Sputtering Targets: Depositing Thin Films

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Sputtering is a unique and repeatable process and has the ability to deposit thin films from a range of materials on to different shapes and sizes of substrates. The process can be upgraded from research and development projects to manufacturing of batches involving medium to large substrate areas.

In order to realize efficient momentum, transfer projectile mass must be able to match target mass. Therefore, for sputtering heavy elements xenon or krypton is used and for light elements neon is utilized. Generally, sputtering gas is an inert gas, such as argon.

Normally, reactive gases are utilized for sputtering compounds. The chemical reaction can take place on the substrate or on the target surface depending on the parameters of the process. These parameters make sputter deposition a challenging process, but nevertheless provide experts a greater level of control over the microstructure and growth of the film.

In order to obtain the required characteristics in a sputter deposited thin film, the production process utilized to build the sputtering target can be of significant importance. Regardless of the fact that the target material has an element, mixture of elements, compound, or alloys, the process undertaken to create that defined material, which is ideal for sputtering thin films of uniform quality, is equally important as the deposition run parameters perfected by scientists and engineers dealing in thin film processes.

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