[macona] called this a “fail of the week”, but of course failure is just another part of the hacker adventure. Fail and fail often! He’s been slowly assembling a vacuum deposition system. These systems let you deposit thin films on a substrate. Vacuum deposition systems have all sorts of exciting applications, not only are they used in semiconductor manufacturing, but as [Ben Krasnow] has shown can create conductive transparent coatings. They’re even sometimes used for silvering mirrors.
A common feature of these systems is that they require high voltage, we’re not talking a few hundred volts or even a few thousand volts. But 10 to 20 kilovolts. You need such a high voltage in order to accelerate electrons and ions, which are used to eject atoms from a source and deposit them as a thin film on a substrate.
It was this HV supply [macona] was working on, cobbling the system together from parts found on eBay. Unfortunately he could only reach 9kv unloaded, which we’d expect to drop considerably under load. So [macona] has now found a different solution. But this teardown and write up still makes great reading.
We’re left to pondering on what projects the spare parts could be useful for: “I might be able to series the secondaries and get 30kv at 500ma! That would make one hell of a bug zapper! Actually these transformers scare the hell out of me….” me too Jerry! Me too!