At KAMIS, We Do More

Kamis is committed to providing high quality products and dependable service. We supply raw product such as metal sheet with the exact width, length, thickness, flatness and surface finish you specify.

We also supply finished machine parts with exact dimensional tolerances. But at Kamis we do more than supply products, we supply high quality service because we understand your business. Whether your application calls for RARE EARTH or a REFRACTORY metal, Kamis can assist you.

Please call or e-mail Kamis with your technical questions on any metal.

Depositing Thin Films

Kamis Inc.

Need Help Finding the Right Crucible?Contact us today at 845-628-6173 or email [email protected] with your questions or to discuss your specific project.

Thin-Film Technology Of The Ancient World

KAMIS offers high quality sputtering targets, evaporation materials, crucible liners and other metals to help you meet the needs of your organization. For over two decades, KAMIS has been a trusted partner to the semiconductor industry, top research faculties and universities around the world.

Artists and craftsmen more than 2,000 years ago developed thin-film coating technology unrivaled even by today’s standards for producing DVDs, solar cells, electronic devices and other products. Understanding these sophisticated metal-plating techniques from ancient times, described in the ACS journal Accounts of Chemical Research, could help preserve priceless artistic and other treasures from the past.

Gabriel Maria Ingo and colleagues point out that scientists have made good progress in understanding the chemistry of many ancient artistic and other artifacts — crucial to preserve them for future generations. Big gaps in knowledge remained, however, about how gilders in the Dark Ages and other periods applied such lustrous, impressively uniform films of gold or silver to intricate objects. Ingo’s team set out to apply the newest analytical techniques to uncover the ancients’ artistic secrets.

They discovered that gold- and silversmiths 2,000 years ago developed a variety of techniques, including using mercury like a glue to apply thin films of metals to statues and other objects. Sometimes, the technology was used to apply real gold and silver. It also was used fraudulently, to make cheap metal statues that look like solid gold or silver. The scientists say that their findings confirm “the high level of competence reached by the artists and craftsmen of these ancient periods who produced objects of an artistic quality that could not be bettered in ancient times and has not yet been reached in modern ones.” Read More

Novel Technologies to be Developed for Thin-Film Deposition

A three-year project awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop novel technologies for depositing thin films is underway.

The contract award is under DARPA’s Local Control of Materials Synthesis (LoCo) program, which is investigating non-thermal approaches for depositing thin-film coatings onto the surfaces of a variety of materials. The objective of the program is to overcome the reliance on high-thermal energy input by examining the process of thin-film deposition at the molecular component level in areas such as reactant flux, surface mobility and reaction energy, among others.

Many current high-temperature deposition processes cannot be used on military vehicles and other equipment because they exceed the temperature limit of the material. The LoCo program will attempt to create new, low-temperature deposition processes and a new range of coating-substrate pairings to improve the surface properties of materials used in a wide range of defense technologies including rotor blades, infrared missile domes and photovoltaics, among others. Read More

KAMIS manufactures sputtering targets for all sputtering systems in pure metals, alloys, and ceramic materials. 

Sputtering for Thin Film Deposits

Sputtering process is used in a variety of applications such as flat panel displays, optical discs, automotive and architectural glass, web coating, hard coatings, optical communications, solar cells, semiconductors, magnetic data storage devices, electron microscopy, and decorative applications.

Typical materials used in these applications are Copper, Chromium, Chromium-Molybdenum, Aluminium, Titanium, Aluminium-Titanium, Tungsten, Nickel, Silicon, Indium and Silver, amongst others.

Sputtering process can be used for depositing thin films from a wide range of materials on to different substrates. Although process parameters make sputtering a complex process, they allow a greater degree of control over the film’s growth and structure.

Gold Coating is a Thin Film of Gold Deposited Onto a Substrate

A gold coating is a very thin film of gold deposited onto a supporting substrate. This serves as a very useful substrate in the life science academia & industrial markets.

  • Typical characteristics of gold surfaces include:
  • Good resistance to oxidation
  • Inert surface for use with biological experimentation
  • Good conductor of electricity
  • Ultra smooth surfaces can be prepared
  • Easily forms thiol chemistry self-assembled monolayers (SAM)

Glossary of Terms

  • Nanometer (nm): 1×10-9 m
  • Ångström (Å): 0.1 nm
  • E-beam Evaporation: A physical vapor deposition technique used for thin film coatings.
  • Adhesion Layer: A thin layer deposited for improving the adhesion of gold on to the substrate (material to be coated).
  • Roughness: A measure of surface smoothness.
  • Grain Size: The size of gold grains present on the surface. Grain size has an effect on the roughness of the gold surface.
  • Self Assembled Monolayers(SAM): Surfaces consisting of a single layer of molecules on a substrate, prepared by adding a solution of the desired molecule onto the substrate surface and washing off the excess.

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) techniques are commonly used for depositing metal thin films onto a surface.

New Sputtering Target Innovations

Magnetron sputtering was initially developed using metal or alloy targets with materials having high electrical conductivity (e.g., Al, Ag, Au, Cu, Ti, Mo, etc.). In order to achieve acceptable deposition rates, the target material needed to be electrically and thermally conductive. Ceramic targets were developed for transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) and usually consisted of films made from compositions of ZnO:Al2O3 (2% wt) or In2O3:SnO2 (10% wt). However, as the name implies, the materials were fairly conductive and were suited for DC magnetron sputtering.

Pulsed-DC and RF magnetron sputtering allows for the deposition of materials with poor electrical conductivity. Semiconductor materials with better electrical conductivity can be sputtered with pulsed-DC power supplies, while insulating materials (mainly ceramics) require RF sputtering. The deposition rates for RF sputtering are generally much lower than with pulsed-DC. Also, pulsed-DC sputtering has a lower deposition rate than DC sputtering. New applications in photovoltaic, thermoelectric, storage, and semiconductor markets are spurring innovation in ceramic and semiconductor sputtering targets.

DC sputtering with metallic targets has fewer process problems since the metals are ductile and the materials feature high conductivity. Conversely, semiconductor and ceramic targets are more prone to process difficulties due to the brittle nature of the materials and the poor electrical and thermal conductivities. In order to achieve consistent sputtering over the life of the target, it is essential to have a well-sintered target material with high density. Voids and cracks in the material can propagate and lead to sputtering problems such as arcing, target cracking, and particle generation. Read More

Successful Large-Area Sputtering

Cylindrical rotating magnetrons can provide controlled reactive sputtering on both large areas and high-volume products, while also minimizing arcing and anode problems.

Magnetron sputtering, combined with an accurate control of process parameters and layer quality, has become one of the most important methods for depositing thin films. The technique involves bombarding a target surface, which is positioned on a magnetic tube, with an ionized gas. The gas causes metallic atoms to be ejected from the target and subsequently deposited on the substrate to be coated. In standard metallic sputtering, an inert gas, such as argon, is used. No chemical reaction occurs between the gas and the target particles, resulting in a coating on the substrate with a composition similar to the target material.

In a reactive sputtering process, at least one reactive gas (e.g., oxygen or nitrogen) is added. The reactive gas enhances the sputtering process on the target surface and also generates a chemical reaction with the target particles, forming a compound layer on the substrate. As a result, high-purity, uniform coatings can be achieved. Read More

Vacuum Coating by Sputtering

Vacuum coating by sputtering has established a leading position for the deposition of thin films because of its relatively easy scalability to high volumes and sizes, its good control of most layer characteristics, and its wide variety of available materials and possible coating stacks. The technology is commonly accepted and widely used in the architectural and automotive industries. In display and PV applications, however, the use of rotatable technology has been introduced more recently.

Within the large area coating business, the rotating cylindrical magnetron concept has proven to offer superior properties relative to the planar concept and to satisfy most industrial requirements. The geometry and sputter performance of rotating cylindrical sputter targets result in several advantages relative to planar sputter targets. Read More

What are Sputtering Targets?

A sputtering target is a material that is used to create thin films in a technique known as sputter deposition, or thin film deposition. During this process the sputtering target material, which begins as a solid, is broken up by gaseous ions into tiny particles that form a spray and coat another material, which is known as the substrate. Sputter deposition is commonly involved in the creation of semiconductors and computer chips. As a result, most sputtering target materials are metallic elements or alloys, although there are some ceramic targets available that create hardened thin coatings for various tools.

Depending on the nature of the thin film being created, sputtering targets can very greatly in size and shape. The smallest targets can be less than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, while the largest rectangular targets reach well over one yard (0.9 m) in length. Some sputtering equipment will require a larger sputtering target and in these cases, manufacturers will create segmented targets that are connected by special joints.

The designs of sputtering systems, the machines that conduct the thin film deposition process, have become much more varied and specific. Accordingly, target shape and structure has begun to widen in variety as well. The shape of a sputtering target is usually either rectangular or circular, but many target suppliers can create additional special shapes upon request. Certain sputtering systems require a rotating target to provide a more precise, even thin film. These targets are shaped like long cylinders, and offer additional benefits including faster deposition speeds, less heat damage, and increased surface area, which leads to greater overall utility.

The effectiveness of sputtering target materials depends on several factors, including their composition and the type of ions used to break them down. Thin films that require pure metals for the target material will usually have more structural integrity if the target is as pure as possible. The ions used to bombard the sputtering target are also important for producing a decent quality thin film. Generally, argon is the primary gas chosen to ionize and initiate the sputtering process, but for targets that have lighter or heavier molecules a different noble gas, such as neon for lighter molecules, or krypton for heavier molecules, is more effective. It is important for the atomic weight of the gas ions to be similar to that of the sputtering target molecules to optimize the transfer of energy and momentum, thereby optimizing the evenness of the thin film. Read More