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The University of Southampton

Research project: Hayden: Physical Vapour Deposition for the High Throughput Synthesis of Solid State Material Libraries.

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A method that combines co-evaporation of pure elements from multiple finite size sources on temperature controlled substrates with independently controlled source shutters has been developed for the synthesis of solid state materials combinatorial libraries.

A specially developed UHV system based on MBE methods and silicon-micro-fabrication technologies has been constructed. It is designed in order to carry out the synthesis and in-situ analysis of materials deposited on micro-fabricated screening chips. The source shutters are positioned to achieve a controlled gradient of the deposited elements across the substrate, and are fixed during the course of deposition. Choice of the shutter position and the rate of deposition for each source allow the direct synthesis of continuous and controlled materials of varying composition. The method not only has the advantage of speed, simplicity and with control of the compositional ranges, but the simultaneous deposition of the elements to form the material has a number of important advantages over sequential method. These include the synthesis if wide ranges of composition in non-equilibrium phases ideal for high throughput screening, and the synthesis of for example, mixed oxides, hydrides and nitrides. The methodology has been extended to the deposition of nano-particle libraries on support materials.

High throughput synthesis of thin film materials
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