To avoid damage and contamination that could cause quality issues during the coating process, use simple precautions to store and handle cylidrical targets:
- Never touch a sputter target surface with your bare hands. Handle targets with plastic or rubber gloves to avoid surface contamination and subsequent problems during sputtering.
- Before lifting the target with a crane or handling it in any way, wrap it in protective paper and a layer of foam.
- Keep the target surface clean at all times and free of dust, water and grease.
Use under vacuum
- When the sputter target is mounted and operating in a substantially horizontal position in the coater, prevent sagging or deformation of the tube by engaging the cooling water system and keeping the target rotating.
- Before the heaters in the coater are turned on, prevent non-uniform thermal loading by engaging the cooling water system and rotating the target.
- Do not stop target rotation and do not shut off the cooling water until the heaters are turned off and the sytem has cooled.
- Keep a new sputtering target in its original packaging until it will be used.
- If a target needs to be stored after partial use, re-wrap it in protective paper, foil or foam.
- Store the target in its original crate, which supports the target on both ends and in the middle. Place the crate in dry, dust-free environment.