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Also known as cathode sputtering.
The ejection of atoms or groups of atoms from the surface of the cathode of a vacuum tube as the result of heavy-ion impact.
The use of this process to deposit a thin layer of metal on a glass, plastic, metal, or other surface in vacuum.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The ejection of material from a solid or liquid surface following the impact of energetic ions, atoms, or molecules. Sputtering is the basis of a large variety of methods for the synthesis and analysis of materials.

Sputtering can be classified according to the mode of energy loss of the incident (primary) particle. Nuclear stopping involves billiard ball-like atomic collisions in which a significant momentum transfer occurs; it dominates for incident ion energies below about 1–2 keV per nucleon. Electronic stopping involves collisions in which little momentum is transferred, but significant electronic excitation is caused in the target; it dominates for energies above about 10 keV per nucleon.

Sputtering has also been classified into physical and chemical sputtering. Physical sputtering involves a transfer of kinetic energy from the incident particle to the surface atoms leading to ejection, while chemical sputtering occurs when the incident species react chemically with the target surface leading to the formation of a volatile reaction product which evaporates thermally from the surface.

Sputtering of complex materials—metal alloys, inorganic and organic compounds and polymers, and minerals—can produce complex results. The relative efficiencies with which different elemental species are ejected following ion impact can differ, giving rise to preferential sputtering. When preferential sputtering occurs, the species sputtered with the lower efficiency accumulates to a higher concentration at the surface. Subsurface collisions of the incident ion cause atomic motion leading to atomic mixing of surface and subsurface layers over the ion penetration depth. Chemical bonds can be broken, and sometimes new bonds can be formed. Sputtering of solids which have multiple phases, or which are polycrystalline, leads to the development of surface roughness due to the differences in sputtering yields between different regions. See Ion beam mixing

Sputtering is widely used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices; sputter deposition is used to deposit thin films with a high degree of control by sputtering material from a target onto a substrate; sputter etching is used to remove unwanted films in a reversal of this process. Reactive ion etching is a chemical sputtering process in which chemically active sputtering species form volatile compounds with the target material leading to significantly higher etch rates and great selectivity. For example, fluorine-containing compounds etch silicon rapidly by forming volatile silicon tetrafluoride but do not etch aluminum or other metals used to make electrical interconnections between devices on a semiconductor chip because the metal fluorides are involatile. Sputter etching and reactive ion etching have the useful advantage of being anisotropic—that is, they etch only in one direction so that very fine surface features can be delineated. See Integrated circuits

In materials characterization, sputtering is used to remove surface material controllably, allowing in-depth concentration profiles of chemical composition to be determined with a surface-sensitive sampling technique.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A popular method for adhering thin films onto a substrate. Sputtering is done by bombarding a target material with a charged gas (typically argon) which releases atoms in the target that coats the nearby substrate. It all takes place inside a magnetron vacuum chamber under low pressure. See thin film.
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References in periodicals archive ?
However, in 2015, ULVAC successfully developed the world's most advanced technology for forming PZT piezoelectric thin films using a low-temperature sputtering process.
Fig 2 shows peak-peak heights for various elements as a function of sputtering time.
However, there are few studies to report the effect of oxygen flow rate on the residual stress and surface roughness of sputtering ITO thin films [12-14].
In this paper, the properties of the Mo back contact on both DC and RF sputtering will be further reviewed.
Six series of Cr-Cu-N coatings with various Cu content were deposited by hybrid coating system combining a radio frequency (RF) and a pulsed DC (PDC) sputtering, which was schematically shown in previous reports [19].
The cobalt was deposited on the carbon nanotubes/ graphene composites by RF magnetron sputtering from a 3-inch disk Co target (purity: 99.9%, purchased from SCM, INC) in a vacuum chamber with a background pressure of 7 x [10.sup.-6] torr.
During sputtering, the atmosphere colludes with the solar wind against the planet.
Peak power densities higher than 0.05 kW/[cm.sup.2] referred to the HPPMS range, which is further categorized into MPP and high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS).
Huang, "Fabrication of poly-Si complementary metal oxide semiconductor inverter by all sputtering deposition process," Journal of the SID, vol.
For this reason most of the industrial research efforts are focused on improving operating performances of magnetron sputtering PVD type equipment, with special focus on analyzing the possibilities of optimization of PVD process parameters for industrial production, in accordance with the desired performance to be obtained for different product categories and their reproducibility for multiple manufacturing batches.
The standard, created by ASTM's committee on electronics (F01), will soon be published as the Guide for High-Purity Copper Sputtering Target used for TSV Metallization (F3192).
Sputtering is the process in which atoms are removed from target surface due to the bombardment of highly energetic particles.