Magnetron Sputtering Design

There is much more to designing a world-class magnetron than simply strapping some magnets into a water-cooled cavity and hoping for the best.

At Angstrom Sciences we are able to combine:

  • decades of experience with magnetron sputtering

  • a profound understanding of the interaction of  magnetrons with the properties and structure of thin solid films

  • state of the art computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and a thorough understanding of the elements of modern deposition system design and the role that system design plays on the performance and utility of the overall deposition process,to craft a completely optimized, application specific device.  This is the Angstrom Advantage!

The first step of the “process” relies on a thorough understanding of the application and the overall project requirements.  These discussions, carried out by our team of trained sales engineers and process engineers identifies the critical performance criteria of the device as well as any unique process requirements and/or system constraints (clearance, size, shape, interference issues, etc.) that must be accommodated.


In many cases we are tasked to retrofit non-Angstrom Science magnetrons with our magnetic technology and this path adds a step where we examine the existing design for space, cooling water, and general geometrical considerations.

Once the application is completely understood, a detailed proposal is generated for customer consideration.  The proposal includes all relevant commercial and technical details; in essence a complete statement of work that explicitly details the depth and breadth of supply along with the required product metrics.

Suppering Magnetron Computer Image

Immediately upon order placement, detailed mechanical and magnetic design activities commence. A detailed final design is developed that accommodates the “magnetics” required to meet and in most cases exceed, the customer’s requirements.   At this point extensive use of finite element analysis is used to optimize the magnetic field distribution and intensity.  Simulation and modeling allows Angstrom Sciences to take full advantage of the spectrum of tools and techniques (magnetic geometry, placement, field strength, etc.) necessary to fully optimize a design before any metal is “cut”!


Magnetron Design Drawing

When the final design is completed, it is presented to the customer for review and approval.  This is the stage that any final design considerations and/or customer requirements can be accommodated; an important consideration to ensure that what is built precisely and accurately addresses the intention of the device in the first step.  In almost all cases, this is the stage where the final “fit” in the deposition chamber that it will reside in is checked and verified. With modern deposition systems costing in excess of $ 1,000,000 this is a step whose importance cannot be underestimated and or minimized.

Sputtering Magnetron Drawing



Immediately after the approval drawing milestone is completed, the cathode is released to Angstrom Science’s manufacturing group. All incoming raw materials undergo a rigorous inspection and Angstrom’s computer aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities ensure that the finished components match the CAD design; exacting performance requires exacting components!   The components are then assembled in a pristine, clean environment where they are subjected to a comprehensive battery of functional and performance tests before they are shipped to their final destination.

For more information about Magnetron Sputtering Design, call 412-469-8466 or contact us online.