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Thin film coating technologies rely heavily on metal sputtering targets, which are essential in various industries, including semiconductors, optics, and solar energy. These targets are subjected to high-energy ion bombardment to eject particles that form thin films on substrates. The choice of metal sputtering target material significantly affects the properties and performance of the resulting thin films.

Popular Metal Sputtering Targets List

Here is a list of some of the most popular and widely used metal sputtering targets in thin film coating, along with their common applications:

  1. Aluminum (Al)
    • Applications: Reflective films for mirrors, optical coatings, and electronic devices.
    • Benefits: High reflectivity, good conductivity, and relatively low cost.
    • Aluminum Sputtering Target, Al
  2. Gold (Au)
    • Applications: Semiconductor devices, communications equipment, and hard disk drives.
    • Benefits: Excellent conductivity, corrosion resistance, and ability to form high-purity films.
    • Gold Sputtering Target, Au
  3. Molybdenum (Mo)
    • Applications: Thin-film transistors, photovoltaic cells, and integrated circuits.
    • Benefits: High melting point, thermal stability, and good electrical conductivity.
    • Molybdenum Sputtering Target, Mo
  4. Titanium (Ti)
    • Applications: Decorative coatings, aerospace, and automotive industries.
    • Benefits: High strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility.
    • Titanium Sputtering Target, Ti
  5. Copper (Cu)
    • Applications: Electronics, particularly in printed circuit boards and semiconductors.
    • Benefits: Excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, ductility, and cost-effectiveness.
    • Copper Sputtering Target, Cu
  6. Tungsten (W)
    • Applications: X-ray targets, aerospace components, and electronic contacts.
    • Benefits: High density, high melting point, and good thermal conductivity.
    • Tungsten Sputtering Target, W
  7. Silver (Ag)
    • Applications: Solar cells, optical coatings, and antimicrobial applications.
    • Benefits: High conductivity, excellent reflectivity, and antimicrobial properties.
    • Silver Sputtering Target, Ag
  8. Nickel (Ni)
    • Applications: Battery electrodes, aerospace components, and corrosion-resistant coatings.
    • Benefits: Good mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and magnetic properties.
    • Nickel Sputtering Target, Ni
  9. Chromium (Cr)
    • Applications: Hard coatings, decorative coatings, and corrosion-resistant layers.
    • Benefits: Hardness, corrosion resistance, and ability to form adherent films.
    • Chromium Sputtering Target, Cr
  10. Zinc (Zn)
    • Applications: Protective coatings, battery anodes, and optical films.
    • Benefits: Good corrosion resistance, ductility, and ease of deposition.
    • Zinc Sputtering Target
  11. Cobalt (Co)
    • Applications: Magnetic recording media, high-temperature alloys, and catalysts.
    • Benefits: Magnetic properties, high melting point, and wear resistance.
    • Cobalt Sputtering Target, Co
  12. Platinum (Pt)
    • Applications: Catalysts, electronic components, and medical devices.
    • Benefits: High melting point, chemical stability, and excellent conductivity.
    • Platinum Sputtering Target, Pt
  13. Palladium (Pd)
    • Applications: Hydrogen storage, catalysts, and electronics.
    • Benefits: Excellent catalytic properties, corrosion resistance, and good conductivity.
    • Palladium Sputtering Target, Pd
  14. Iridium (Ir)
    • Applications: High-temperature applications, spark plugs, and crucibles.
    • Benefits: High melting point, corrosion resistance, and excellent durability.
    • Iridium Sputtering Target, Ir
  15. Hafnium (Hf)
    • Applications: Control rods in nuclear reactors, high-temperature alloys, and optical coatings.
    • Benefits: High melting point, neutron absorption, and corrosion resistance.
    • Hafnium Sputtering Target, Hf
  16. Tantalum (Ta)
    • Applications: Capacitors, high-temperature alloys, and medical implants.
    • Benefits: High melting point, excellent corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility.
    • Tantalum Sputtering Target, Ta
  17. Bismuth (Bi)
    • Applications: Low-melting alloys, thermoelectric materials, and pharmaceuticals.
    • Benefits: Low toxicity, high density, and low melting point.
    • bismuth sputtering target cover
  18. Cadmium (Cd)
    • Applications: Corrosion-resistant coatings, batteries, and pigments.
    • Benefits: Corrosion resistance, good conductivity, and low melting point.
    • Cadmium Sputtering Target, Cd
  19. Magnesium (Mg)
    • Applications: Lightweight alloys, pyrotechnics, and batteries.
    • Benefits: Lightweight, high strength-to-weight ratio, and good machinability.
    • Magnesium Sputtering Target, Mg
  20. Antimony (Sb)
    • Applications: Flame retardants, batteries, and semiconductors.
    • Benefits: Thermal stability, flame retardancy, and electrical conductivity.
    • Antimony Sputtering Target

Rotatable Sputtering Targets

Rotatable sputtering targets are gaining popularity due to their advantages over traditional fixed targets. These targets rotate during the sputtering process, leading to more uniform erosion, longer target life, and improved film uniformity. They are particularly beneficial for large-area coatings such as architectural glass and flat panel displays.


The selection of metal sputtering targets is crucial in thin film coating processes, with materials like aluminum, gold, molybdenum, and copper being widely used across various industries. Rotatable targets and advanced composites represent the forefront of this technology, promising better efficiency and higher quality coatings.

By incorporating a variety of metals, industries can achieve precise control over thin film characteristics, leading to innovations and improvements in product quality. Rotatable sputtering targets, in particular, offer enhanced efficiency and uniformity, making them a preferred choice for large-scale and high-precision applications.

For more detailed information on metal sputtering targets and their applications, you can visit resources at Stanford Advanced Materials.

About the author

Julissa Green graduated from the University of Texas studying applied chemistry. She started her journalism life as a chemistry specialist in Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) since 2016 and she has been fascinated by this fast growing industry ever since. If you have any particular topics of interest, or you have any questions, you can reach her at julissa@samaterials.com.

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About Us

Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of various sputtering targets such as metals, alloys, oxides, ceramic materials. It was first established in 1994 to begin supplying high-quality rare-earth products to assist our customers in the research and development (R&D) fields.

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