Sputtering Materials offers higher material utilization in thin film deposition

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Product Brief Outline: Sputtering Materials, Inc. is now offering high-density casted CIG (CuInGa) targets for thin film deposition in rotatable and planar form factors for thin film solar production. The casted targets offer high-density (99% +) materials that offer thin film technicians greater control and better material utilization in thin film deposition, physical vapor deposition and sputtering system processing.

Problem: Thin film deposition with low-density material, such as powder-based metallurgy and cold spray, create low-density target material that is prone to arcing and contamination in process. Casting the ternary alloy CuInGa has proven very difficult because of its unique properties and complicated phase transitions. Normal casting techniques yield segregated material prone to contamination by cast forms and other casting equipment.

Solution: Sputtering Materials has invested over three years of research and development in creating a process for casting CIG and CIGS onto planar and rotatable backplates. Casted targets enable a high level of total material utilization, because the increased density, target life and control are extended as well as the fact that the targets are reclaimed and reused to make new targets. There is a significant difference between powder metallurgy targets and casted CIGS targets; casted target processes can reuse the spent material by machining clean material off spent targets and re-casting it to make new targets.

Applications: This new innovative casting technology also works with high purity materials such as In, InSn, Sn, Zn, Al, SAC, and others. The nature of high-density and high-purity material lends itself to be cleanly reclaimed and re-casted into new targets.

Platform: Materials can be casted to rotatable targets up to 50” in length.

Availability: November 2007 onwards.

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