Depositing nanoparticles using the NL50 is now simpler than ever with the pre-loaded optimized recipes for a variety of frequently used materials, including Au, Ag, Pt and Cu.
These optimized recipes generate high-quality nano-coatings with premium deposition rates for each material. Moreover, the NL50 also enables the user to vary the size distribution of the deposited nanoparticles by changing two simple parameters – the argon gas flow and the magnetron current (power).
Both the argon gas flow and the magnetron current influence the thermodynamics within the vacuum chamber. Modifying these parameters can either encourage or hinder nanoparticle growth, thus changing the range of nanoparticle sizes produced.
Figure 1. General trend for nanoparticle size with increasing magnetron power or gas flow. Image Credit: Nikalyte Ltd
The Effect of Magnetron Current (Power)
When increasing the magnetron current, the magnetron power also rises, which in turn sputters more material from the target. This subsequent increase in the material made available will generally increase the number of nanoparticles generated (increase the deposition rate) as well as enhancing the size of the nanoparticles produced.
The Effect of Changing the Ar Gas Flow
The effect of modifying the Ar gas flow is a bit more complicated. A rise in the flow of argon will increase the amount of sputtered material ready to form nanoparticles.
However, as the gas flow and pressure rise, the argon ions progressively cool (thermalize) the nanoparticles through inelastic collisions, thus inhibiting nanoparticle growth.
Therefore, it is not unusual to see both an increase and decrease in nanoparticle size with argon gas flow. While the change in behavior is dependent on the material, users are advised to experiment with the process conditions to identify the optimum gas flow and magnetron current for their specific material requirements.
Changing the Nanoparticle Size with the NL50
To adjust the process conditions, the user simply alters the gas flow or current in STEP 4 on the setup Wizard, as displayed in Figure 2. The result of changing the current or the gas flow on the nanoparticle size distribution is also shown for nickel in Figure 2.
Figure 2. User Interface of NL50 indicating current and gas flow control options (top), Effect of Magnetron current on nanoparticle size distribution for Ni (bottom left) and Effect of Argon gas flow on nanoparticle size distribution (bottom right). Image Credit: Nikalyte Ltd
Figure 2 exhibits a change in the nickel nanoparticle distribution to larger sizes with increasing current, as anticipated in Figure 1.
The decline in signal witnessed at 300mA occurs when the plasma temperature produced at high magnetron currents is too great for maximum nickel nanoparticle growth, demonstrating that it may be necessary to make a choice between deposition rate and nanoparticle size.
The result of changing the Ar gas flow for nickel neatly demonstrates the competing processes of the increased formation of sputtered material for nanoparticle creation as Ar ions increasingly suppress nanoparticle growth.
Figure 2 displays the shift to smaller nickel nanoparticle sizes as the Ar gas flow is increased. Initially, the number of nanoparticles rises as the gas flow is increased, demonstrating that additional smaller nanoparticles are produced with the peak deposition rate taking place at 40sccm.
Continuing to increase the gas flow results in a decrease in both the size and number of nanoparticles as thermalization of the nanoparticles becomes more dominant.
There is no proof that spike proteins created in response to mRNA vaccines are harmful to the body, scientists have told Reuters. The claim was made by immunologist Byram Bridle (here) in an interview [...]
Scientists have worked out how to best get DNA to communicate with membranes in our body, paving the way for the creation of ‘mini biological computers’ in droplets that have potential uses in biosensing [...]
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) exhibit the potential to act as signal carriers during the development of malignant tumors. At a suitable concentration, ROS tends to mediate cell growth and signal transduction. But ROS are [...]
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to probing and manipulating the brain are the blunt tools we have at our disposal. But breakthroughs in nanotechnology could soon change that, say researchers. Neuroscience has [...]
When liquid meets gas, a unique zone forms. Variable by nature, molecules can cross from one state to another, combining in unique ways to either desirable or unwanted ends. From heat escaping a mug [...]
A newly detected coronavirus variant is on the rise in England, with the virus believed to be an offshoot of Delta. According to a briefing from the UK Health Security Agency, released on Friday, [...]
A team of researchers has developed a new nanomechanical technique for fast, one-step, immune-affinity tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by different COVID-19 variants in serum. Their technique provides a new tool [...]
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new method for 3D printing living microbes in controlled patterns, expanding the potential for using engineered bacteria to recover rare-earth metals, clean wastewater, detect uranium, [...]
Nanomedicines may offer clinicians a way to deliver precise, targeted therapy directly to tumors without damaging surrounding tissue. Yet, progress in the development of new drugs that treat cancer at the nanoparticle level has [...]
Cambridge researchers have discovered how T cells—an important component of our immune system—are able keep on killing as they hunt down and kill cancer cells, repeatedly reloading their toxic weapons. Cytotoxic T [...]
Sunday, October 3, set records for the most COVID-19 deaths in Russia on a single day. Only 29% of people in Russia are vaccinated, despite the country being the first to approve a vaccine. [...]
New research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has found that pathogens that form biofilms can evolve to survive nanosilver treatment. The study is the first to demonstrate that long-term nanosilver treatment can [...]
New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more virulent and transmissible than the original variant of the virus. Health experts associate these variants of concern (VOCs) with increased risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, [...]
Freeze-dried genetic circuits could reveal the presence of SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, MRSA, and more. Masks and testing have been key to the COVID-19 pandemic response—and now devices that combine the two may be on the [...]