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Kurt J. Lesker Awarded Patent For Hermetically Sealed Cathode Design

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The Kurt J. Lesker Company has announced that it has been awarded a United States patent titled “Hermetically
Sealed Magnetic Keeper Cathode” dated October 30th, 2018. The patent, granted for the company's advanced
sputtering cathode, covers a novel design which dramatically reduces the number
of seals in a cathode, while increasing user friendliness and decreasing the
operating pressure of the cathode.


The elimination of permeable elastomeric
seals typical for conventional sputtering cathodes makes this new deposition
tool truly hermetic. Unwanted gas loads
due to permeation through the cathode have been completely eliminated. The cathode also benefits from a redesigned
anode or dark space shield and the elimination of the target hold down ring. These mechanical enhancements increase the
available active area of the sputtering target and enable the cathode to
operate at half the typical pressure achievable with conventional cathode
designs.


This is the first patent awarded to cathode
designers Matt Jaszcar, Rob Belan and Roger Patterson. The creative team has also collaborated on
another cathode design which will result in a subsequent patent.


The new cathode, named the “Mag Keeper,”
is available in a range of sizes from 2" up to 4" diameters and can
be outfitted with a special magnet pack that enables the effective sputtering
of magnetic materials such as nickel and iron.
The newly patented sputter gun supports bonded target/backing plate and
non-bonded target assemblies up to 0.375" thick. The redesign also
improves the user friendliness of the cathode making target changes easier, as
the target is held in place using the magnets in the gun eliminating the need
for tools to change a target.






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