughing
  • Crossover from roughing pumps to diffusion Pumps
  • Crossover from roughing pumps to turbo Pumps
  • Crossover from roughing pumps to cryo Pumps
  • Review questions and summary of answers

System Performance

How a vacuum system performs is key to a successful process. The ultimate pressure in a system is dependent on a number of factors including outgassing, gasket materials, chamber materials, cleaning procedures, and operating procedures.

  • Desorption and diffusion
  • Permeation
  • Pumping speed
  • How O-rings affect system performance
  • High vacuum unbaked system performance
  • Ultrahigh vacuum baked system performance
  • Sputtering or etching system performance
  • Review questions and summary of answers

Multi-chamber Systems

Manufacturing processes cannot all be done in a traditional single, batch-process chamber. Many processes treat large rolled surfaces, or large rigid surfaces, whereas others process small surface areas individually at high speed.

  • Inline processing systems for flexible substrates
  • Inline processing systems for rigid substrates
  • Cluster tools designed for random process flow
  • Vacuum pump selection for multi-chamber gas sampling systems
  • Review questions and summary of answers

Instructor: John F. O’Hanlon, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona
John F. O’Hanlon

is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the University of Arizona. He retired from IBM Research Division in 1987, where he was involved in thin-film deposition, vacuum processing, and display technology. He retired from UA in 2002, where he directed the NSF Ind./Univ. Center for Microcontamination Control. His research focused on particles in plasmas, cleanrooms, and ultrapure water contamination. He is the author of A User’s Guide to Vacuum Technology, 3rd edition. (John Wiley & Sons, 2003).

This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

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