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Nickel Ni Notes

Nickel (Ni) General Information

Nickel is a hard, lustrous, silvery-white metal. It has a density of 8.91 g/cc, a melting point of 1,453°C, and a vapor pressure of 10-4 Torr at 1,262°C. Its key characteristics are malleability, ductility, and ferromagnetism and its polished surface resists tarnishing when exposed to air. It is the second most abundant element in earth's core next to iron. It is mainly used to make stainless steel, coins, and batteries. It can also be found in jewelry, but its presence has decreased due to skin allergies. When evaporated in vacuum, nickel can form a decorative coating on ceramic surfaces or a solder layer in circuit device fabrication. It is often sputtered to form layers in the production of magnetic storage media, fuel cells, and sensors.

Nickel Ni Specifications

Material TypeNichrome IV®
Melting Point (°C)1,395
Theoretical Density (g/cc)8.5
Type of BondIndium, Elastomer
FerromagneticMagnetic Material
Z Ratio**1.00
Thermal Evaporation Techniques Boat:  ***
Coil:  W
Basket:  W, Ta
Crucible:  Al2O3
E-Beam Crucible Liner MaterialFABMATE®
Temp. (°C) for Given Vap. Press. (Torr) 10-8:  847
10-6:  987
10-4:  1,217
CommentsAlloys with W/Ta/Mo.

† Magnetic material (requires special sputter source).

** 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.

*** Alumina Coated.


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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