==Method of operation==
Sputtering is not typically done on liftoff samples or shadow masks. Therefore it is typically done as a blanket deposition that will be patterned and etched later if patterning is needed. Samples should be clean and vacuum-safe and should be handle a small amount of plasma heating. It is recommended that if there is any organic processing done to samples that they are cleaned in an oxygen plasma.
Samples are introduced into a vacuum chamber (either loaded in a vented chamber or sent in from a loadlock) with the proper source target materials. The sample is heated and etched before deposition if the process requires it. Ar is then introduced to the chamber until a desired sputtering pressure is reached and then power is applied the targets to strike a sputtering plasma. The target power is then ramped up slowly while being shielded from the samples by a shutter. Once the pre-sputter sequence is finished, the shutter opens and the deposition is timed to achieve the desired thickness of film. The shutter closes, power is ramped down and the sputtering Ar gas is pumped out. Multiple films may be run by repeating this process with a different source targets. The samples are then removed from the chamber and the tool is pumped back to a low base pressure.