The magnetron sputtering system, is a new development in vacuum deposition technology. Variations include high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) and high-powered pulsed magnetron sputtering (HPPMS) methods. These machines offer a precise way to evenly coat sensitive medical equipment and optics, as well as semiconductors and emerging technology. All sputtering systems utilize an air tight vacuum to eliminate contaminants that could alter the quality of the coating.
While vacuum metallizing methods have been around for years, magnetron sputtering was only patented recently in 2001, and becoming widely available only seven years ago in 2006. The first magnetron sputtering patent was developed by Kouzentsov, and it is now considered one of the most effective ways to coat material.
Magnetron sputtering allows for a higher amount of ionization of the metal that is supposed to coat the target material. Higher rates of gas dissociation allow for a stronger coating when the vapors have finally cooled. Increasing the cathode power creates a higher level of ionization with other sputtering methods. Magnetron sputtering, however, can accommodate a higher thermal load, making it one of the most versatile systems on the market. Most operators utilize a technique that involves shorter duty cycles for projects that need a higher ionization power.
By using magnetic fields to confine the process, operators can increase the energy of particles used in the procedure at much higher rates than traditional sputtering methods. This creates a denser coating morphology and far more durable coating results. However, every sputtering deposition system provides an astounding quality available to a variety of industries.