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Palladium Pd Evaporation Process Notes

Palladium (Pd) General Information

Palladium is a silvery-white precious metal that bears a sharp resemblance to platinum. It has a melting point of 1,554°C, a density of 12.038 g/cc, and a vapor pressure of 10-4 Torr at 1,192°C. It belongs to the platinum group of metals on the periodic table. It has the lowest melting point of the elements of this group and is the least dense. Palladium is remarkably malleable, ductile, and corrosion resistant. Like platinum, its most prominent use in industry is as a catalytic converter. It can also found in jewelry and surgical instruments. Palladium is evaporated under vacuum for the manufacture of semiconductors, sensors, and data storage.

Palladium Pd Specifications

Material TypePalladium
Atomic Weight106.42
Atomic Number46
Color/AppearanceSilvery White Metallic
Thermal Conductivity72 W/m.K
Melting Point (°C)1,554
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion11.8 x 10-6/K
Theoretical Density (g/cc)12.02
Max Power Density
(Watts/Square Inch)
Type of BondIndium, Elastomer
Z Ratio0.357
Thermal Evaporation Techniques Boat:  W***
Coil:  W
Basket:  W
Crucible:  Al2O3
E-Beam Crucible Liner MaterialFABMATE®, Graphite, Tungsten
Temp. (°C) for Given Vap. Press. (Torr) 10-8:  842
10-6:  992
10-4:  1,192
CommentsAlloys with refractory metals.

*** Alumina Coated.

* 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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