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Cerium Fluoride CeF3 Notes

Cerium Fluoride (CeF3) General Information

Cerium oxide, also known as ceria, is an inorganic chemical compound with a chemical formula of CeO2. It is white or pale yellow in color with a density of 7.13 g/cc, a melting point of ~2,600°C, and a vapor pressure of 10-4 Torr at 2,310°C. It is primarily used for polishing but can also be found as a sensor in catalytic converters in automobiles. Cerium oxide is evaporated under vacuum to form anti-reflective layers for optical coatings and as buffer layers in high temperature superconductors.

Cerium Fluoride CeF3 Specifications

Material TypeCerium (IV) Oxide
Color/AppearanceWhite or Pale Yellow, Crystalline Solid
Melting Point (°C)~2,600
Theoretical Density (g/cc)7.13
SputterRF, RF-R
Max Power Density
(Watts/Square Inch)
Type of BondIndium, Elastomer
Z Ratio**1.00
Thermal Evaporation Techniques Boat:  W
E-Beam Crucible Liner MaterialTantalum, Graphite, FABMATE®
Temp. (°C) for Given Vap. Press. (Torr) 10-8:  1,890
10-6:  2,000
10-4:  2,310
CommentsVery little decomposition.

** The z-ratio is unknown. Therefore, we recommend using 1.00 or an experimentally determined value. Please click here for instructions on how to determine this value.

* This is a recommendation based on our experience running these materials in KJLC guns. The ratings are based on unbonded targets and are material specific. Bonded targets should be run at lower powers to prevent bonding failures. Bonded targets should be run at 20 Watts/Square Inch or lower, depending on the material.


Empirical Determination of Z-Factor

Unfortunately, Z Factor and Shear Modulus are not readily available for many materials. In this case, the Z-Factor can also be determined empirically using the following method:

  • Deposit material until Crystal Life is near 50%, or near the end of life, whichever is sooner.
  • Place a new substrate adjacent to the used quartz sensor.
  • Set QCM Density to the calibrated value; Tooling to 100%
  • Zero thickness
  • Deposit approximately 1000 to 5000 A of material on the substrate.
  • Use a profilometer or interferometer to measure the actual substrate film thickness.
  • Adjust the Z Factor of the instrument until the correct thickness reading is shown.

Another alternative is to change crystals frequently and ignore the error. The graph below shows the % Error in Rate/Thickness from using the wrong Z Factor. For a crystal with 90% life, the error is negligible for even large errors in the programmed versus actual Z Factor.

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