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1. Alloy

A metallic alloy is a mixture of a metal with other metals or non-metals. Ceramics can also be mixed to form alloys. Binary alloys are alloys of two elements only.

See also: Intermetallics

2. Atomic Percentage

Synonyms: at%; atomic percent

Atomic percentage signifies atomic percentage, so Cu/Al 73/27 at would have 27% of the atoms in the alloy as Aluminium and 73% of the atoms in the alloy as Copper.

See also: Alloy

3. Backing Plate

One of the important components of sputtering targets and sputtering processes. A well matched backing plate needs to enhance cooling effectiveness. Good flatness and smoothness are needed to bond the sputtering target material.

4. Electrical Conductivity

Synonyms: specific conductance

A measure of the ability of a material to conduct an electric current or impulse. It is defined as the reciprocal of the resistivity of the material, and is expressed in siemens m-1.

5. Intermetallics

Synonyms: intermetallic compound

A compound of two metals in which the metals are only partially soluble in one another; exhibits a homogeneous grain structure, but the atoms do not intermingle randomly in all proportions.

See also: Alloy

6. Magnetron Sputtering

A variation from standard physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating techniques, and a plasma coating process that utilizes magnetic fields to contain the plasma in front of the target in order to intensify the bombardment of ions on the target during the sputtering process. The result of magnetron sputtering is a dense plasma coating deposited on a given substrate that is placed in front of the target.

See also: Sputtering

7. Malleability

Synonyms: ductility; malleableness

An ability of a material to withstand mechanical and permanent deformation by compressive forces like extrusion, forging, rolling, etc., without breaking, fracturing or rupture.

See also: Refractory Metal

8. Metalloid

A nonmetallic element that has some of the chemical properties, such as arsenic, or that can form an alloy with metals, such as carbon.

See also: Semiconductor; Transition Metal

9. Molecular Weight

Synonyms: M.W.; mol. wt.

The total weight including all mass weights of a molecule. Example: Water, or H2O, has a molecular weight of 18. Two from the two hydrogens (1 x 2 = 2) plus 16 from the oxygen.

10. Periodic Table of the Elements

Synonyms: periodic table; periodic table of chemical elements

A chart of the chemical elements that displays them in rows horizontally in order of increasing atomic number and vertically according to the similarity of the chemical properties of their atoms. The position of an element on the table thus gives useful information about the structure and chemical properties of the element.

11. Precious Metal

A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or have a high economic value. The higher relative values of these metals are driven by various factors including their rarity, uses in industrial processes and as an investment commodity. They include, but are not limited to: gold, silver, platinum, iridium, rhodium and palladium.

See also: Transition Metal

12. Rare-earth Element

Synonyms: lanthanide

Any of a large class of chemical elements including scandium (atomic number 21), yttrium (39), and the 15 elements from 57 (lanthanum) to 71 (lanthanides). These metals are similar chemically because their atomic structures are generally similar; all form compounds in which they have valence 3, including stable oxides, carbides, and borides.

13. Refractory Metal

A metal or alloy that is heat-resistant, having a high melting point. Typical examples are tungsten, molybdenum, niobium, tantalum, and rhenium.

14. Semiconductor

Any of various solid crystalline substances, such as germanium or silicon, having an electrical conductivity greater than insulators but less than good conductors, and used especially as a base material for computer chips and other electronic devices.

See also: Metalloid

15. Sputtering

Synonyms: sputter deposition; sputter coating

A process that uses ions of an inert gas to dislodge atoms from the surface of a crystalline material, the atoms then being electrically deposited to form an extremely thin coating on a glass, metal, plastic, or other surface.

See also: Magnetron Sputtering; Sputtering Target

16. Sputtering Target

Synonyms: sputter target

Source material during sputter deposition processes; typically a disc inside the vacuum chamber which is exposed to bombarding ions, knocking source atoms lose and onto samples.

17. Target Bonding

A critical process to bond the sputter target against a strong, compatible backing plate so that the target material will avoid cracking, warping or damage by inadequate cooling when clamped to the sputter source cathode inside the sputter depositing system. A properly bonded sputtering target will normally give a longer working life than a non-bonded target, may enable the use of a higher power input to achieve faster sputtering rates and will enable thin film process parameters to be consistently repeated.

18. Thermal Conductivity

Synonyms: thermoconductivity; coefficient of conductivity; heat conductivity

The heat flow across a surface per unit area per unit time, divided by the negative of the rate of change of temperature with distance in a direction perpendicular to the surface.

19. Thermal Expansion

Synonyms: thermal dilation

The dimensional changes exhibited by solids, liquids, and gases for changes in temperature while pressure is held constant.

See also: Malleability

20. Transition Metal

Synonyms: transition element

Any of the metallic elements within Groups 3 to 12 in the Periodic Table that have an incomplete inner electron shell and that serve as transitional links between the most and the least electropositive in a series of elements. They are characterized by multiple valences, colored compounds, and the ability to form stable complex ions.

See also: Precious Metal

21. Weight Percent

Synonyms: wt%; weight percent

Weight percentage signifies weight percentage, so Cu/Al 73/27 wt% would have 27% of the weight of the alloy as Aluminium and 73% of the weight of the alloy as Copper.

See also: Alloy, Atomic Percentage

22. Deposition Materials

Synonyms: Deposition Materials

Deposition materials that react with air or water vapor are protected during storage and shipment by immersion in a low viscosity (hydrocarbon) mineral oil. Before the material can be installed in a vacuum system, this oil must be completely removed using solvents that do not act as additional contamination sources for the vacuum system or the subsequent thin-film processes.

See also: Weight Percentage