E-Beam Evaporation provides one of the leading methods for sputtering deposition technology. The essential machine in the operation, the vacuum, creates an air tight seal that excludes contaminants from the process. This method breaks down the structure of metal in a high energy environment and allows the vapors to cool on a target substance. This creates a layer so thin, it’s only atoms thick, yet as strong as a diamond. This sputtering method is particularly useful for coating optics and medical devices, where abrasions to the tools could alter their ability to function.
The vacuum in Ion Beam Deposition eliminates all variables that would otherwise alter the hardness of the coating. This is why operators never touch the inside of a vacuum machine while cleaning it. The oils on their hands are considered contaminants, so they must wear gloves. A sputtering machine allows for ion beams, gases and metals to react in a perfect environment. For example, oxygen is a highly reactive element in our atmosphere. Oxygen can easily rust metals so a carbon film coating from a deposition system can prevent oxidization from happening.
Allowing the wrong chemicals to interact with the sputtering process could potentially be very dangerous. The amount of energy inside these machines is so high that the matter inside reaches plasma levels, the same state of matter that exists within our sun. While this allows for more fluid chemical changes, it does pose serious risks if not operated properly. The operator should be properly trained and certified to use the machine.