Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin

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hzbEMIL • Watching the Secret Lives of Atoms

A day at EMIL

authored 2 years ago:

Through the labyrinth of terminology: vaporation, evaporation & deposition

Sample holder with the glass plate on which the thin-film is deposited.

Once I had clarified why pressure observation is so important, Núria was ready to proceed to the film deposition. The material that is to be deposited is being placed in a pocket known as “crucible” or in rods and it is warmed up until it sublimes resulting in the deposition on the glass sample. Thus, the material in a way evaporates which justifies the choice of terminology.

One should not think that a substance is evaporated from the glass sample; it is rather the other way around – the materials that should be deposited on the substrate (= glass sample) are heated so much that they firstly vaporize and then recrystallize on the cold glass. Depending on the parameters a homogeneously distributed thin layer is formed. All of the process steps happen inside EMIL’s compartments and thus directly seeing every step is difficult, but once again Núria makes everything more vivid with her insightful explanations.