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Ultra Pure Gold

Materion is one of a handful of companies able to consistently refine gold to the 99.999% purity level required by some of the most advanced high tech companies.

The largest use of these high-purity source materials is in our customer’s production of thin films using physical vapor deposition (PVD). In PVD processes, the film is formed by atoms transferring directly from the source through a gas phase and onto the substrate. The two technologies utilized most frequently for these PVD processes are e-beam evaporation and sputtering.

Gold Spitting Problem

During evaporation processes, and in particular, the process of being deposited as a thin film onto a semiconductor wafer, gold can be prone to eject droplets that solidify into solid particles on the wafer. This can lead to improper functioning of a microelectronic circuit and even require the scrapping of whole production lots.

Materion has been very successful in reducing this behavior, called “spitting,” by developing the proprietary EVAPro® product line. EVAPro® is a proprietary manufacturing process that deactivates this material while producing ultra-high-purity evaporation materials with both low organic and inorganic impurities, while ensuring superior surface cleanliness. These next-generation materials enable customers to increase yields and tool up-time.

Sputtering Applications

We have also developed proprietary techniques to enhance the performance of other high-purity and specialty products such as sputtering targets, specialized wire and strip materials provided to microelectronics manufacturers.

In sputtering applications, the uniformity of the deposited thin films is critical to the performance and cost of the device. SFG™ is a manufacturing process that optimizes the structure of Materion’s sputtering targets. Properly controlling the grain and crystal orientation of the target results in higher-yielding, more consistent deposition for our customer’s end products.

“Our use of ultra pure gold, plus these processes and others, are all part of our full lifecycle precious metals management service,” says Derrick Brown, Materion Microelectronics & Services Vice President of Marketing. “By integrating refining, product manufacture, precision parts cleaning and recycling into a closed loop, we are able to significantly reduce our customer’s total cost of ownership over the precious metals lifecycle.”