top of page

Hot Metals

Physical vapor deposition usually happens by resistively heating solid metals so that they evaporate. You catch the vapor on your sample. You can also evaporate ceramics, but it is tricky to find a container that will remain solid while the ceramic melts. Here is a picture of a small chunk of aluminum about to melt in its resistively heated boat.

The boat is red-hot. It is rare to be able to see this at all. After the aluminum melts, its vapor will cover the glass bell jar with a thin film. This shot was taken just after the bell jar was cleaned and before the aluminum melted. A rare sighting! In the upper left region, you can see a blurry reflection of the cell phone used to take the picture.

Here are some more shots as the metal got hotter and hotter. Toward the end, the visibility window is about to disappear.

Thanks to Kurt Carlson, John Wagner and Hans Mikelson at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI! This chamber is located in their cleanroom.

bottom of page