Ramp Rates

Power should be ramped up SLOWLY to avoid arcing. Typical ramp rates for oxides are 10 watts p/hour p/square inch of target surface. A reasonable ramp rate for non-refractory metal targets is 50 watts p/hour p/square inch of surface area.

We recommend a VERY CONSERVATIVE break-in for oxide targets. We typically ramp an oxide target, like ITO to 2.0 watts/cm² DC for at least one hour.

After the long hold, we then ramp at 2.0 watts/cm² per half-hour to the recommended maximum operating power density of 9.5 watts/cm².

We also recommend a maximum operating power density for metal targets of 22 watt/cm² of surface area. This number is very dependent upon the cooling efficiency of your sputtering system.

Refer to your systems Operation Manual for recommended chamber pressure settings during deposition.

Target Maintenance

You may experience some build up of sputtered material on the center and outside the racetrack of your target. It may be necessary to remove this material periodically in order to avoid arcing during deposition. This will allow continued operation of your target at the maximum power.

Target Handling

When working with a vacuum chamber and, specifically, a sputtering system, proper target handling is essential. Any residual build up of grease, dust, and old coatings will trap water and other contaminants which will impede your ability to achieve a good vacuum. This will, in turn, produce films of poor quality. Target arcing, surface roughness in deposited films, and trace chemical impurities are often times linked to dirty sputter chambers, guns and targets.

  • Metal Targets can be cleaned using an alcohol wipe with a lint free cloth. A short period of pre-sputtering is recommended.
  • Oxide and Ceramic Targets can be cleaned using a non-impregnated “scotch bright” pad. After removing the contaminant, wipe the surface with alcohol using a lint free cloth. A short period of pre-sputtering is recommended.

Target Storage

We recommend that you always keep your targets, metal or oxide, stored under vacuum. To assist you, we ship your targets in vacuum sealed poly bags.

Gloves are required for the safe handling of the target. Do not touch the sputtering target with your bare hands.