This is a sputtering machine. It is a high vacuum system inside of which argon plasma kicks atoms out of a target, after which the target atoms land onto a sample creating high quality thin films of metals or dielectrics.

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This is the plasma:

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The machine was made for us by AJA International in Massachusetts. It is a Pitt facility, but it is temporarily located in my lab since it is demanding as a flower (needs water and power), and there was no other place for it on campus.