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Multi-Chamber Deposition

Technology Platform

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The Royce Deposition System at the University of Leeds is a multi-chamber, multi-technique facility for thin film growth. Comprised of four deposition chambers connected via ultra-high vacuum transfer chambers, the Royce Deposition System allows for different deposition techniques to be combined. The mission of this Technology Platform is to create multi-layered thin film exploiting interfaces between different types of materials. These interfaces open up new physics and the possibility of new functions for devices.

A key global challenge is to make computing and data storage more energy efficient; we need to reduce the power consumption and associated carbon emissions of our growing digital infrastructure. Current research using the Deposition System studies the physics of thin film-based materials and devices for low-energy computing. The Multi-chamber Deposition Technology Platform is integrated in the Atoms to Devices research theme within Royce.

Key capabilities:

  • Four connected deposition chambers
  • Preparation chamber with heater and ion miller
  • Sample sizes up to 2 inch wafers
  • Substrate temperature from -100°C to 1200°C
  • Load locks for fast sample turnaround
  • UHV transfer chambers allow advanced heterostructures to be grown using multiple chambers and techniques
  • Vacuum suitcase allows transfers to P-NAME (Manchester) for single-ion implantation

Platform Lead

Dr Philippa Shepley

Technology Platform Lead: Multi-Chamber Deposition

Philippa Shepley is an Experimental Officer at the University of Leeds. She is based in the Condensed Matter group in the School of Physics and Astronomy, and is a member of the Bragg Centre for Materials Research. Philippa has a background in physics and materials research with an MPhys degree from the University of Liverpool, a PhD in experimental condensed matter physics from the University of Leeds, and experience from postdoctoral research projects. Philippa’s expertise includes thin film growth and characterisation with her own research interests focusing mainly on magnetic and ferroelectric materials. Philippa manages the Royce Deposition System and is closely involved with the academic and industrial research that uses the system.

Deposition Chambers

This chamber is for the epitaxial growth of thin film topological insulators and topological superconductors. The system allows a wide range of alloys with precise stoichiometry aided by two high-temperature cracker cells. 

  • Four dual-filament effusion cells for deposition of materials such as bismuth selenide 
  • Low temperature effusion cell for deposition of low melting point metals such as indium 
  • Two valved-corrosive-metal-cracker-cells for precise stoichiometric control over materials such as antimony and tellurium 
  • In-situ RHEED to monitor epitaxial growth 
  • Substrate temperature range -100° to 1200°C 

This system has been purpose built for the deposition of a wide range of molecular and organic materials such as fullerenes, metallo-fullerenes, pthalocyanines and quinolines. Combined with an e-beam evaporator, this enables the growth of hybrid metal-organic devices with multiple organic components. 

  • Four low temperature effusion cells for precisely controlled evaporation of organic molecules 
  • Four pocket e-beam evaporation system for growth of metals 
  • DC/RF magnetron sputtering gun for growth of metals and metal-oxides 
  • Substrate temperature range from -100° to 1200°C 

This chamber is designed for the growth of complex oxides, including dielectrics such as STO, ferroelectrics and multi-ferroics. 

  • Multi-target system for growth of complex multi-layers 
  • KrF, 248 nm pulsed laser 
  • In-situ RHEED to monitor epitaxial growth 
  • Sample temperature range from room temperature to 1000°C 

This system is dedicated to the development of complex multi-layer structures for research into fundamental magnetism and skyrmions, and growth of magnetic oxides such as YIG for development of spin-pumping devices. 

  • Eight DC/RF-magnetron sputter sources providing a wide range of magnetic and non-magnetic metals 
  • Off-axis sputter source for low-energy deposition onto sensitive materials 
  • Sample temperature range from -100° to 1200°C 

Deposition Schematic


Additional Material