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ASTM International Committee on Electronics Begins Work on Sputtering Target Utilization Standard

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ASTM International Committee F01 on Electronics is currently seeking participation for any interested parties in the development of a proposed new standard, WK6499, Test Method for Determining Sputtering Target Utilization. The proposed new standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F01.17 on Sputter Metallization.

Target utilization is the amount of target material that is available for sputter deposition, so by doubling the target utilization without increasing the target cost, the material cost for the deposited film can be reduced. In addition, increasing the target utilization reduces the down time associated with target changes. This can significantly reduce cost and increase productivity for the sputtering system.

The new proposed test method is hopefully the first in a series of standards to be developed for sputtering cathodes, according to Charles Wickersham, chair of Subcommittee F01.17. "There has been very little standardization in the area of sputtering cathodes, which means that some cathode manufacturers make claims that are not backed up by good science," says Wickersham, manager of research and development in the Thin Films business group of the Cabot Corporation. "With this broad standardization effort, we hope to provide a more level playing field."

Wickersham encourages manufacturers of sputtering cathodes and sputtering targets, as well as users of sputtering apparatus, to participate in the development of WK6499, and he feels that it is a good starting point for the development of other sputtering cathode standards. For more information on the draft standard, enter "WK6499" in the site search box on the home page of ASTM International’s Web site,

For further technical information, contact Charles Wickersham, Cabot Corporation, Columbus, Ohio (phone: 610/277-4152; Committee F01 meets June 13-16, during the June Committee Week in Reno, Nev. For membership or meeting details, contact Scott Orthey, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730;


Release #7083