UNIVEX Coating Systems

Univex box coaters for thin film deposition in R&D and prototype production

May 11, 2021


The ability to deposit high quality, uniform and coherent thin films is crucial to the development of new devices for many markets. Examples include the electronics, semiconductor, optical, display and medical sectors.

How can we support thin film deposition

The Leybold family of box coating systems comprises of the Univex 250, 350, 450, 600 and 900 coating systems. The entry level 250 can accept substrates up to 220mm and offers a cost-effective solution for the R&D market. Its small footprint allows the chamber, if required, to be benched mounted – ideal for lab environments. Alternatively, the chamber can be supplied within a stand-alone frame.

The larger Univex family members offer the possibility of handling larger substrates, making them applicable to prototype production. The 900 is the largest chamber in the range and can accommodate up to 800mm substrates. The complete range of coaters offer both manual and controlled deposition processes via PLC system.

Leybold Univex 250 and dimensions

Leybold Univex 250 and dimensions

Leybold single chamber Univex coating systems offer a number of deposition sources combined with the appropriate power source. The deposition techniques comprise of:

  • Thermal evaporation

  • Sputtering

  • E-beam evaporation 

The flexibility of the design allows the possibility of several deposition sources to be installed in a single process chamber.

The vacuum system is similarly flexible, allowing a bespoke coating system. The Univex 250 coater is typically supplied with a Leybold Turbovaci 350i combined with a small rotary vane pump such as the SV10. However, other options are available including dry forevacuum pumps and cryopumps.

Leybold TURBOVAC 350i Turbomolecular Pump

Leybold TURBOVAC 350i Turbomolecular Pump

The choice of deposition technique is dependent on the application and specific material requirements. 
The thermal evaporation system is a simple, cost-effective approach to deposit a variety of materials. A high temperature option allows the deposition of lower melting metals commonly employed for electrical contact applications. A low temperature source is also offered for producing thin organic films. 
The sputtering option allows the deposition of higher melting point metals which cannot be achieved by thermal techniques. High energy argon ions generated within a plasma strike the target material which is sputtered from the surface and deposited on the test substrate.

The sputter technique provides a high degree of film uniformity. Additionally, higher density coatings are achieved compared to the thermal approach. It is widely employed for optical devices.

E-beam evaporation is another thermal technique. Energetic electrons impinge on the source material, resulting in the evaporation of high melting point metals not possible with the purely thermal technique combined with increased deposition as compared with the thermal technique.

The choice or choices of deposition sources can be selected to meet individual requirements. 
For samples that are air sensitive, the addition of a glovebox is possible for the 250 version. Larger chambers are available, namely 350 and 450, to accommodate increased diameter substrates.

For accurate and repeatable thin film coatings, Leybold also provides film thickness monitoring using quartz crystal technology. These can monitor a single film type or with the addition of multiple heads measurement of sequential film depositions. It is also possible to automatically deposit films with choice of controller to the desired thickness - Ideal for prototype applications


  • The Univex family of coating systems encompass both R&D and prototype production requirements

  • Choice of chamber size allows substrates ranging from 220mm to 800mm to be accommodated

  • A wide range of pumping options are available

  • It is possible to add a glovebox for air sensitive samples 

  • A loadlock can be added to increase throughput

  • Film Thickness Monitor offers accurate and repeatable coatings

Do you want to learn more? Click the button below and request more information. 

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