Nikalyte NL-UHV : Alloy Nanoparticle Deposition

Deposit pure and alloy nanoparticles with precise control over size and composition

About the NL-UHV

The Nikalyte NL-UHV instrument range enables the generation and deposition of nanoparticles in Ultra-High vacuum on to your sample to create a functionalised surface.  The properties of the nanoparticle coatings can be tailored through the precise control over the size, compositon and structure of the nanoparticles.

Unlike with chemical techniques, the NL-UHV range of instruments allows the direct deposition of ultra-pure nanoparticles onto a huge variety of substrates and materials. The film density can be tuned and the film itself can be highly adherent to the sample surface.

The NL-UHV is available with a single 1”, 2” source or a triple 1” source, the NL-DX3.  The NL-DX3 allows the deposition of up to three materials either individually, or as alloys using two or three materials simultaneously.

For the ultimate in control of nanoparticle deposition, the Nikalyte NL-QMS mass filter allows the deposited  nanoparticles to be scanned or filtered by mass or nanoparticle diameter in real-time, allowing you to optimise the growth conditions.  The NL-QMS is controlled via our simple and intuitive WindowsTM software

Applications of the NL-UHV

Life Sciences & Nanomedicine

Cancer Therapies, Drug delivery, Antimicrobial, Antiviral, Biofilms


Electronics, Energy, Composites, Sensors


Photovoltaics, Light harvesting, Surface enhanced Raman


Fuel Cells, Photocatalysis, Electrochemistry, Water/air purification


Biosensors, Optical, Electrical, Electrochemical, SERS

Deposition Source options

Choice of magnetron sources from single source options or triple head NL-DX3 source. All sources are compatible with dc or pulsed dc power supplies. 

Source options for the NL-UHV
NL-D2 (left) and NL-DX3 (right) source options for NL-UHV

1 inch or 2 inch sources

.. deposition from single elemental or alloy target
.. high deposition rates upto mg/cm2/sec

DX3 - triple 1 inch source

..load three different materials at once
..generate alloy nanoparticles
..deposit alternate elemental nanoparticles
..independent operation of each target

NL-UHV Source Specifications

Number of Sputter Targets113
Sputter Target dimensions1 inch (25.4mm)
0.5-3mm thick
2 inch (50.6mm)
0.5-3mm thick
1 inch (25.4mm)
0.5-3mm thick
Power Supply1 x 630V dc1 x 630V dc3 x 630V dc
Source Output75W dc100W dc3 x 75W dc

Nanoparticle deposition

Nanoparticles are formed in vacuum through a process called gas terminated deposition. Control the properties of the nanoparticle coatings by varying a range of process parameters, including gas flow, gas type, magnetron power and aggregation length (Lg)  or through changing the aggregation zone aperture size.

Vary nanoparticle size distribution

..Nanoparticle size from 1 - 20nm

Vary nanocoating layer density

..Sub monolayer to 3D nanoporous coverage
..Loosely bound to hightly adherent coatings

Control nanoparticle structure

..Crystaline or amorphous structures
..Control over nanoparticle shape

icosohedral gold nanoparticle
Icosohedral gold nanoparticle
Range of Cu NP sizes
Typical Copper Nanoparticle distributions
Deposition control

Nanoparticle size control

When used in-line with the NL-UHV the NL-QMS can be used to analyse and further filter the nanoparticle beam. Switch easily between measurement and filter mode to optimize and then deposit tailored nanocoatings.

NL-QMS kit
QMS software
NL-QMS control software

Measure in-flight mass spectra

..Analyse the mass spectrum of nanoparticles in flight
..Mass range of 100 - 10 6 amu

Filter nanoparticle size

..Select nanoparticle mass to pass through filter
..Mass resolution in filter mode is +/-2%

Intuitive software

..WindowsTM based software
..Data logging of mass spectra
..Preloaded mass calibration data for common materials
..Enter parameters for new materials or alloys
..Full control over QMS operation and scan settings

Ultra-pure nanoparticles
from a choice of materials

The NL-UHV utilises magnetron sputtering to generate a beam of ultra-pure nanoparticles in vacuum. Nanoparticles can be generated from any metal or conductive material.

Nanoparticle characteristics are:

Ultra pure and hydrocarbon free

Generated from 99.999% solid source material

Wide choice of inorganic materials, including Au, Ag, Cu, Pt, Ir, Ni, Ti, and Zr

No cross contamination when changing source materials

Generate compound nanoparticles such as nitrides and oxides

Technical information

Mounting FlangeDN160CFDN160CF
Power630V dc or pulsed dc100-250Vac
4Amp fuse
Cooling JacketWater or LN2
Flow rate 2l/min (0.52 US GPM)
Pumping120L/m (4.2 CFM) Backing pump
300L/m (10.6 CFM) Turbo pump
Aperture plates2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 5mm aperture plates
supplied as standard
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