• Mantis Deposition Systems



The NanoGenTrio source is designed for synthesis of complex alloy nanoparticles. During its operation the nanoclusters are generated by a "terminated gas condensation" method, where three coplanar magnetron targets are being sputtered independently from each other. The material of the targets determines the composition of the resulting nanoparticles.

The generated nanoclusters tend to posses one additional electronic charge and this allows them to be electrostatically manipulated either through deflection, focusing or acceleration. The acceleration towards the substrate allows the particle impact energy to be controlled precisely. At low acceleration (<<1eV per atom) the particles soft-land without deformation. At higher energies they undergo a small degree of interface mixing and form a layer of bound nanoparticles. At very high energy the particles fuse to revert to bulk material. Such nanoparticle manipulation produces a wide variety of coating morphologies from nanoparticle powder, through porous films to crystalline structures.

The ability to control the size, density and in some cases the morphology of the deposited particles allows NanoGen sources to be used with unprecedented flexibility in the creation of new types of nanostructures.
The instrument can be used to deposit thin film consisting of pure nanoclusters or used as an additional source in the sputter deposition system, allowing the nanoclusters to be deposited within multilayer thin-film structures.


The formation of PtRu nanoclusters with different Pt:Ru ratios was further proved by the EDX analysis.

The patented NanoGenTrio source is a nanocluster source with multi-magnetron head capability. It includes a number of unique features which are critical to the generation of complex compound nanoparticles.

Similar to NanoGen50, the NanoGenTrio source provides a high level control of nanoparticle generation by varying three main process components: aggregation length, gas pressure and the power density applied to the target. However, in the contrast to NanoGen50 source, it also has three 1" coplanar sputter targets, which can be driven independently by three power supplies. This allows deposition of complex alloy nanoparticles due to rapid mixing of atomic vapour sputtered from different targets.

The precise gas flow control achieved by the gas flow channels on the periphery of each sputter target face ensures that the vapours generated on each target are mixed before they begin to seed into nanoparticles. In this way true compound nanoclusters are formed from different sputter materials.

Compound nanoparticles can be generated with as few as 30 atoms up to those with diameters close to 20 nm. In addition to being able to control the size of the particle, it is possible to vary the relative concentrations of the materials in the particle by independently altering the power applied to each magnetron target.

Figure below shows the results of the experiment where NanoGenTrio was equipped with Pt and Ru targets. When the power to the targets was varied, a significant change in the nanoparticle beam distribution was detected.

The strongest signal was recorded when full power was applied to both Ru and Pt targets. The mean particle diameter varied between 1.5-2nm.

The dark field image below shows the PtRu nanoparticles deposited on the substrate.


LN2 Cooled Jacket
LN2 cooled jacket provides an alternative cooling method of the NanogenTrio source. LN2 cooling promotes generation of nanoclusters with different sizes and gives the user an increased experimental parameter space to work with.

In addition, the temperature control influences nanocluster formation and allows the operator to obtain nanoclusters with different morphology. As can be seen from the TEM images below, a nanoparticle made from the same material may change its structure from crystalline (in the case of water jacket cooling) to amorphous (in the case of LN2 cooled jacket) depending on the temperature in the aggregation zone of the nanoparticle source.

Custom Exit Apertures
We have designed a range of custom-sized exit apertures to alter the nanocluster dimensions. Please contact us for more details.

Automation Software
An automation and software package is available for the NanoGen sources that delivers higly reproducible recipe driven processes. The automation control includes motorised linear feed, power and gas control.


Model NanoGenTrio
Mounting Flange NW150CF (8")
In-vacuum Length 0mm
Instrument Length 300mm
Cluster Range 1-20nm
(material dependent)
Size Variation +/-15%
(flow/power dependent)
Gas Flow 5-100sccm Ar/He
Minimum Cooling Water (0.5l/min) / LN2