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Radiofrequency (RF) magnetron sputtering utilises the low pressure, low temperature, low contamination plasma environment to deposit accurate and repeatable thin film coatings using a variety of target materials.
In a typical sputtering system, a plasma is generated between the high voltage electrodes one of which holds the target material and the other the substrate. Energetic ions from the plasma sputter material from the target which then re-deposits onto the substrate creating the thin film.
In a magnetron system the plasma is magnetically confined allowing operation at lower gas pressure which improves deposition rate and repeatability whilst reducing potential impurities. Generating the plasma using RF allows both insulating and conducting target materials to be deposited. Appropriate use of feedstock gases allows for reactive sputtering and the growing of oxides and nitrides.