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topic 12049

Cleaning before PVD

A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2018


Q. Dear Sir,

Can anyone please tell me the procedure for cleaning the materials before PVD coatings? Is there any special cleaning process to be done?

Vasudevan Swaminathan
Vasudevan Swaminathan
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA


A. I wouldn't say that you need any special cleaning. The parts must be free of grease, including fingerprints. The degree depends on the purpose of the coating, and the PVD process used. The level of cleanliness can be much lower if you are using cathodic arc than e-beam or sputtering, due to the higher level of ionization. In all cases, you must sputter clean the samples just prior to deposition to remove the native oxide. Most PVD systems have this capability.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- Vista, California


Q. Dear Jim Treglio,

Thanks for you reply. Is there any specific cleaning for Sputter deposition? And is there cleaning after coating? I am facing a continuous problem of finger prints. Is there any solution for the same ... like any solvent that can prevent finger prints after coating?

Vasudevan Swaminathan
Vasudevan Swaminathan
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA


A. I have been noticing this discussion for several months and several useful suggestions have been made at this (finishing.com) forum. Would it not be easier if you just investigate where the finger prints are coming from? If not in your plant, maybe it is from a vendor's facility.

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado

sidebar2 (2006)


Luis Santiago
- New York, New York


A. PVD is physical vapor deposition, a process where the metal or other material you want to coat something with is vaporized in a vacuum in order to deposit it on the part which you want coated.

Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Power Supply for Sputter Cleaning?

January 9, 2018

Q. I am trying to find an appropriate power supply for sputter cleaning prior to cathodic arc deposition. It looks like 1000V is normal but what about amperage? I have a medium size chamber and looking at doing parts the size of wheels for cars. Does anyone have recommendations?

Jesse Armagost
- Boise, Idaho USA

January 12, 2018

A. The amperage depends on the total surface area of all the parts loaded and the desired value of current per unit area. This again depends on the temperature which the components can withstand. So there is no simple answer. Further one should avoid arcing on the components. Some suppliers sell special power sources for this purpose.

H.R. Prabhkara
Bangalore Plasmatek - Bangalore, Karnataka, India

January 25, 2018

? Are you sputter cleaning with a glow discharge or with the arc running? Makes a huge difference in the current.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- Vista, California

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