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Company History

SVS Highlights

8th October 1990

Scientific Vacuum Services (SVS) Ltd, registration No. 2538608 was established by cofounders, directors and equal shareholders Philip Eames and Terry Shimell.


April 1992

Scientific Vacuum Services Ltd changed their trading name to Scientific Vacuum Systems Ltd to reflect their change of business model from servicing to system manufacturers, following several refurbishments and upgrades of PVD Systems.


May 1993

SVS Ltd moved to 12 Weller Drive, Hogwood Lane Industrial Estate, which is a large manufacturing facility and is still their current home.


June 1994

SVS won their first new Sputter System order, which was purchased by the Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO), Bangalore. It was SVS’ first export order and is still in operation today. This system was the launch of the new V2000 range of sputter systems.

v2000 sputter systems

First of many V2000 Range of sputter systems Built by SVS.


November 1995

SVS build the first of a new range of razorblade production coaters called the CTS30 using DC triode sputtering technique.

CTS30 DC triode sputtering

January 1997

SVS launch the new V6000 range of Electron Beam and Sputter systems for research.

V6000 Electron Beam Sputter systems

March 1997

The first in the new e2000 range of Electron Beam Evaporators for production of multiple wafers is designed and built for Daewoo in South Korea.

e2000 range Electron Beam Evaporators for production

April 1997

SVS partnered with the late Prof Ron Howson of Loughborough University to develop novel reactive deposition techniques to produce conductive optical coatings using reactive DC pulse sputtering.


September 1997

As a result of SVS’ collaboration with Loughborough University SVS built the first V2800 In-Line reactive Sputter and evaporation system for Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) for their Light Emitting Polymers (LEP) research into flat panel screens.

V2800 In Line reactive Sputter evaporation system

July 1998

SVS design and build the first DCMS30 Dual Magnetron sputtering system for Razorblade production with a throughput of 90,000 blades every 30 minutes to supersede the CTS30 DC Triode sputtering system developed in 1995. SVS have gone on to be a World leading supplier of Razorblade coaters, supplying sputter systems to over 50% of the world market.

DCMS30 Dual Magnetron sputtering system

August 1999

SVS construct the first of the large area V2000 box coaters for production.

V2000 box coaters for production


SVS set up its own R&D laboratory and started a 3 year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) research program in collaboration with Loughborough University to develop a new reactive Plasma enhance chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) technique for optical and hard coatings, which culminated in SVS winning an award from the UK Research Council for being one of the top eight KTP research programs completed in 2004.

svs award

SVS & Loughborough staff receiving their awards in 2004 From Sir Keith O’Nions (then head of the UK Research Council)


July 2002

SVS research team develop a new DLC coating using the newly developed PECVD process which resulted in SVS’ largest ever single export order for a V2900 large area In-Line sputter system for processing 1.0m x 1.0m substrates.

V2900 large area In Line sputter system


Following the manufacture of the V2800 system CDT in 1997 SVS design and construct a bespoke In-line product evaporation and sputter system for CDT’s customer Seiko, Japan for processing multiple 40cm x 40cm wafers.

V2800 system CDT


SVS embarked on a second 3 year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) research program in collaboration with Loughborough University to continue the development of new reactive Plasma techniques for optical and hard coatings.


June 2007

SVS in collaboration with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum Ltd supplied the vacuum pumping system for the UK Orion Laser project, one of the largest laser facilities in the world. SVS’ role within this project was to supply the software control system for the vacuum chambers and pipelines, which included controlling 84 turbo pump sets from 14 different control zones connected to a main pumping group controller. This project took 3 years to complete.

orion laser facility

Orion Laser facility, one of the largest scientific capital investments in the UK for over 25 years.

OrionLaser UHV target chamber

View showing the Orion Laser UHV Target chamber.


May 2008

SVS in collaboration with Loughborough University are awarded a £740K BERR grant to design and develop a pilot production deposition system for Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cells employing the most complex, yet most efficient 3 stage process.


January 2011

SVS design a new ViB range of ion beam milling systems.

ViB range ion beam milling systems

August 2011

SVS continue to build bespoke systems.

Bespoke CVD production deposition system



November 2012

SVS design an e2000LL loadlock electron beam and Ion Beam Milling system designed to cool the substrate below 50ºC during the most aggressive evaporation and milling processes.

e2000LL loadlock electron beam Ion Beam Milling system

June 2014

SVS complete the build of the CIGS pilot production deposition system for CIGS solar cells and named it the ‘Quantum 2010’. The system was handed to researchers at Brunel University to start the development of the process.

CIGS pilot production deposition system

February 2015

Researchers at Brunel University are achieving 12% efficient CIGS solar cells on 30cm x 30cm glass substrates and are confident of achieving 18% within the next 12 months.


8th October 2015

Celebrating 25 years and still designing and building PVD systems.

25 years of excellence



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