Updated on July 1, 2018
Gold Sputter Coater
(Model: Edwards S150B; Manufacturer: BOC Edwards, UK)
* To power on: push down two black buttons .
1. Make sure that Gas/Air Admit and Pressure Control knobs are closed (finger tight).
2. Open the chamber by holding the metal lid, and carefully set it on hold.
3. Press RP button (roughing pump) to create a vacuum in the chamber.
4. Open the main valve on the top of the argon cylinder (not the taped small valve!). Purge the chamber with argon by opening (counter-clockwise) the Gas/Air Admit knob (the pressure meter reaches at 0 atm).
5. Close the Gas/Air Admit knob and keep pumping until pressure is less than 1x10-1atm again.
6. Let argon gas into the chamber again by gradually turning Pressure Control knob until pressure rises to about 3x10-1 mbar (the needle is aligned with the blue line on the glass window), and leave the knob at that position.
[Set timer at 1 minute and HT scale reading number at 7-8: most times they are done already.]
7. Press both HT and Time buttons simultanously. The indicator lamp lights. The purple glow discharge strikes in the chamber.
8. Using the Pressure Control knob to keep voltage at about 1 kV . If they vary or the glow is flickering , adjust the Pressure Control to stablize.
9. When time is over (auto stop), close the Pressure Control knob.
10. Press HT, Time and RP buttons to release them.
11. Let argon gas into the chamber to bring the pressure up to atmosphere by turning the Gas/Air Admit knob counter clockwise (widely). After about 20 sec, the chamber can be opened.
12. Close the Gas / Air admit knob and close the valve on the top of the Argon tank.
13. Remove the samples from the chamber, using tweezers. The samples are now ready for imaging in the SEM.
[14. Ensure the Pressure control and Gas / Air admit knobs are closed, but NOT TOO TIGHT.]
* To power off: push down both red buttons .
Tools and materials for gold coating and SEM specimen preparation:
Stub tweezers; Carbon double sided tape; Scissors; Razor blades; Conductive silver paint.