New Industry Products

High-Power DC Generator Expands Thin Film Deposition Areas

May 25, 2024 by Mike Falter

Advanced Energy’s Ascent AMS II DC power supply is fully water-cooled and can improve industrial thin film deposition processes' capacity, quality, and repeatability.

Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. is expanding its Ascent Arc Management System (AMS) DC generators line with the Ascent AMS II. This fully water-cooled supply can deliver up to 60 kW of power. The higher power levels will allow manufacturers to better control thin film deposition quality and repeatability for flat panel displays, glass, solar, and other industrial coating applications while improving productivity through expanded deposition areas.

A fully water-cooled design supports the higher power rating and protects the supply from dust and debris common in industrial environments. An expanded operating range offers increased application flexibility, while the front-end design accommodates varying global input standards under a single part number.

The Ascent AMS II comes with Advanced Energy’s PowerInsight embedded software package, which gives operators better visibility into the supply’s operation and allows them to optimize deposition system performance and reliability.    

Ascent AMS II DC power supply.
Ascent AMS II DC power supply. Image used courtesy of Advanced Energy


Physical Vapor Deposition 

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a technique for depositing thin-film metal coatings on a host surface or substrate. It is commonly used in flat panel displays, solar cells, and other industrial coating applications. 

In the PVD process, a high-energy source (such as Ascent AMS II) is applied to a metal target (cathode) within a vacuum chamber, causing it to vaporize through an arcing process. 

A high voltage is also applied to the part(s) to be coated, pulling the vaporized cathode metal to its surface. The thin film metal coating is formed through a series of deposition layers.      


Expanded Operating Range

The Ascent AMS II accepts a wide AC input voltage range of 360 to 528 VAC at 50/60 Hz and can deliver output voltages up to 1000 VDC and output currents up to 150 A.


Ascent AMS II’s expanded operating range

Ascent AMS II’s expanded operating range. Image used courtesy of Advanced Energy


The maximum delivered power for the supply is 60 kW (up to 60 A at 1000 VDC), and the entire supply is contained within a 19” full rack, 6U height enclosure. The maximum cooling water temperature is 95°F.

For higher-power deposition applications, two Ascent AMS II operated in parallel can deliver up to 120 kW of power to a single cathode. Up to twelve supplies can be operated in tandem to deliver 120 kW each to as many as six cathodes.  


Ascent AMS II multi-cathode configuration

Ascent AMS II multi-cathode configuration. Image used courtesy of Advanced Energy


According to Juergen Braun, Advanced Energy’s senior vice president, Plasma Power Products, demands to increase productivity and reduce costs drive larger deposition areas requiring higher arc management power levels. With its water-cooled enclosure, the Ascent AMS II now covers a wider operating range to meet the needs of the next-generation thin film deposition systems while offering improved reliability in harsh industrial environments.