Electron beam evaporation is a physical vapor deposition technique used for depositing thin films on substrates. It involves the use of an electron beam source, typically generated by heating a filament, to evaporate a solid material and form a vapor cloud in a vacuum chamber.
The process begins by placing the substrate and the material to be evaporated in the vacuum chamber. The chamber is then evacuated to a high vacuum to minimize the presence of impurities. The electron beam source, positioned opposite to the material, generates a focused beam of high-energy electrons.
When the electron beam strikes the surface of the material, it transfers energy to the atoms or molecules, causing them to gain enough kinetic energy to escape from the surface as a vapor. The vaporized material then travels through the chamber and condenses onto the substrate, forming a thin film.
Electron beam evaporation offers precise control over the deposition process, as the intensity and position of the electron beam can be adjusted. It is commonly used in applications such as semiconductor manufacturing, optical coatings, and thin film research.