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Sputter Coating Technologies: Direct Current (DC) Sputtering

We have previously made a brief introduction of Five Sputter Coating Technologies, including unbalanced magnetron sputtering, radio frequency (RF) sputtering, direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering, mid-frequency alternating current (AC) magnetron sputtering and reactive magnetron sputtering. And today, we are going to talk about direct current (DC) sputtering in details.

DC power supply
DC power supply

To begin with, let’s see the definition of DC Sputtering. Direct Current (DC) Sputtering is one of the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Coating techniques. It uses a target material as the coating, which is bombarded with ionized gas molecules, causing atoms to be “sputtered” off into the plasma. Then when these atoms condense as a thin film, they are deposited on the substrate to be coated.

DC Sputtering is one of the most basic sputtering types for PVD metal deposition and electrically conductive target coating materials, because it is easy to control and it is inexpensive. Due to the above advantages, DC sputtering is widely used in the semiconductor industry, jewelry industry, watch industry and others. It can be used for creating microchip circuitry, optical components as well as metalized packaging plastics.

Although DC Sputtering is a low cost option if you are doing metal deposition for coating, it still has many limitations. Its main dilemma is that non-conducting dielectric insulating materials take on a charge over time that may bring about exceptional issues like arcing, or the poisoning of the target material with a charge that may completely stop the sputtering. To solve the problems brought by DC Sputtering, people begin to develop other sputter coating technologies, for instance, as we mentioned at the beginning, the Radio Frequency (RF) Sputtering. RF Sputtering alternates the electrical charge at radio frequency, thus it can prevent a charge accumulating on the target or coating material.

Today we only introduce DC Sputtering, and we may also talk about other sputter coating technologies in the future, please pay attention to our website for more information. We regularly update knowledge and interesting stories about sputtering targets, and if you like this article, please share it to your friends.

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