Previously Promised Post

In this post, you'll see some of my work... don't laugh. Here is an ICP/RIE.

We use it a lot. In order to make it work, we need all of this:

You can see small shiny tubes running everywhere. The tubes carry various gases: Argon, Helium, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Octofluorocyclobutane, Sulfur Hexafluoride, Chlorine, Silane, and a couple of others. I did that. It took a while to measure and bend it all.

Occasionally, the ICP/RIE breaks. When that happens, I usually have to fix it. Recently, the part pictured below broke. (It turns out, more than one thing was probably broken, with one leading to the other) Incidentally, that thing is a RF (radio-frequency) AMU (auto-matching-unit). Basically, it connects an RF power supply to our system. In order to make sure the power goes efficiently from the generator into the system, it has to automatically adjust some doohickeys to match the impedances. Impedance is just a fancy kind of resistance, but it is fairly important. In order to replace it, I had to take it apart.

This is the RF AMU:

Here's a better look:

And now with that part on the ground, ready to really work on...

You can see some cylindrical bodies there in the box. Those are tunable vacuum capacitors. The top one seemed to be stuck in one position, so I replaced it. No dice. I could tell that the capacitor could move, now, but looking closely, I found that the machine didn't know it was moving. Eventually, I traced the problem to one of the bits hanging off the side (there are two motors and gearboxes and whatnot)-one of the gearboxes was bad. When I replaced that, everything was peachy.

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