There is a certain type of material that is referred to as a sputtering target. If you have ever had dental implants before, or if you have ever seen materials that have a metallic coating, this is accomplished by using this process. The process itself is fairly simple to understand. Material is broken down into very small components, and through a unique process, can deposit a film of this material on the exterior of the target. Therefore, a sputtering target is literally the target of the sputtering process. It is what will receive the film from these machines. Different types of material are used for this process, and it is a valuable process in many different industries.
What Types Of Targets Are Used?
There are several different types of targets that can be used. Some of them could be metal in origin, whereas many of the ones that are used today are made from ceramic. In the same way, the sputtering target materials, those that are used to place this exterior coating on the outside of different objects, can be made of different how lawyers or metallic elements. They can also use ceramic in certain circumstances.
Why Is Sputtering So Important?
The importance of this process will often depend upon the industry itself. For example, when you are working with glass, the objective is to produce glass that has an outside coating that can reduce radiation levels. Another one is when you are working with building contractors. The outside coating can be aesthetically appealing, will help control the level of light coming in, and can also be beneficial in helping to save on utility bills.
Different Types Of Sputtering
There are several different types of sputtering processes that can occur, which can each produce varied results. It really depends on the material that you are working with and what the target is going to be when you are choosing a sputtering target material to use. These are often administered through some type of radiofrequency diode, direct-current diode, or even those that use plasma courtesy of a magnetron. Newer machinery can actually use ion beams that can break the material down, helping to spread it evenly over the different targets.
How Does The Process Actually Work?
The process itself can be very simple in its origins. It basically comes down to using an anode and a cathode, and some type of gas, typically argon, that can help accelerate the process. The cathode will be made of a certain material, such as gold, and when this is bombarded, ions will be released into the gas that is produced, leading to the process of sputtering.
Different Plasma Types For Sputtering Depositions
There is a process called magnetic confinement that is integral to this process. When using a magnetron to create the sputtering, high-density sources of power must be used. They often will coordinate the direction and dispersal of the material using radio frequencies and can even incorporate direct current in order to accomplish this process. That is why DC magnetron plasma source is often preferred over any of the other processes that can help achieve this final result. If you are using RF systems, on the other hand, the surface treatment can be accomplished with very little power by comparison.
The Thin Film Technique
This is likely the most common name used by sputtering target manufacturers. For example, there are certain waveforms that, when pointed toward these materials, will break them down very quickly. Often a magnetron is used in order to create the sputtering activity, which will lead to a reactive sputter deposition that will cover everything. This was originally designed back in the 1970s, but after many decades, this process has been refined. It allows researchers and those that run the equipment to use the magnetron at both high and low temperatures. They can also measure different aspects of the sputtering, including low-temperature vaporization, elongated data, high rate data, and they can also measure how long the process will take.
This overview of what the sputtering technique is should help you understand how many different products that we take for granted today are produced. From simply putting this exterior coating on the outside of the glass to minimize UV exposure to improving the way that certain products look, you can often find ways to improve our daily lives through the sputtering targets and the sputtering process.