Threaded Target Clamp

One of the challenges facing sputtering is how to affix the target to the magnetron device. In general, sputtering targets are either bonded directly to a plate commonly referred to as a “backing plate” which is in turn, directly water-cooled or clamped to a water-cooled electrode where the water-vacuum membrane is fixed in place.

Angstrom Sciences’ threaded target clamp design for circular magnetrons was initially developed to create large, multiple-cathode assemblies for restrictive chamber spaces. This threaded design reduces the overall size of a cathode for a given target diameter and, within cluster assemblies, provides a smaller angle of incidence to the substrate, resulting in better uniformity.

Directly water-cooling a target generally involves a metallurgical bond between the target material and the backing plate and offers optimum cooling and reduced thermally induced stresses since sputtering targets get hot!

However, in many cases bonding a target is impractical and the process demands are less critical. In these situations clamping the target is the preferred approach. Angstrom Sciences offers a unique solution for their circular magnetron product line in that the target clamp screws onto the cathode body using a proprietary fine pitch thread. This approach provides for uniform clamping pressures and accommodates targets of varying thickness. Contrasted to the standard industry approach of recessed target clamps that require small screws to fix a counter-bored clamp which requires the target to be precisely machined to a fixed thickness.

Threaded target clamping also provides flexibility within a client’s application, allowing for variations in target thickness. Target changes are quick and easy without the use of ancillary tools or devices, minimizing system downtime.


For more information regarding Threaded Target Clamps or to discuss your project, call 412-469-8466 or contact us online.