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Specimen heating during sputter-coating


, : Specimen heating during sputter-coating. Journal of Microscopy 124(Pt 2): 143-153

It is possible to sputter thin films of gold on to surfaces of frozen biological specimens at very low temperatures (less than 120 K) without untoward effects from heating. This is achieved by using permanent magnets to confine the plasma and thus to minimize the energy required to give a reasonable sputtering yield. The system described uses only 250 V at 12-15 mA to give 15 nm films within 2-3 min. It is shown, from theory portraying 'worst-case' conditions, that the specimen temperature could not increase by more than 6.0 K at equilibrium. Practical results support the theoretical assumptions. Similar considerations have been applied to sputtering at normal ambient temperature where it is shown that appropriate design of simple apparatus and selection of operational conditions can give adequate films in a reasonable time with negligible (less than 3 K) temperature rise above the starting temperature.

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Accession: 044374973

PMID: 7321026

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