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I've been spending a huge amount of time trying to fix the sputtering machine. I've come to some conclusion from given data: one of the sputtering guns seems dead, a turbo pump is nearly dead, LabView won't interface with the DAQ (to run the mass flow controller), the crystal monitor is still uncalibrated, all the water lines need replacing, noone is ever going to replace the heating element, and the e-beam evaporator has atrocious/dangerous magnetic containment.

So: I can't fix it. I've tried - I really did - but without plenty more time and (more importantly) capital that machine is sunk - until the new MEMS lab tech arrives.

What upsets me is that I love that sputterer - it's a really cool machine - but moreso I look bad because all the experiments fail and I'm the one who was working on the device. The pay's not good enough and I have more important and interesting things to do. Getting that machine running was my hobby, like fixing up a car, except this machine sets fire to a vacuum.

Seriously, it's really cool. This kind of cool though...

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