Magnetron sputtering is another type of PVD technology whereby materials are eroded from a solid cathode surface due to the high energy bombardment of ions on to the target (cathode) surface under vacuum conditions. Often during deposition, reactive gases such as nitrogen and/or acetylene is injected into the process chamber to react with sputtered species and to form respective nitrides, Carbides or Carbo Nitrides films on substrate (job). Unlike Cathodic Arc, Magnetron Sputtering is also capable of evaporate/sputter metals and metal alloys to deposit various thin films of desired properties. But the basic difference is in to the generation of high energy plasma. Magnetron sputtering is unable to produce high energy plasma and stoichiometric compositions unlike Cathodic Arc. This basic limitation restricted use if this technology in functional applications such as cutting tools, molds and industrial components. Beside it’s drawback, there is a potential advantage too. Hard thin films produce by magnetron sputtering are extremely smooth and capable of reflect 100% same surface finish of the substrate. This advantage makes this technique a perfect tool to produce decorative thin films with glittering long lasting colors.
At SMT, we have established this technology to produce high quality decorative hard thin films for watches, sanitary ware, door hardware, imitation jewelry and writing instruments because of it’s incredible durability and ability to resist wear and friction.