SPI Supplies Brand Cathode, 100% Silver, 57 mm Dia x 10 mils for SPI-Module Coaters/Polaron/Bio-Rad/
SPI Supplies® Brand Cathode, 100% Silver, 57 mm Dia x 10 mils for SPI-Module™ Coaters/Polaron/Bio-Rad/ISI/VG
- SPI-MODULE™ Sputter Coater
- 57mm dia. solid disc 10 mils thick
- Note: Silver Epoxy not needed to install
SPI Supplies precious metals cathodes are made not just for the large installed worldwide base of SPI-MODULE™ Sputter Coaters, but for instruments of other manufacturers as well. In many instances, the SPI replacement cathodes are made to greater thicknesses than that supplied by the original manufacturer. For example, the SPI equivalent sometimes is 10 mils thick but the original manufacturer supplies for essentially the same price a cathode of only 3 or 5 mils thick! In times of wildly fluctuating precious metals prices, we will guarantee the web site prices to be accurate within 5%. To get absolutely up to date pricing, ask us. Make sure you have some awareness of the relative trade-offs between the different metals, because what you have "used for years" might not necessarily have been the best choice.
Purity is also very important to consider when purchasing a precious metal cathode. The cost of purification is not insignificant, and the higher the purity, generally the higher the cost. Replacement cathodes from SPI Supplies are generally the highest purity that is practical to be made (e.g. for gold, it is better than 0.9999). One surely can do better than that, but the "return" relative to the cost is in general, not justifiable. A higher purity would be akin to using a sledge hammer to pound in a thumb tack! One should make sure they don't skimp on purity and purchase cathodes from sources offering lower purities, other wise unanticipated problems are frequently the result.
Note of caution:
There are basically two types of cathode attachments, one that involves some kind of physical retaining mechanism and another that involves the "gluing" of the gold cathode, with a silver epoxy, to the cathode head. When ordering such a cathode, that is, one that has to be glued in place, make sure to order also a package of the SPI #05067-AB Silver Epoxy. Then become familiar with easy-to-follow instructions for the attachment of the cathode to the sputter head. The spreading of the silver epoxy would be made easier with the use of the silver epoxy blender tool.
Note on precious metals properties:
Although the precious metals are found in the same place on the Periodic Table of the Elements, they do all have their own unique set of properties.
Iridium cathodes now available:
Fabrication of cathodes from iridium presents some unique challenges and that is why iridium cathodes are not found in the usual places where sputter coater cathodes are purchased. However there have been some reports of benefits (smaller grain size) when sputtering with iridium instead of gold. If you want a cathode in iridium and you don't see your size listed here, let us know your requirements and we will offer pricing.
Getting the best results:
Our experience has been, when visiting SEM laboratories no matter where they are in the world, the sputter coater housekeeping is terrible. More often than not, the chambers are so dark with coating build-up, one can hardly see into the chamber. This kind of situation is not conducive for obtaining the best results, but then again, no one "likes" cleaning their bell jars. So if your sputter coater system has a glass bell jar, be sure to consider the use of SPI Bell Bright™ and Metal Bright™ Bell Jar Aids and avoid the inhalation of solvent vapors such as from acetone which would otherwise be used for the cleaning.
Precious metals are nonrenewable resources. Customers of SPI Supplies can take an active role in helping to preserve these resources, and at the same time, helping to preserve our environment by participating in the SPI Supplies recycling program.