A sputtering magnetron uses high-voltage electricity in a vacuum to deposit materials on a surface. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputter_deposition. This project came together mostly in a weekend. The Thought Emporium has a great video on a similar device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyu7etM-0Ko. The hardware of this project consists of an unmodified microwave transformer, full bridge rectifier, and microwave capacitor to provide the high voltage. I use a variac to control the power of the microwave transformer. Beyond that, there is a wood box, the glass jar used as a vacuum chamber and a few other various odds and ends. My first test of the machine was able to successfully coat a microscope slide with copper as shown in the picture. This project will allow me to accomplish more with my various semiconductor research projects.
I upgraded the vacuum chamber to a larger size. I picked up a nice 5" round glass vase from a local craft store. From left to right is the current progression of chambers so far. The far left original chamber was too small and had only a single passthrough for both the vacuum and high voltage. It ended up getting way too hot way too quickly. The middle chamber was suffered from a crack due to running the device too long and generating heat that wasn't dissipated.
Another development from the weekend was that I decided to research magnetron design and to construct a sputtering head that will be in the chamber. Using what I learned from various papers and from watching the "Applied Science" channel video on Sputtering - I designed and 3d printed a sleeve that was used to create a metal casting for the magnetron.
Shown above are some various parts of the disassembled sputtering head. Hopefully it will all come together this week.
Had my first failure. After running the device too hot and too long, I heard a snap! I was able to turn off the vacuum before an implosion. Now I need to build another vacuum chamber. Two steps forward, one step back!