sputter targets are thin discs of a particular material that are used in a PVD process called sputtering to deposit a thin film of the target material on a substrate like a silicon wafer. This process is used for many different applications including microelectronics, decorative coatings and flat panel display manufacturing. First developed in 1852 and developed as a physical vapor deposition method in 1920, sputtering works by bombarding a target with high energy ions. This causes atoms to be physically ejected from the target surface and deposit onto the substrate, which is often called the “sputter target”.
It should be noted that each elemental material has its own specific sputter yield that determines how quickly the target will deplete atoms. However, alloys can be made up of two or more different atomic species and the specific sputter yields of each component are masked by the overall stoichiometry of the alloy.
In general, sputter targets can be fabricated from nearly any metal or compound such as oxides, nitrides, borides, selenides and carbides. A large selection of compounds is also available in a wide range of purity levels. These sputtering targets can be either planar or rotatable. In addition to the standard round shapes, sputter targets can be supplied in special shaped sizes such as long cylinders for more precise deposition.
Materion produces a broad range of precious metal & non-precious metal sputtering targets, ceramic sputtering targets and inorganic compound sputtering targets for large area coating applications. All of these sputtering targets can be used with desktop sputter coaters such as those from Anatech/Technics, Bio-Rad, Cressington, Edwards, EMS and Emitech. They are also compatible with cryo-SEM preparation systems from Oxford Instruments/Gatan and VG Microtech.