Asee peer logo

Procedure Development of Thermal Evaporation Process for Incorporation into Undergraduate Curriculum

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Laboratory Experiences with Thermal and Chemical Systems and Sensors

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1067.1 - 25.1067.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jeffrey Corbet Johnson Grand Valley State University

visit author page

Jeff Johnson, a current student in Grand Valley State University’s Electrical Engineering program, has previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in physics from GVSU. Presently, he is employed at Grand Valley's School of Engineering under the auspices of a grant issues from the National Science Foundation to support the development of a nanotechnology curriculum.

visit author page


Nael Barakat Grand Valley State University

visit author page

Nael Barakat is the mechanical engineering Program Chair at GVSU, a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada, and a fellow of the ASME. He joined academia in 2003 after years of industrial experience and consulting. Barakat holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from McMaster University, Canada. His areas of interest include controls, robotics, automation, systems integration, metrology, and NEMS, as well as engineering ethics, professionalism, and education.

visit author page


Lihong (Heidi) Jiao Grand Valley State University

visit author page

Lihong (Heidi) Jiao is currently an Associate Professor in the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University. She received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from Nankai University, China and Ph.D in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching interests include solid state device physics and fabrication, nanotechnology, and fiber optics. Her research activities include fabrication and characterization of amorphous silicon solar cells, organic solar cells, organic light emitting diodes (OLED), and thin film transistors (TFT).

visit author page

Download Paper |


Assessment and development of process procedures for thermal evaporation within an undergraduate contextThe physical vapor deposition of metal thin films by means of evaporation at lowpressure was investigated as part of an undergraduate research effort to improve processefficiency and outcomes utilizing in-place equipment. The overarching intent of the studywas to develop procedures for use by students in laboratory courses focused on the designand production of solid state devices. Three specific objectives were targeted: consistencyin achieving required layer thicknesses; stable deposition rates; final process proceduresto remain within tungsten filament tolerances in order to maximize usable life. Severalprocess variations were explored and conclusions were drawn as to the selection offilament configurations and process parameters, ultimately settling on a semiautomaticpower sequence using filaments shaped in a coil configuration.A power sequence that began with an automatically controlled ramp-up in the currentdelivered to the tungsten filament led to a higher degree of control and reproducibility ofdeposition parameters while also extending the life of the filament by reducing thermalwear. Coil filaments were preferred due to their comparably high current and voltagetolerances, carrying capacity, and moderate cost. Consideration was also given to thesurface topography resulting from varying deposition rates. A complete processprocedure was developed based on the work carried out in this study. It was found thatsome variability in processing results was unavoidable given the nature of the equipmentbut a higher probability of successful outcomes was achieved through employment of thedeveloped procedures.

Johnson, J. C., & Barakat, N., & Jiao, L. H. (2012, June), Procedure Development of Thermal Evaporation Process for Incorporation into Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21824

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015