USES OF SPUTTERING
Sputter Coater in sputtering is widely used in the semiconductor industry to deposit thin films of various materials in integrated circuit processing.
The process of sputtering can also be done to deposit thin antireflection coatings on glass for optical applications. Sputtering is likewise an ideal method to deposit contact metals for thin-film transistors due to the low substrate temperatures used.
Low-emissivity coatings on glass used in double-pane window assemblies are the most familiar products of sputtering. The coating used in sputter coating is a multilayer which contains silver and metal oxides such as zinc oxide, tin oxide, or titanium dioxide. Tool bit coating such as titanium nitride which creates the familiar gold colored hard coat has been developed by a large industry. The production of CDs and DVDs also benefits from sputtering as it is also used as the process to deposit the metal such as aluminium layer during the fabrication of such products.
Sputtered CrOx and other sputtered materials are likewise used in hard disk surfaces. Basically, sputtering is one of the main processes of manufacturing optical waveguides and is another means for manufacturing proficient photovoltaic solar cells.
More importantly, sputter deposition is utilized in the sputter coating of specimens for scanning electron microscopy or SEM. According to Science Lab by Leica Microsystems, sputter deposition in this matter offers a very important advantage such that even materials with very high melting points are easily sputtered while evaporation of these materials in a resistance evaporator or Knudsen cell is problematic or impossible. Sputter deposited films have a composition close to that of the source material.
The variance is due to different elements dispersing in a different way because of their different mass, by which light elements are deflected more easily by the gas. However, this difference is constant. Sputtered films normally have a better adhesion on the substrate than evaporated films. The technique is highly suited for ultrahigh vacuum applications because a target contains a large amount of material and is maintenance free. There are no hot parts contained in the sputtering sources, as they are typically water cooled to avoid heating, and are attuned with reactive gases such as oxygen.
Basically, sputtering can be performed top-down while evaporation must be performed bottom-up. Hence, it allows for advanced processes such as epitaxial growth.