Magnetron sputtering is the primary alternative to evaporation for metal film deposition in e.g., microelectronic fabrication. The physical vapour deposition (PVD) technique has better step coverage than evaporation and is much better at producing layers of compound materials and alloys. The working principle of magnetron sputtering includes high energy ions, in a plasma of an inert gas, striking a target containing the material to be deposited. Because of the momentum exchange between the ions and the atoms in the target, material is ejected from the target. The ejected material ultimately forms a thin film of a desired thickness on the substrate. Polyteknik AS are highly experienced in several types of magnetron sputtering processes including:
The sputtering process is dependent on the chosen target material, as conductive and insulating materials behave differently during the process. In the case of deposition of elemental metals, simple DC sputtering is usually favoured. During deposition of insulating materials, an RF plasma must be used to prevent charge build up on the target surface. By including reactive gasses e.g., oxygen in the plasma during the sputtering process, a thin film with atoms incorporated from the reactive gas can be achieved. The PVD platforms provided by Polyteknik AS, like Flextura and Infinity VB, utilises magnetron sputtering in varying configurations. However, if deposition of several thin film materials is requried, co-deposition can be realised in a single Flextura Module, which can be attached to our Flextura Cluster platform for high volume and reliable production.