Industrial applications of precious metal sputtering targets

Sputtering targets are used in a range of thin-film deposition techniques. As technology continues to evolve, precious metal targets have emerged as critical components in thin-film development with a range of applications from consumer electronics and renewable energy to healthcare.

What is a sputtering target?

IAM Drijfhout’s sputtering targets are round, flat discs available in various diameters and thicknesses. Created from precious metals, either pure or alloyed, these targets boast an impressive purity level of 99.95% to 99.99%. The common precious metal targets include gold (Au), platinum (Pt), rhodium (Rh), silver (Ag), and alloys such as Au/Pd20% and Pt/Rh10%.

Did you know that used targets can be sent back for recycling? Learn more about recycling sputtering targets.

The use of precious metal sputter targets in various industries

Electronics and semiconductors

In the world of electronics, precious metal sputtering targets are indispensable. They are utilized to deposit thin layers of metals such as gold, platinum, or silver onto semiconductors, enhancing their electrical conductivity and improving device performance. This methodology is crucial to the manufacture of the miniaturized, high-speed electronic devices that are so prevalent today, from smartphones and computers to advanced sensor systems. Deposition techniques commonly used in this industry are HiTus and Reactive Sputtering.

Consumer electronics

The vibrant, high-resolution displays of modern devices owe much to precious metal sputtering targets. Used in the creation of thin-film transistors for LCD and OLED screens, these targets facilitate high-quality, energy-efficient displays. In particular, silver targets are commonly used in the production of touch screens and flexible displays due to their excellent conductivity and flexibility.


The renewable energy sector, especially photovoltaics, makes extensive use of sputtering targets. In thin-film solar cells, a layer of precious metal is deposited onto the cell’s surface, improving light absorption and thereby increasing energy conversion efficiency. This technology is enabling lighter, more flexible, and efficient solar panels.

Automotive industry

With the rise of electric vehicles, the automotive industry has also embraced the use of precious metal sputtering targets. Critical components such as batteries and sensors are enhanced with thin layers of precious metals, boosting performance, and longevity.

Healthcare and biomedical

Healthcare is another field where the value of precious metal sputtering targets is evident. In the production of medical devices and implants, precious metals like platinum and gold, known for their biocompatibility and corrosion resistance, are preferred. Sputtering targets are used to coat these devices via IBS and PVD, enhancing their safety and durability.

Aerospace and defense

In the aerospace and defense sectors, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) is used to create high-performance coatings for various applications, including corrosion resistance, thermal protection, and electromagnetic shielding. Precious metal targets’ properties ensure these coatings can withstand the extreme conditions encountered in these industries.

High quality precious metals targets

In summary, precious metal sputtering targets are integral to the development of various high-tech industries. As a trusted supplier for many manufacturers, IAM Drijfhout delivers high purity precious metals targets designed to meet the exact specifications of each of these specialist industries.

For any questions about our products, please contact us. Our advisors will provide quick and informative responses.