Rotatable Targets assist thin film solar cell manufacturers.

Press Release Summary:

High-density (99%+) CIG rotatable sputtering targets aid thin film solar manufacturers with casting of ternary alloy CuInGa (CIG). Density of material promotes control and material utilization. With 70% material utilization on rotatable and 25% on planar, spent targets can be reclaimed and re-cast to make new target. Process also works with materials such as In, InSn, Sn, Zn, Al, and SAC.

Original Press Release:

Sputtering Materials, Inc. Announces CIG and CIGS PVD Target Casting Service for Thin Film Solar Cell Manufacturers

RENO, Nev., Jan. 10 -- Sputtering Materials, Inc., a leading innovator of joining technologies and material sciences, today announced it is now offering high density (99%+) CIG rotatable targets for thin film solar manufacturers. Casting the ternary alloy CuInGa (CIG) has proven very difficult because of its unique properties and complicated phase transitions. Sputtering Materials, Inc. has invested over 3 years of research and development in creating a process for casting CIG and CIGS onto planar and rotatable backplates. Casted targets offer high density material that enable technicians greater control and better material utilization. Low density material, such as powder based metallurgy and cold spray, creates lower density target materials that can be prone to arcing and contamination. SMI's casting is a patent pending process that yields high purity target materials.

"Our casting technology works with difficult high purity materials such as CIG," said Greg Howard, Vice President of SMI, "but it also works with other materials such as In, InSn, Sn, Zn, Al, SAC, and others." Howard continues, "The best economic model for acquiring expensive material involves the option for manufacturers to purchase the raw materials at the best possible price from primary producers."

In this model, customers can bypass the middleman markup and send the raw material to SMI directly. Sputtering with casted material should yield upwards of 90% total material utilization when you consider the ability to remove material from spent PVD targets and re-cast the material. Casting, reclaim, and re-casting targets enable 90% real total usage of material investment in the chamber. With a 70% material utilization on rotatable and 25% on planar, spent targets can be reclaimed and re-cast to make a new target. In this way a company that invests $100,000 in raw material (Cu, In, Ga) for casting targets can get $90,000+ of that material directly in process. The only difference is an additional casting fee on spent material. In other terms, every 4th to 5th target can be made from reclaimed material.

About Sputtering Materials, Inc.

Sputtering Materials, Inc. is an industry leader in PVD materials and R&D. SMI is committed to enabling the thin film solar industry with the target materials required for successful production of solar cells. More information can be found at

Greg Howard

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