Glossary of surface technology

Sputter system

A plasma system optimised or set up for sputtering. For sputtering, the working electrode is coupled with the generator but capacitively separated by means of a capacitor. The substrate or target is mounted on the working electrode. The sputter system is preferably operated with an HF generator at 13.56 MHz. As a process gas, argon is used in most cases. In a system designed in this way, material is removed from the substrate or target by ion etching.


Sputtering can also be used to coat substrates by means of physical vapour deposition (PVD). A target made of the material that is to be coated is placed on the working electrode. Atoms and molecules broken off the target by sputtering are deposited on the substrate.

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