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Radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering utilises the low pressure, low temperature, low contamination plasma environment to deposit accurate & 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 & 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 & repeatability whilst reducing potential impurities. Generating the plasma using RF allows both insulating & conducting target materials to be deposited. Appropriate use of feedstock gases allows for reactive sputtering & the growing of oxides & nitrides.