Q150V Plus for ultra-fine coatings in high vacuum applications

Q150V Plus for ultra-fine coatings in high vacuum applications

The Q150V Plus is optimised for high-vacuum applications, with an ultimate vacuum of 1 x 10-6 mbar. Together with the use of a wide-range Penning/Pirani gauge, this enables the sputtering of oxidising metals with ultra-fine grain sizes, which are suitable for high resolution imaging. The lower background pressure removes oxygen nitrogen and water vapour from the chamber, avoiding chemical reactions during the sputter process, which could otherwise lead to impurities or defects in the coatings. Similarly, lower scattering allows for high purity, amorphous carbon films of high density.

The Q150V Plus offers all the benefits of the Q150T Plus, but with a finer grain size and thinner coating, for ultra-high-resolution applications (above x 200,000 magnification).


  • Ultimate vacuum of 1 x 10-6 mbar
  • New multi-colour LED visual status indicator
  • 16Gb of flash memory can store more than 1000 recipes
  • New software sorts recipes per user according to recent use
  • Multiple-user profiles can be set up on one machine
  • New touch and swipe capacitive screen


The Q150V Plus is available in three configurations:

  • Q150V S Plus –  an automatic sputter coater for oxidising metals with ultra-fine grain size. Available sputtering targets include chromium, iridium and all noble metals
  • Q150V E Plus – an automatic carbon coater (rod/cord) for TEM applications. For carbon coating TEM grids. 
  • Q150V ES Plus – a combined system capable of both sputtering and carbon coating. The deposition head inserts can be swapped in seconds. Metal evaporation/aperture cleaning option available. 

Recommended high-vacuum applications for Q150V Plus

  • Ultra-high-resolution magnification SEM
  • Carbon coating of TEM grids
  • Protective platinum layers for FIB
  • R&D of corrosion-, friction-, and wear- protective layers
  • Protective layers on medical devices
  • BSE imaging
  • EDX, WDS, EBSD analysis
  • Carbon coating of replicas
  • Nano-technology e.g. Zeolites, polymer nanobrushes

These products are for Research Use Only. 

New user interface has been thoroughly updated:

  • Capacitive touch screen is more sensitive for ease of use
  • User interface software has been extensively revised, using a modern smartphone-style interface
  • Comprehensive context-sensitive help screen
  • USB interface allows easy software updates and backing up/copying of recipe files to USB stick
  • Process log files can be exported via USB port in .csv format for analysis in Excel or similar. Log files include date, time and    process parameters.
  • 16GB of flash memory can store more than 1000 recipes
  • Dual-core ARM processor for a fast, responsive display

Allows multiple users to input and store coating recipes, with a new feature to sort recipes per user according to recent use.

Intelligent system logic automatically detects which insert is in place and displays the appropriate operating settings and controls for that process.

System prompts user to confirm target material and it then automatically selects appropriate parameters for that material.

Intuitive software allows the most inexperienced or occasional operator to rapidly enter and store their own process data. For convenience a number of typical sputtering and carbon coating recipes are already stored but also allows the user to create their own.  Software detects failure to achieve vacuum in a set period of time and shuts down the process in case of vacuum leak, which ensures pump protection from overheating.

Automatic, controlled carbon rod evaporation for TEM applications

Careful evaporation allows precise control of carbon thickness (with or without the optional film thickness monitor). The quality of the resulting carbon films is also enhanced by the eradication of “sparking” that is a common feature of less advanced coaters.

For reproducible high-quality carbon films, we would recommend the use of shaped carbon rods. Rods are higher purity, less susceptible to debris and easier to control. Pulsed and ramped carbon rod recipes are supplied as standard.

Cool magnetron sputtering

Sputter coating is a technique widely used in various applications; it is possible to create a plasma and  sputter metals with high voltage, poor vacuum and no automation. However, this is not suitable for electron microscopy applications because it will heat the sample and can result in damage when the plasma interacts  with the sample. The Q150V Plus series uses low temperature enhanced-plasma magnetrons optimised for the turbomolecular pump pressures, combined with low current and deposition control, which ensures your sample is protected and uniformly coated.

The Q150V S Plus and Q150V ES Plus use easy-change, 57 mm diameter, disc-style targets which are designed to sputter oxidising and noble metals. The Q150V S Plus and Q150V ES Plus are fitted as standard with a chromium (Cr) sputter target. Other targets options include: Au, Au/Pd, Pt/Pd, Pd, Pt, Cu, Ir, W, ITO and Al.  Others are available on request.

Pulsed cleaning for Al sputtering

Aluminium (Al) rapidly forms an oxide layer, which can be difficult to remove, but the ES & S Plus have special recipes for aluminium that reduce the oxide removal time and prevent excessive pre-sputtering of the target.

Interchangeable plug-in heads

This allows the user to configure the system as a sputter coater, evaporator or glow discharge system – all in one space saving format. A carbon cord evaporation insert is available as an option. Automatic detection of the head type when changed.

Detachable chamber with built-in implosion guard

Removable glass chamber and easily accessible base and top plate allows for an easy cleaning process.

Users can rapidly change the chamber, if necessary, to avoid cross contamination of sensitive samples.

Tall chamber option is available for carbon evaporation to avoid sample heating, to improve uniformity for sputtering and to hold taller samples.

Multiple stage options

The Q150V Plus has specimen stages to meet most requirements. All are easy-change, drop-in style (no screws) and are height adjustable (except for the rotary planetary stage).

Some examples:

  • Rotation stage (supplied as standard): 50 mm Ø can accommodate six standard stubs. Height can be pre-set.
  • Rotate-tilt stage for improved uniform coating: 50 mm Ø. Tilt and height can be pre-set.
  • Variable angle, rotary planetary stage for heavily contoured samples.
  • Large flat rotation stage with offset gear box for 4”/100 mm wafers.
  • Rotation stage for glass microscope slides.

Other options are available on request. 


  • The Q150V Plus meets key industry CE standards
  • All electronic components are protected by covers
  • Implosion guard prevents user injury in event of chamber failure
  • Vacuum interlocks remove power from deposition sources to prevent user exposure to high voltage in event of chamber being opened
  • Electrical interlocks remove power when source head cover opened
  • Overheating protection shuts down power supply

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